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Zoological Gardens, Austerity, and Staging the Extinction of the 'Last' Thylacine

Schlunke, K ORCID: 0000-0002-9759-6829 and Stark, H ORCID: 0000-0002-2026-0294 2019 , 'Zoological Gardens, Austerity, and Staging the Extinction of the 'Last' Thylacine', in N Milthorpe (ed.), The Poetics and Politics of Gardening in Hard Times , Lexington Books, London, pp. 87-105.

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Abstract

This chapter examines the Beaumaris zoo in Hobart, Tasmania, through the award-winning Australian 2014 play They Saw a Thylacine, by Justine Campbell and Sarah Hamilton. The Beaumaris zoo was the location of the death of the "last" thylacine (Tasmanian tiger) on September 7, 1936. Campbell and Hamilton's play is a fertile text for examining the impact of austerity on zoological gardens because it situates the narrative of the "last" thylacine within the economic pressures of 1930s Tasmania. As noted by Denise Varney, "[A]nthropocentric and sexist economic and social conditions are shown to come into play in a way that fatally com­pounds the precarious existence of the species" (2015, 7). This chapter examines how the play highlights the place of gender, class, race, sexual­ity, and species in the economic narratives that are central to the thyla­cine' s demise and contextualizes this with the politics of austerity, value, and exchange in zoological gardens more broadly.

Item Type: Book Section
Authors/Creators:Schlunke, K and Stark, H
Keywords: thylacine, Beaumaris zoo, extinction
Publisher: Lexington Books
Copyright Information:

Copyright 2019 The Rowman & Littlefield Publishing Group, Inc.

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