In response to climate change, sustainability has become the keyword for exploring alternative ways of cultivation in different parts of the world. However, local farmers still understand these sustainable alternatives in terms of soil nutrients and their absorption by crops. I examine how sugar beet farmers in western Poland read the condition of crops and field conditions, and accordingly try to cope with agricultural droughts in spring and early summer. While they maintain a practical position that is extremely inductivist, they simultaneously allow for symbolic, indexical meanings. These meanings of farming practices are multilayered and evoke relationships, local histories, and traditions. The farmers accept the reality of climate change only hesitantly, and their aspiration of gaining recognition in Europe has only started to penetrate the multilayered indexical meanings of farming practices.
Toward a Crop Ontology among Sugar Beet Farmers in Western Poland
Dong Ju Kim
If social units are to be classified it must be by reference to some distinctive characteristic or characteristics that they share. Administrative classifications are usually based on the characteristics identified in the everyday language that reflects practical knowledge. Classifications that will assist the growth of social scientific knowledge have to be based on the identification of theoretically relevant characteristics. Classification precedes the naming of categories. Experimental research into the relative strength of civic and ethnic preferences could uncover the variables that underlie popular notions of nation, race and ethnic group.
Nimbin, Australia, from 1973
This article brings together the ideas of protest and counterculture in a productive engagement. If protest is understood as publicly bearing witness in opposition to something, then countercultures often do this as rejections of dominant cultures that are folded into everyday life in order to create spaces for possible futures. The countercultural experiments undertaken in the region around Nimbin, Australia, are an example of such space creation. Using interviews, presentations, and archival materials collected at a 2013 community conference marking the 40th anniversary of the 1973 Nimbin Aquarius Festival, I will explore these experiments in the context of countercultural protest. The Festival not only gathered together people under the banner of the counterculture, but provided a unique space for gathering around common matters of concern to create an ongoing countercultural community. This community continues to develop practical knowledge regarding sustainable living and innovations in grassroots environmental protest.
Originally published in 2014, Gavin Smith’s Intellectuals and (Counter-) Politics: Essays in Historical Realism felt like a jolt of adrenaline for politically engaged scholarship, in anthropology and beyond. One of the book’s core provocations was methodological: it asked how exactly, in a pragmatic sort of way, we might do intellectual work that is not only politically effective (i.e. that gives additional “leverage” to collective struggle) but also works with, not against, the unique forms of intervention open to members of our profession. Its answer was deliciously heretical. Smith suggested the most politically valuable contributions of intellectual work might not come from the orthodox methods we tend to adopt when we commit ourselves to joining political struggles, such as aligning ourselves with the collective movements we support and offering them an audience and theoretical lens for their voices of dissent. The importance of ground-level solidarity work cannot be overstated. But allowing such alliances and their immediate challenges to shape the scope of our intellectual practice may confuse the kinds of practical knowledge necessary for one mode of activist struggle with that necessary for, and made possible by, another.
Raven Narratives and the Anthropocene
Thomas F. Thornton and Patricia M. Thornton
The Anthropocene is rooted in the proposition that human activity has disrupted earth systems to the extent that it has caused us to enter a new geological age. We identify three popular discourses of what the Anthropocene means for humanity's future: the Moral Jeremiad admonishes the transgression of planetary boundaries and advocates reductions to live sustainably within Earth's limits; the Technofix Earth Engineer approach depicts the Age of Humanity as an engineering opportunity to be met with innovative technological solutions to offset negative impacts; and the New Genesis discourse advocates re-enchantment of humanity's connections to earth. By contrast, we find that in many indigenous and premodern narratives and myths disseminated across the North Pacific and East Asia, it is the trickster-demiurge Raven that is most closely linked to environmental change and adaptation. Whereas Raven tales among northern Pacific indigenous communities emphasize a moral ecology of interdependence, creative adaptation, and resilience through practical knowledge (mētis), robustly centralizing Zhou Dynasty elites transposed early Chinese Raven trickster myths with tales lauding the human subjugation of nature. Raven and his fate across the northern Pacific reminds us that narratives of environmental crisis, as opposed to narratives of environmental change, legitimate attempts to invest power and authority in the hands of elites, and justify their commandeering of technological xes in the name of salvation.
, demonstrating the wealth of practical knowledge that has been generated over the last three decades. The editor of both volumes, internationally renowned clinical psychologist Dr. Richard Gartner, has been at the forefront of these efforts. In the (often unread
Mike Neary and Joss Winn
2009 ), a concept that recognises that both academics and students are involved as academic workers in the production of critical-practical knowledge ( Harney and Moten 1998 ). It is based on a radical, negative critique of the capitalist university as
Bridging the Artist-Scholar Divide
Ibanga B. Ikpe
fundamental misunderstanding of arts and the artistic process. The academic within the arts family is not a master offering an apprenticeship but rather an intellectual who offers both theoretical and practical knowledge which aims at developing both the mind
Emotion Concepts in Urdu, 1870—1920
system, but to impart to students and women the practical knowledge they needed in order to develop a virtuous habitus under the conditions of British colonial rule. “Good a kh lāq ,” explains Shankar Dās, “is the result of work, which prevents someone
Mobile Cultures between the Andes and the Amazon around 1900
Jaime Moreno Tejada
,” in 1997. 20 Again, tarabana may be interpreted in terms of everyday resistance that relied heavily on local or practical knowledge. This is a study of modern, universal forms of domination and resistance, but it would be incomplete without a careful