The problem of invasive species is emblematic of the shifting tenor of our contemporary attitudes towards nature in a time when the stability of the natural world can no longer be taken for granted. Human domination of the natural world increased to such an extent in the twentieth century that wild nature, formerly fearsome, came to be seen as fragile and in need of protection. While this is still true, the falsity of the myth of human control over nature is revealed daily by threats of mega-hurricanes, contaminated foods, global climate change, and alien species running rampant.
Although the introduction of alien species is nothing new, the acceleration of the rate of new introductions by global trade and travel, coupled with a rise in the awareness of environmental problems, has propelled this issue into the consciousness of the general public. Without minimizing the drastic changes these invasive species can bring about in an ecosystem, the rhetoric surrounding some of them is reminiscent of the hysteria surrounding the trans-border migration of human populations. I am interested in exploring not just the facts of invasive species, but the effect that the idea of invasion has had on the popular imagination.