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Guest Thinkers

Bugging Out with Hugh Raffles

Insects have long been objects of fascination in classical literature, children’s nursery rhymes, and in the culture at large. Hugh Raffles’ interest in insects stemmed from his work in the Amazon, where he was stunned by the beauty of butterflies and their interdependence with the villagers he was working with. But Raffles doesn’t look at the insects themselves — rather, as an anthropologist, he focuses on how humans react to them. While insects have little interest in us, we our passionate sentiments towards them range from fear and dread to erotic stimulation.

Raffles insists that we shouldn’t fear our little companions but rather take a closer look at them and admire their very complicated beauty. “Even something like a fly is really quite amazing if you can look at [it],” he says.


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