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Nathalie Blanc and Agnès Sander

Speculative fiction as a literary genre is a test of the renewed relation to nature presented as possible reality. The vision of nature presented by some science fiction and fantasy authors varies along these lines. The hypothesis underlying the present article is that these "speculative fiction–proposed natures" force us to rethink the rapport between time and space. Therefore, we need to examine to what extent science fiction and fantasy, focused on the preparation of an uncertain future, play on the links between time and nature and reconfigure both the agencies and the aesthetic situations that serve as experiments.

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Andrew McCumber

between the dominant aesthetics of nature that drive this project and the material realities of Santa Barbara’s climate and physical geography by answering the question of how Santa Barbarans’ sense of place is impacted by citywide cultural preferences for

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Constanza Parra and Casey Walsh

the last few hundred years, human-nature systems are in danger of collapse. Surface and sub-soil water resources are drastically overtaxed and the ecosystems that they support are collapsing. The destruction of habitat is causing a wave of extinctions

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Steve Yearley

Despite significant increases in social scientific studies of the environment, there has recently been a narrowing of focus. Increasingly, sociologists have looked at claims and counterclaims about specific environmental problems while missing the broader question of the cultural and social character of environmental concern itself. Only social anthropologists and some social theorists have continued to investigate this issue. In this paper it is argued that McKibben's work offers a useful starting point for examining the meaning of environmental worries since his writings offer a form of "phenomenology" of our concerns for nature. In this paper, this "phenomenology" is subject to a critical review and assessment.

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Sabine Hofmeister

This article is based on the thesis that wilderness as a cultural value emerges where it has been lost as a geographical and material phenomenon. In Europe the idea of wilderness experienced a surprising upswing at the end of the twentieth and beginning of the twenty-first century, with wilderness tours, wilderness education, and self-experience trips into “wilderness” becoming widely established. Also, protection of “wilderness areas” which refers to such different phenomena as large forests, wild gardens, and urban wild is very much in demand. Against this background, the article looks into the material-ecological and symbolic-cultural senses of “wilderness” in the context of changing social relations to nature. Three forms of wilderness are distinguished. Adopting a socio-ecological perspective, the article builds on contemporary risk discourse.

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Sabine Weiland

The bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) crisis challenged one of the basis principles of modernity: the divide between nature and society. In a case study on the German agricultural sector, I analyze how the societal actors responded in order to cope with the crisis. In their attempt to re-establish the division between nature and society, they employed the ambivalences of this relationship for strategic purposes. The actors sought to relocate or to newly define the boundary in line with their own ideas and interests. It can be seen how "nature" was frequently used as legitimizing ground in the narratives. The analysis of the politics of nature aims to add a process dimension to Latourian diagnosis of the eroding nature-society divide.

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Christian Hunold

conceptions of pristine nature and created new ways of imagining the intersection of ecology and society in the city. The human-animal relations that animate this article played out in the fifth-largest city in the United States; more specifically, right in

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The Relocation of Transcendence

Using Schutz to Conceptualize the Nature Experiences of Secular People

David Thurfjell, Cecilie Rubow, Atko Remmel, and Henrik Ohlsson

Denmark, Estonia, and Sweden are, if measured by certain sociological criteria, considered to be three of the world’s most secular countries. Nature—forests, pristine beaches, and the countryside—plays a specific role in the allegedly secular discourse of the mainstream populations of these nations. Not only is it almost without exception deemed as a positive asset worthy of protection, it is also thought of as holding certain existential qualities. Based on ethnographic fieldwork and interviews, this article suggests that Alfred Schutz’s conceptualization of transcendence—further developed by Thomas Luckmann—can be used to describe the existential experiences in nature of contemporary secular people. The article results in a suggestion for an operational definition of transcendence.

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Constanza Parra and Frank Moulaert

Introduction This article contributes to restoring the unity between “nature” and “culture” in the study of the governance of socio-ecological systems (SES) in academic disciplines such as ecology, biology, spatial planning and geography, as well as

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Satoshi Abe

In addressing mounting environmental problems in recent years, many Iranian environmentalists have increasingly adapted discourses and implemented programs that are modeled on scientific ecology. Does this mean the verbatim transfer of Western scientific modernity in Iran? My analyses suggest otherwise. This article explores the unique ways in which a burgeoning environmental awareness unfolds in Iranian contexts by investigating how conceptions of "nature" shape the environmentalists' discourses and practices. It appears that an ecological scientific conception of nature is becoming an important frame of reference among such environmentalists. However, another conception of nature-one framed in relation to Iranian nationhood-makes a key contribution to environmentalism in Iran. Drawing on fieldwork conducted in 2009-2011 in Tehran, this study demonstrates how "Iranian nature" is delineated and practiced through the environmentalists' (re)engagements with certain objects-maps, posters, and photographs-in relation to which local ways of conceptualizing nature are elaborated.