Invasive Species and the Territorial Machine: Shifting Interfaces between Ecology and the Postcolonial

Filippo Menozzi


This article proposes a rethinking of biological invasion in contemporary South African and Australian literature. It argues that the literary representation of pest proliferation can offer a privileged insight into the intersection between the legacy of settler colonialism and current ecological concerns. Indeed, the question of invasive species can be connected to both unreconciled histories of colonial expansion and pressing biodiversity and conservation issues. This essay adopts Deleuze and Guattari's concept of deterritorialisation in order to explore the description of invasive species in Henrietta Rose-Innes's Nineveh and The Rabbits, a visual narrative by John Mardsen and Shaun Tan. A reading inspired by the anti-metaphorical value of the concept of deterritorialisation overcomes an anthropocentric view that would reduce animals to mere metaphorical stand-ins for humans. The intimate link between nature and culture posited by Deleuze and Guattari's generalised ecology is conceptualised as a shifting interface between postcolonial and ecocritical agendas in the reading of postcolonial literature from South Africa and Australia.


Biological Invasion; Deterritorialisation; Postcolonial Literature; Henrietta Rose-Innes; Deleuze and Guattari

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The Johns Hopkins University Press

ISSN: 1920-1222

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