Beekeeping in the End Times

A book launch and conversation with Dr Larisa Jašarević

A book launch and conversation with Dr Larisa Jašarević, author of Beekeeping in the End Times, also featuring William Gallois, Karim Lahham & Nur Sobers-Khan.

28th March 2024 | BLOC, Queen Mary University of London

What do we learn about climate change from beekeepers and bees in northeastern Bosnia and Herzegovina? What do we learn about the changing relations between species as climate change upends the environment in which both have adapted? How should we respond when, in the words of one of the beekeepers who appears in this book, “The life of the bees and the beekeeper’s know-how are now coming apart”?

Beekeeping in the End Times is based on unique fieldwork by a professional  anthropologist who is also a filmmaker and beekeeper with insider access to a region and its apiary practices. From her book’s opening question, “Are the bees still swarming?” through its development of a “near-end ecology,” Dr Larisa Jašarević reveals the interspecies crises and also the practices that beekeepers have evolved to confront them.

This book is paired with a film; both convey Bosnian Muslim apicultures and stories about the world’s imminent ecological collapse. It shows how Islamic apocalyptic lore informs human-apian relations with ecological insights that, surprisingly, inspire hope. With an intimate knowledge of local grounds, and at a whispering distance from the bees, the beekeepers and their anthropologist not only point to strange new developments and trends, but articulate new questions and concerns about climate change futures.

Dr Jašarević is an independent scholar, beekeeper, and filmmaker. She is the author of Health and Wealth in the Bosnian Market: Intimate Debt (Indiana University Press, 2017), has taught at the University of Chicago and, and has been a visiting scholar at the Max Planck Institute for the History of Knowledge in Berlin. She is a regular commentator on topics ranging from climate change and apiary ecology to Islamic metaphysics and apocalyptic thought.

Larisa was joined by three panelists: William Gallois, Professor of the History of the Mediterranean Islamicate World at the University of Exeter, and author of Qayrawān: The Amuletic City (2024); Karim Lahham, Senior Research Fellow at the Tabah Foundation, Cairo and author of The Anatomy of Knowledge & The Ontological Necessity of First Principles (2021); and Nur Sobers-Khan, Director of the Aga Khan Documentation Center, MIT and – from 2015 to 2021 – Lead Curator for South Asia Collections at the British Library. A Q&A followed, moderated by Chris Newfield, ISRF Director of Research.

This event is the thirty-first in the ISRF’s series of Book Launches.