Winner of the International Lannan Literary Award for Nonfiction Animal tracks, word magic, the speech of stones, the power of letters, and the taste of the wind all figure prominently in this intellectual tour de force that returns us to our senses and to the sensuous terrain that sustains us. This major work of ecological philosophy startles the senses out of habitual ways of perception. For a thousand generations, human beings viewed themselves as part of the wider community of nature, and they carried on active relationships not only with other people with other animals, plants, and natural objects (including mountains, rivers, winds, and weather patters) that we have only lately come to think of as "inanimate." How, then, did humans come to sever their ancient reciprocity with the natural world? What will it take for us to recover a sustaining relation with the breathing earth? In The Spell of the Sensuous David Abram draws on sources as diverse as the philosophy of Merleau-Ponty, Balinese shamanism, Apache storytelling, and his own experience as an accomplished sleight-of-hand of magician to reveal the subtle dependence of human cognition on the natural environment. He explores the character of perception and excavates the sensual foundations of language, which--even at its most abstract--echoes the calls and cries of the earth. On every page of this lyrical work, Abram weaves his arguments with a passion, a precision, and an intellectual daring that recall such writers as Loren Eisleley, Annie Dillard, and Barry Lopez.
David Abram’s first book, The Spell of the Sensuous has become a classic of environmental literature. Now he returns with a startling exploration of our human entanglement with the rest of nature. As the climate veers toward catastrophe, the innumerable losses cascading through the biosphere make vividly evident the need for a metamorphosis in our relation to the living land. For too long we’ve ignored the wild intelligence of our bodies, taking our primary truths from technologies that hold the living world at a distance. Abram’s writing subverts this distance, drawing readers ever closer to their animal senses in order to explore, from within, the elemental kinship between the human body and the breathing Earth. The shape-shifting of ravens, the erotic nature of gravity, the eloquence of thunder, the pleasures of being edible: all have their place in this book.
This collection explores the various forms of narrative, semiotic, and technological mediation that shape the experience of place. Gary Backhaus and John Murungi have assembled a wide array of scholars who give a unique perspective on the phenomenology of place.
Author: Michelle Bastian
Publisher: Taylor & Francis
Release Date: 2016-12-01
Socio-environmental crises are currently transforming the conditions for life on this planet, from climate change, to resource depletion, biodiversity loss and long-term pollutants. The vast scale of these changes, affecting land, sea and air have prompted calls for the ‘ecologicalisation’ of knowledge. This book adopts a much needed ‘more-than-human’ framework to grasp these complexities and challenges. It contains multidisciplinary insights and diverse methodological approaches to question how to revise, reshape and invent methods in order to work with non-humans in participatory ways. The book offers a framework for thinking critically about the promises and potentialities of participation from within a more-than-human paradigm, and opens up trajectories for its future development. It will be of interest to those working in the environmental humanities, animal studies, science and technology studies, ecology, and anthropology.
Author: Michael Risku
Publisher: Springer Science & Business Media
Release Date: 2013-02-11
Education for Tomorrow A Biocentric, Student-Focused Approach to Education Reform Michael Risku University of the Incarnate Word, USA and Letitia Harding University of the Incarnate Word, USA There are many books on the market which discuss indigenous ways of knowing, and bemoan western society’s seeming lack of interest in anything other than scientific fact-based knowledge. Equally plentiful are the writings of critical theorists who consider today’s public education system to be divisive, and manipulated by those in power to ensure that their children have the educational advantages needed to maintain the elite hierarchical status quo. Education for Tomorrow is unique in that it brings both of these approaches together first by examining the ways that indigenous people and women of all cultures acquire and pass on knowledge, and the deleterious effects that enforced Eurocentric systems have had on that process. The authors then turn to public schools to explore the influences, both good and bad, that today’s programs have on the distribution of opportunities afforded to all children in the United States. Finally, they offer suggestions for a revolutionary education system which highlights the need for all students to have the encouragement and freedom to look critically and rationally at their lives and at their relationship with the natural world. This can be achieved by looking back to the pedagogical methods of our indigenous ancestors, and forward to a time when all children, regardless of ethnic or socio-economic heritage, are taught in such a way that every aspect of their lives is addressed, nurtured, valued, and enhanced.
Author: Marisol de la Cadena
Publisher: Duke University Press
Release Date: 2018-11-23
Genre: Social Science
A World of Many Worlds is a search into the possibilities that may emerge from conversations between indigenous collectives and the study of science's philosophical production. The contributors explore how divergent knowledges and practices make worlds. They work with difference and sameness, recursion, divergence, political ontology, cosmopolitics, and relations, using them as concepts, methods, and analytics to open up possibilities for a pluriverse: a cosmos composed through divergent political practices that do not need to become the same. Contributors. Mario Blaser, Alberto Corsín Jiménez, Déborah Danowski, Marisol de la Cadena, John Law, Marianne Lien, Isabelle Stengers, Marilyn Strathern, Helen Verran, Eduardo Viveiros de Castro
Author: Michael Thomas Carroll
Publisher: Popular Press
Release Date: 2000-01
Within popular culture studies, one finds discussions about quantitative sociology, Marxism, psychoanalysis, myth criticism, feminism, and semiotics, but hardly a word on the usefulness of phenomenology, the branch of philosophy concerned with human experience. In spite of this omission, there is a close relationship between the aims of phenomenology and the aims of popular culture studies, for both movements have attempted to redirect academic study toward everyday lived experience. The fifteen essays in this volume demonstrate the way in which phenomenological approaches can illuminate popular culture studies, and in so doing they take on the entire range of popular culture.
Author: Douglas E. Christie
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Release Date: 2012-12-04
"There are no unsacred places," the poet Wendell Berry has written. "There are only sacred places and desecrated places." What might it mean to behold the world with such depth and feeling that it is no longer possible to imagine it as something separate from ourselves, or to live without regard for its well-being? To understand the work of seeing things as an utterly involving moral and spiritual act? Such questions have long occupied the center of contemplative spiritual traditions. In The Blue Sapphire of the Mind, Douglas E. Christie proposes a distinctively contemplative approach to ecological thought and practice that can help restore our sense of the earth as a sacred place. Drawing on the insights of the early Christian monastics as well as the ecological writings of Henry David Thoreau, Aldo Leopold, Annie Dillard, and many others, Christie argues that, at the most basic level, it is the quality of our attention to the natural world that must change if we are to learn how to live in a sustainable relationship with other living organisms and with one another. He notes that in this uniquely challenging historical moment, there is a deep and pervasive hunger for a less fragmented and more integrated way of apprehending and inhabiting the living world--and for a way of responding to the ecological crisis that expresses our deepest moral and spiritual values. Christie explores how the wisdom of ancient and modern contemplative traditions can inspire both an honest reckoning with the destructive patterns of thought and behavior that have contributed so much to our current crisis, and a greater sense of care and responsibility for all living beings. These traditions can help us cultivate the simple, spacious awareness of the enduring beauty and wholeness of the natural world that will be necessary if we are to live with greater purpose and meaning, and with less harm, to our planet.
Author: Anna Peterson
Publisher: Columbia University Press
Release Date: 2013-05-21
For most people, animals are the most significant aspects of the nonhuman world. They symbolize nature in our imaginations, in popular media and culture, and in campaigns to preserve wilderness, yet scholars habitually treat animals and the environment as mutually exclusive objects of concern. Conducting the first examination of animals' place in popular and scholarly thinking about nature, Anna L. Peterson builds a nature ethic that conceives of nonhuman animals as active subjects who are simultaneously parts of both nature and human society. Peterson explores the tensions between humans and animals, nature and culture, animals and nature, and domesticity and wildness. She uses our intimate connections with companion animals to examine nature more broadly. Companion animals are liminal creatures straddling the boundary between human society and wilderness, revealing much about the mutually constitutive relationships binding humans and nature together. Through her paradigm-shifting reflections, Peterson disrupts the artificial boundaries between two seemingly distinct categories, underscoring their fluid and continuous character.
This volume engages the reader’s interest in the relationship that binds man to nature, a relationship which makes itself manifest through certain literary or visual artefacts produced by Native or non-Native writers and artists. It ranges from the study of literatures (mainly from Canada – including Quebec and Acadia – but also from Britain, the United States of America, France, Turkey, and Australia) to the exploration of films, photographs, paintings and sculptures produced by Aboriginal artists from North America. Thanks to a relational paradigm founded on spatial and temporal enlargement, it re-imagines the critical outlook on indigenous production by instigating a dialogue between endogenous and exogenous scholars, novelists and artists, and by weaving together interdisciplinary approaches spanning anthropology, geology, ecocriticism and the study of myths. From the writings by Scott Momaday to those by Tomson Highway, from Pauline Johnson to Louise Erdrich, or from the photographs by William McFarlane Notman and Edward Burtynsky or the films by Randy Redroad to the paintings by Emily Carr, it explores art as the sedimentation of nature. It simultaneously interrogates the representation of nature and the nature of representation as a geological and generic process inscribed in the history of mankind. Without eclipsing differences and imposing a reified Eurocentric critical discourse upon indigenous productions, this volume does not colonize indigenous texts or indulge in cultural appropriation of works of art, but looks for historical, mythological or geological traces of the past; a past characterized by the intimacy between man and animal, man and rock, or man and plant, a past which is allowed to resurface through the creative and critical outlooks that are bestowed upon its subjacent or subterranean existence. It resurfaces, not as nostalgic memory but as an interactive fertilization giving the present a new life in which the non-human provides a key to the understanding of the human bond to nature.
Author: Paul Waldau
Publisher: Columbia University Press
Release Date: 2006-12-19
A Communion of Subjects is the first comparative and interdisciplinary study of the conceptualization of animals in world religions. Scholars from a wide range of disciplines, including Thomas Berry (cultural history), Wendy Doniger (study of myth), Elizabeth Lawrence (veterinary medicine, ritual studies), Marc Bekoff (cognitive ethology), Marc Hauser (behavioral science), Steven Wise (animals and law), Peter Singer (animals and ethics), and Jane Goodall (primatology) consider how major religious traditions have incorporated animals into their belief systems, myths, rituals, and art. Their findings offer profound insights into humans' relationships with animals and a deeper understanding of the social and ecological web in which we all live. Contributors examine Judaism, Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism, Daoism, Confucianism, African religions, traditions from ancient Egypt and early China, and Native American, indigenous Tibetan, and Australian Aboriginal traditions, among others. They explore issues such as animal consciousness, suffering, sacrifice, and stewardship in innovative methodological ways. They also address contemporary challenges relating to law, biotechnology, social justice, and the environment. By grappling with the nature and ideological features of various religious views, the contributors cast religious teachings and practices in a new light. They reveal how we either intentionally or inadvertently marginalize "others," whether they are human or otherwise, reflecting on the ways in which we assign value to living beings. Though it is an ancient concern, the topic of "Religion and Animals" has yet to be systematically studied by modern scholars. This groundbreaking collection takes the first steps toward a meaningful analysis.
Architecture and environmental design are among the last professional fields to develop a sustained and nuanced discussion concerning ethics. Hemmed in by politics and powerful clients on one side and the often unscrupulous practices of the construction industry on the other, environmental designers have been traditionally reluctant to address ethical issues head on. And yet the rapid urbanization of the world's population continues to swell into new megacities, each less healthy, welcoming, secure, or environmentally sustainable than the next. Green, carbon-reduced, and sustainable building practices are important ways architects have recently responded to the symptoms of the crisis, but are these efforts really addressing the core issues? Taking the Dine (Navajo) "Hogan Song"--a song used to protect and nourish the personhood of newly constructed dwellings--as their inspiration, the architects, philosophers, poets, and other contemporary scholars contributing to this volume demonstrate that a deeper, more radical change in our relationship to the built world needs to occur. While offering a careful critique of modernist, corporate, or techno-enthralled design practices, these essays investigate an alternative "relational ecology" whose wisdom draws from ancient and often-marginalized voices, if not the whisperings of the earth itself. Contributors include: Richard Kearney, Alberto Perez-Gomez, Juhani Pallasmaa, Karsten Harries, Edward Casey, Susan Stewart, David Abram, Stacy Alaimo, Jace and Laura Weaver, Philip Sheldrake, and Sebnem Yucel Young.
Author: Per Espen Stoknes
Publisher: Chelsea Green Publishing
Release Date: 2015-03-11
Genre: Political Science
Today, about 98 percent of scientists affirm that climate change is human made, and about 2 percent still question it. Despite that overwhelming majority, though, about half the population of rich countries, like ours, choose to believe the 2 percent. And, paradoxically, this large camp of deniers grows even larger as more and more alarming proof of climate change has cropped up over the last decades. This disconnect has both climate scientists and activists scratching their heads, growing anxious, and responding, usually, by repeating more facts to "win" the argument. But, the more climate facts pile up, the greater the resistance to them grows, and the harder it becomes to enact measures to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and prepare communities for the inevitable change ahead. Is humanity up to the task? It is a catch-22 that starts, says psychologist and climate expert Per Espen Stoknes, from an inadequate understanding of the way most humans think, act, and live in the world around them. With dozens of examples, he shows how to retell the story of climate change and apply communication strategies more fit for the task.
Author: David Wood
Publisher: Northwestern University Press
Release Date: 2001
"Double rethinking" seeks to rethink time in terms of our experience of it and attempts to rethink our selves in terms of the results of that initial rethinking. This book undertakes a critical reformulation of the project through discussions of Derrida, Nietzsche, Husserl and Heidegger.
Author: Liora Bresler
Publisher: Springer Science & Business Media
Release Date: 2007-01-26
Providing a distillation of knowledge in the various disciplines of arts education (dance, drama, music, literature and poetry and visual arts), this essential handbook synthesizes existing research literature, reflects on the past, and contributes to shaping the future of the respective and integrated disciplines of arts education. While research can at times seem distant from practice, the Handbook aims to maintain connection with the live practice of art and of education, capturing the vibrancy and best thinking in the field of theory and practice. The Handbook is organized into 13 sections, each focusing on a major area or issue in arts education research.