How are preferences for “native” and “introduced” species of plants and animals given expression in Australian cities? Given the nation's predominantly European cultural heritage, how do urban Australians articulate multiple desires for living environments encountered in everyday life? In examining the cases of inner city parks, backyards, and more general views about flora and fauna appropriate for the city, the paper considers a range of deeply enculturated attachments to familiar landscapes. While residents have considerable interest in the possibilities of urban ecological restoration, our interviews, ethnographic observation, and textual analysis also reveal cultural preferences for introduced species and emplaced attachments to historically modified landscapes. These preferences and attachments are linked to senses of identity developed during formative life experiences. In the relatively young post-settler society of Australia, such drivers of environmental desires can sit uneasily alongside science-driven propositions about what is good for biodiversity and ecological sustainability.
David S. Trigger and Lesley Head
Jamon Alex Halvaksz and Heather E. Young-Leslie
The literature on environment-animal-human relations, place, and space, tends to emphasize cultural differences between global interests and local environmental practices. While this literature contributes substantially to our understanding of resource management, traditional ecological knowledge, and environmental protection, the work of key persons imbricated in both global and local positions has been elided. In this article, we propose a theory of “ecographers” as individuals particularly positioned to relate an indigenous epistemology of the local environment with reference to traditional and introduced forms of knowledge, practice, and uses of places, spaces, and inter-species relationships. We ground our analysis in ethnographic research among two Pacific communities, but draw parallels with individuals from varied ethnographic and environmental settings. This new concept offers a powerful cross-cultural approach to ecological strategizing relationships; one grounded by local yet globally and historically inflected agents of the present.
Phil Wood, Paul Warwick and Derek Cox
Consideration of the physical environment in which learning takes place has become a growing area of academic interest over the past decade. This study focuses on the experiences and perceptions of academic staff and students who used three refurbished, and innovative, learning spaces at the University of Leicester. The results suggest that the physical environment can have an impact on the emotional and motivational experiences of students and staff. However, there is some suggestion that learning space development should not be at the expense of approaches to pedagogy which do not foreground the use of technologies.
The analysis of the users' experiences leads to the proposition of a theoretical model for the apt design of future learning spaces in Higher Education. The DEEP learning space framework outlines the need for careful consideration being given to dynamic, engaging, ecological and participatory (DEEP) dimensions within the twenty-first century learning space.
(Post)Migrant Productions of Transnational Space
With reference to anthropologist Ina-Maria Greverus’ pioneering analyses of human-environment relations since the 1970s, the article pushes the idea of Heimat further to the more processual concept of Beheimatung. This is especially relevant for an anthropology of the transnational worlds of (post-)migrant societies with their current negotiation of cross-border migration in the present and concerning colonial objects from the past in museums.
Laurie Kain Hart
This article examines how territory, the built environment, and the entropy of material things through time transmit and modulate legacies of ethno-national and global conflicts. Taking the Greek Civil War as a ‘critical event’, framed by its antecedents and its sequelae, I consider how overlapping histories of war at the international tri-state border of northwest Greek Macedonia and in post-war Bosnia-Herzegovina shape dwelling, the control of space, and historical memory. The analysis explores how catastrophic events become materially embedded, how events age in place, and what role changing infrastructure plays in the commutation or preservation of injuries suffered in violent, especially internecine, conflict.
From National Catastrophes to Ecological Disasters
Netta Bar Yosef-Paz
This article examines contemporary Hebrew dystopic novels in which ecological issues play a critical role, reflecting an increasing preoccupation of Israeli culture and society with the environment. The literary turn to dystopia is not new, but whereas Israeli dystopias published in the 1980s–1990s focused mainly on military apocalyptic visions, current novels combine these national anxieties with ecological dangers, following present-day trends in American literature and cinema. These contemporary dystopias either conjoin a national crises with an ecological disaster as the source of the catastrophe or represent environmental recklessness as evidence of moral corruption, linking ecological and social injustice to the emergence of a Jewish theocracy. Offering an ecocritical reading of these novels, the article pinpoints the American cultural influence on the narratives. This thematic shift in Hebrew fiction, I argue, reflects a rising environmental awareness and positions literature as a major arena in which these issues are raised.
From Teaching to Competing
This article analyzes the changes in drama series in the first five decades (1966–2016) of Israeli children’s television. Based on interviews with 27 central producers, this cultural-historical study seeks to explain the significance attributed to children’s drama over the years. Early children’s drama series in Israel were instructional or educational, but they also sought to control the representation of childhood under the direct supervision of the state. The neo-liberal privatization process in Israeli society led to the creation of locally produced, Hebrew-speaking daily dramas on private channels for children. In the multiscreen environment created by the age of multichannel television and digital media, original Israeli daily drama shows functioned as a central branding tool for children’s channels. The article contends that these shows became one of the producers’ key answers to the changes in children’s viewing habits and, more particularly, linear television’s strategy for success in a world of multiple online screens.
Forests and Forestry in Late Tsarist Primor'e
This article investigates the interaction between late imperial Russian colonization in Primor'e and the region's forest environments. Drawing on the records of administrators concerned with resettlement, as well as naturalists, travelers, and other contemporary observers, the article shows that Russian settlement, together with migration from China and Korea, had evident effects on Primor'e's taiga, but these changes were also accompanied by the emergence of widespread conservationist sentiment. The article argues that both increased exploitation of forests as well as conservation ultimately derived from the desire to project Russian imperial power. Settlement, which had many consequences for the natural world, was primarily a means to hold the territory against competitors. Conservation measures focused on limiting the actions of East Asian migrants and peasant settlers, as their role in deforestation seemed to impede the success of colonization. To conserve forest resources and ensure long-term growth, officials advocated rational exploitation through industrial timbering paired with state oversight, both of which were intended to fulfill the broader goal of securing imperial power in the Far East.
David L. Kelly
Foster, John B., Brett Clark, and Richard York. 2010. The Ecological Rift: Capitalism’s War on the Earth. New York: Monthly Review Press.
Williams, Chris. 2010. Ecology and Socialism: Solutions to Capitalist Ecological Crisis. Chicago, IL: Haymarket Books.
Exploring Spiritual Ecology
Leslie E. Sponsel
Many scholars have touched on the relationships between religion and nature since the work of late nineteenth-century anthropologists such as Edward B. Tylor. This is almost inevitable in studying some religions, especially indigenous ones. Nevertheless, only since the 1950s has anthropological research gradually been developing that is intentionally focused on the influence of religion on human ecology and adaptation, part of a recent multidisciplinary field that some call spiritual ecology (Merchant 2005; Sponsel 2001, 2005a, 2007a, 2007b, 2007c; S. Taylor 2006). At last this ecological approach is beginning to receive some attention in textbooks on the anthropology of religion, ecological anthropology, human ecology, and environmental conservation, though it is still uncommon in the anthropological periodicals (Bowie 2006; Marten 2001; Merchant 2005; Russell and Harshbarger 2003; Townsend 2009). This article summarizes a sample of the growing literature and cites other sources to help facilitate the eff orts of those who may find this new subject to be of sufficient interest for further inquiry.