Environmental commemoration: Guiding principles and real-world cases

Citations of this article
Mendeley users who have this article in their library.

This article is free to access.


Addressing the political implications of the ever-accumulating destruction of ecosystems and more-than-human life, this paper asks whether and in what ways environmental losses should be publicly commemorated. Our answer is two-pronged. First, we hold that a politics of environmental commemoration would enfranchise those who are already grieving, by lending legitimacy to their experiences. Moreover, commemorative practices might prompt much-needed norm change by nurturing a recognition of our species’ entanglement with the more-than-human world. Second, we programmatically introduce five principles that should guide environmental commemoration, ethically and pragmatically: multispecies justice, responsibility, pluralism, dynamism, and anticlosure. A critical examination of two real-world examples – the memorialization of the passenger pigeon’s extinction and the annual ritual of the Remembrance Day for Lost Species – substantiates our theoretical argument. Finally, the paper engages with several potential criticisms.




Mihai, M., & Thaler, M. (2023). Environmental commemoration: Guiding principles and real-world cases. Memory Studies. https://doi.org/10.1177/17506980231176037

Register to see more suggestions

Mendeley helps you to discover research relevant for your work.

Already have an account?

Save time finding and organizing research with Mendeley

Sign up for free