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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.
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.
The degrading environment of the planet is something that touches everyone. This 2011 book offers an introductory overview of literary and cultural criticism that concerns environmental crisis in some form. Both as a way of reading texts and as a theoretical approach to culture more generally, 'ecocriticism' is a varied and fast-changing set of practices which challenges inherited thinking and practice in the reading of literature and culture. This introduction defines what ecocriticism is, its methods, arguments and concepts, and will enable students to look at texts in a wholly new way. Boxed sections explain key critical terms and contemporary debates in the field with 'hands-on' examples and comparisons. Timothy Clark's thoughtful approach makes this an ideal first encounter with environmental readings of literature.
A psychological exploration of how the love of nature can coexist in our psyches with apathy toward environmental destruction. Virtually everyone values some aspect of the natural world. Yet many people are surprisingly unconcerned about environmental issues, treating them as the province of special interest groups. Seeking to understand how our appreciation for the beauty of nature and our indifference to its destruction can coexist in us, Shierry Weber Nicholsen explores dimensions of our emotional experience with the natural world that are so deep and painful that they often remain unspoken. The Love of Nature and the End of the World is a gathering of meditations and collages. Its evocations of our emotional attachment to the natural world and the emotional impact of environmental deterioration are meant to encourage individual and collective reflection on a difficult dilemma. Nicholsen draws on work in environmental philosophy and ecopsychology; the writings of psychoanalytic thinkers such as Wilfred Bion, Donald Meltzer, and D. W. Winnicott; and ideas from Buddhist and Sufi traditions. She shows how our emotional responses to the vulnerabilities of the natural world range from intense caring and compassion, through grief and outrage, to diffuse depression. Individual chapters focus on silence and the process whereby we move from the unspoken to the spoken, the love of nature, the "perceptual reciprocity" with the natural world to which we might mature, beauty in the human and natural realms, the psychological impact of the destruction of the natural world, and reflections on the future.
In this book, Linda Laidlaw explores the questions: What happens when children begin to write? Why is it that the teaching and practice of writing seems at times to be difficult in schools? How might teachers work differently to create more inviting spaces for developing literacy? The premise is that written texts and literacy processes are developed within a complex "weave" of particular contexts, or ecologies, and the unique particularity of the learner's experiences, histories, memories and interpretations. Laidlaw offers new information about writing and literacy pedagogy linked to current research in the complexity sciences and cognition, and considers the possibilities that might emerge for pedagogy when alternative metaphors, images, and structures are considered for writing and curriculum. The volume includes qualitative and narrative description of writing and literacy situations, events, and pedagogy, and elaborates the historical, theoretical, and curricular background in which such instruction exists within contemporary schooling. Reinventing Curriculum: A Complex-Perspective on Literacy and Writing: *addresses literacy through a focus on writing rather than on reading; *develops an approach to literacy and writing pedagogy that incorporates recent theories and research on learning and the complexity sciences; *examines perspectives on writing from both a teaching perspective and that of the work of writers; *makes connections between the acquisition of literacy to research in other domains; *examines both the benefits and the "costs" of literacy; and *challenges "commonsense" understandings within instruction, for example, that literacy teaching and learning can occur apart from other aspects of children's learning, context, and subjectivity, or that learning occurs individually rather than collectively. This book is important reading for researchers, professionals, teacher educators, and students involved in literacy education and writing instruction, and an excellent text for courses in these areas.
Theologian, academic, and third-generation organic farmer Frederick L. Kirschenmann is a celebrated agricultural thinker. In the last thirty years he has tirelessly promoted the principles of sustainability and has become a legend in his own right. Cultivating an Ecological Conscience: Essays from a Farmer Philosopher documents Kirschenmann's evolution and his lifelong contributions to the new agrarianism in a collection of his greatest writings on farming, philosophy, and sustainability. Working closely with agricultural economist and editor Constance L. Falk, Kirschenmann recounts his intellectual and spiritual journey. In a unique blend of personal history, philosophical discourse, spiritual ruminations, and practical advice, Kirschenmann interweaves his insights with discussion of contemporary agrarian topics. This collection serves as an invaluable resource to agrarian scholars and introduces readers to an agricultural pioneer whose work has profoundly influenced modern thinking about food.
How does our fascination with technology intersect with the religious imagination? In TechGnosis—a cult classic now updated and reissued with a new afterword—Erik Davis argues that while the realms of the digital and the spiritual may seem worlds apart, esoteric and religious impulses have in fact always permeated (and sometimes inspired) technological communication. Davis uncovers startling connections between such seemingly disparate topics as electricity and alchemy; online roleplaying games and religious and occult practices; virtual reality and gnostic mythology; programming languages and Kabbalah. The final chapters address the apocalyptic dreams that haunt technology, providing vital historical context as well as new ways to think about a future defined by the mutant intermingling of mind and machine, nightmare and fantasy.
This study brings together the genres of autobiography and environmental literature. It examines a form of grief narrative in which writers deal with mourning by standing outside the text in writing about the natural world, and inside it in making that exposition part of the grieving process.
A fresh new approach to tapping into our own creativity, using the images and artifacts of our dreams. Getting inspired is one of the toughest parts of being an artist, whether we're a beginner or a seasoned professional. But as Tom Crockett shows us in this new book, finding ideas for our artwork is easier than we think. By simply exploring the images of our sleeping and waking dream states, we can discover a wealth of ideas and inspiration that are more authentic and powerful because they reveal our underlying spiritual self. Recognizing the importance of allowing our spiritual side to infuse our art and the fulfillment this can bring, Tom Crockett has created a program to teach us all, no matter what level of artistic experience we have, how to bring art and spirit into one. The four different types of creative expression Crockett has identified--Finding, Arranging, Altering, and Making--open up artistic options for everyone, even for those of us who cannot yet imagine that we have the ability to create art. Filled with personal anecdotes from the author's creativity workshops and practical, easy-to-implement advice for tapping into our hidden creativity, The Artist Inside teaches us: how to access the dreaming world to heighten creativity that we can create in each piece of artwork a temporary home for the spirit how creating a spiritual path can energize us and increase our intuitive capacity When the process of making art is guided by the inner vision of our sleeping and waking dream states, we connect with something larger than ourselves and rediscover that creativity can be both a spiritual path and an important life tool.
While the phenomenon of embodied knowledge is becoming integrated into the social sciences, critical geography, and feminist research agendas it continues to be largely ignored by agro-food scholars. This book helps fill this void by inserting into the food literature living, feeling, sensing bodies and will be of interest to food scholars as well as those more generally interested in the phenomenon known as embodied realism. This book is about the materializations of food politics; "materializations", in this case, referring to our embodied, sensuous, and physical connectivities to food production and consumption. It is through these materializations, argues Carolan, that we know food (and the food system more generally), others and ourselves.
Science fiction writer Philip K. Dick (1928–1982) is the giant imagination behind so much recent popular culture—both movies directly based on his writings, such as Blade Runner (based on the novel Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?), Total Recall, Minority Report, and The Adjustment Bureau plus cult favorites such as A Scanner Darkly, Imposter, Next, Screamers, and Paycheck and works revealing his powerful influence, such as The Matrix and Inception. With the publication in 2011 of volume 1 of Exegesis, his journal of spiritual visions and paranoic investigations, Dick is fast becoming a major influence in the world of popular spirituality and occult thinking. In Philip K. Dick and Philosophy thirty Dick fans and professional thinkers confront the fascinating and frightening ideas raised by Dick’s mind-blowing fantasies. Is there an alien world behind the everyday reality we experience? If androids can pass as human, should they be given the same consideration as humans? Do psychotics have insights into a mystical reality? Would knowledge of the future free us or enslave us? This volume will also include Dick's short story "Adjustment Team," on which The Adjustment Bureau is based. Philip K. Dick and Philosophy explores the ideas of Philip K. Dick in the same way that he did: with an earnest desire to understand the truth of the world, but without falsely equating earnestness with a dry seriousness. Dick’s work was replete with whimsical and absurdist presentations of the greatest challenges to reason and to humanity—paradox, futility, paranoia, and failure—and even at his darkest times he was able to keep some perspective and humor, as for example in choosing to name himself ‘Horselover Fat’ in VALIS at the same time as he relates his personal religious epiphanies, crises, and delusions. With the same earnest whimsy, we approach Philip K. Dick as a philosopher like ourselves—one who wrote almost entirely in thought-experiments and semi-fictional world-building, but who engaged with many of the greatest questions of philosophy throughout the Euro-American tradition. Philip K. Dick and Philosophy has much to offer for both serious fans and those who have recently learned his name, and realized that his work has been the inspiration for several well-known and thought-provoking films. Most chapters start with one or more of the movies based on Dick’s writing. From here, the authors delve deeper into the issues by bringing in philosophers' perspectives and by bringing in Dick’s written work. The book invites the reader with a casual familiarity with Dick to get to know his work, and invites the reader with little familiarity with philosophy to learn more. New perspectives and challenging connections and interpretations for even the most hard-core Dick fans are also offered. To maximize public interest, the book prominently addresses the most widely-known films, as well as those with the most significant fan followings: Blade Runner, Total Recall, Minority Report, A Scanner Darkly, and The Adjustment Bureau. Along with these “big five” films, a few chapters address his last novels, especially VALIS, which have a significant cult following of their own. There are also chapters which address short stories and novels which are currently planned for adaptation: Radio Free Albemuth (film completed, awaiting distribution), The Man in the High Castle (in development by Ridley Scott for BBC mini-series), and “King of the Elves” (Disney, planned for release in 2012).
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.
Clearly demonstrating how her poetry is drawn from personal experience, this bold and innovative collection of new poems exemplifies characteristic themes of her work: personal responsibility, social justice, and living in the natural world. Additionally, two prose journals—one written in the month following September 11, while her husband worked at the United Nations in New York City, and the second written while they were in Geneva in early 2002 when the U.S. response to September 11 was taking shape—further explore these themes and her response to these events.
"In Empathy in Psychotherapy: How Therapists and Clients Understand Each Other, Frank-M. Staemmlerbrings together neuropsychology, the psychotherapy literature, the developmentalpsychology literature, and philosophical literature...to rigorously and thoroughly present a newview of the nature of empathy that makes it clear how the relationship can be healing. Thebook is an impressive effort of scholarship in which Staemmler has thoroughly grounded hisideas in the literatures that he brings to bear." --PsycCRITIQUES "Staemmler's new book on empathy, Empathy in Psychotherapy: How Therapists and Clients Understand Each Other, is a tour de force. Rarely have I read a book--surely not in psychoanalysis or psychotherapy--so scholarly and so accessible, so theoretically challenging and so humanistically rich." --International Journal of Psychoanalytic Self Psychology "People intuitively know that we travel the byways of life jointly. Dr. Staemmler takes this common sense perspective and through professionally astute examination transforms it into a dependable guideline for living. His de-mystification and humanization of the elusive dynamics of communal existence returns the reader to the old adage that we are all in the same boat and, further, that it is emotionally imperative to let ourselves be there." Erving Polster, PhD Director, The Gestalt Institute of San Diego According to large scale studies on therapeutic outcomes, psychotherapists' ability to understand their clients has been considered the second most important healing factor in all therapies. The author of this scholarly volume seeks to improve our understanding of the immense therapeutic potential that the human capacity for empathy holds, and to improve our use of it in therapeutic practice. Drawing from the work of great thinkers in philosophy, literature, theology, psychology, and social sciences, and recent discoveries in neuroscience, the author provides a critique of traditional concepts of empathy and creates a new, more expansive definition. More specifically, the author exposes the basic characteristics of current individualistic ideologies that are concealed within traditional concepts of empathy and focuses on the concept that empathic relating between human beings does not just take place in the psyche but is an embodied process. The book also considers scientific phenomena from the field of parapsychology such as telepathy and clairvoyance, which can be thought of as special cases of empathy. The potential for certain types of meditation to increase our empathic abilities is also explored. Key Features: Improves our understanding of the potential for empathy to greatly enhance therapeutic practice Draws from philosophy, literature, theology, psychology, social sciences, and neuroscience to create a new definition of empathy Critiques traditional concepts of empathy and highlights their strengths and weaknesses
In a world of climate change and declining oil supplies, what is the plan for the provisioning of resources? Green economists suggest a need to replace the globalised economy, and its extended supply chains, with a more ‘local’ economy. But what does this mean in more concrete terms? How large is a local economy, how self-reliant can it be, and what resources will still need to be imported? The concept of the ‘bioregion’ — developed and popularised within the disciplines of earth sciences, biosciences and planning — may facilitate the reconceptualisation of the global economy as a system of largely self-sufficient local economies. A bioregional approach to economics assumes a different system of values to that which dominates neoclassical economics. The global economy is driven by growth, and the consumption ethic that matches this is one of expansion in range and quantity. Goods are defined as scarce, and access to them is a process based on competition. The bioregional approach challenges every aspect of that value system. It seeks a new ethic of consumption that prioritises locality, accountability and conviviality in the place of expansion and profit; it proposes a shift in the focus of the economy away from profits and towards provisioning; and it assumes a radical reorientation of work from employment towards livelihood. This book by leading green economist Molly Scott Cato sets out a visionary and yet rigorous account of what a bioregional approach to the economy would mean — and how to get there from here.
John Paul Lederach's work in the field of conciliation and mediation is internationally recognized. As founding Director of the Conflict Transformation Program and Institute of Peacebuilding at Eastern Mennonite University, he has provided consultation and direct mediation in a range of situations from the Miskito/Sandinista conflict in Nicaragua to Somalia, Northern Ireland, the Basque Country, and the Philippines. His influential 1997 book Building Peace has become a classic in the discipline. This new book represents his thinking and learning over the past several years. He explores the evolution of his understanding of peacebuilding by reflecting on his own experiences in the field. Peacebuilding, in his view, is both a learned skill and an art. Finding this art, he says, requires a worldview shift. Conflict professionals must envision their work as a creative act - an exercise of what Lederach terms the "moral imagination."
"EXPERIENTIAL EDUCATION "This book brings a thoughtful and refreshing perspective on experiential education. Educators interested in outdoor learning, service learning, and place-based learning will find in Roberts' analysis a critical understanding of what learning by doing means." Dilafruz Williams, Portland State University What is experiential education? What are its theoretical roots? Where does this approach come from? Offering a fresh and distinctive take, this book is about going beyond "learning by doing" through an exploration of its underlying theoretical currents. As an increasingly popular pedagogical approach, experiential education encompasses a variety of curriculum projects from outdoor and environmental education to service learning and place-based education. While each of these sub-fields has its own history and particular approach, they draw from the same progressive intellectual taproot. Each, in its own way, evokes the power of "learning by doing" and "direct experience" in the educational process. By unpacking the assumed homogeneity in these terms to reveal the underlying diversity of perspectives inherent in their usage, this book allows readers to see how the approaches connect to larger conversations and histories in education and social theory, placing experiential education in social and historical context. Combining a critical philosophical approach with practical examples from the field, Beyond Learning by Doing gives readers both an excellent summary of the theoretical histories of experiential education and a thesis-driven argument about the current state of the field and its future possibilities and limitations Jay W. Roberts is Associate Professor of Education and Environmental Studies, Earlham College"--Provided by publisher.
Ecology and Contemporary Nordic Cinemas uses a range of analytical approaches to interrogate how the traditional socio-political rhetoric of national cinema can be rethought through ecosystemic concerns, by exploring a range of Nordic films as national and transnational, regional and local texts--all with significant global implications. By synergizing transnational theories with ecological approaches, the study considers the planetary implications of nation-based cultural production.
Within nineteenth-century Ojibwe/Chippewa medicine societies, and in communities at large, animals are realities and symbols that demonstrate cultural principles of North American Ojibwe nations. Living with Animals presents over 100 images from oral and written sources – including birch bark scrolls, rock art, stories, games, and dreams – in which animals appear as kindred beings, spirit powers, healers, and protectors. Michael Pomedli shows that the principles at play in these sources are not merely evidence of cultural values, but also unique standards brought to treaty signings by Ojibwe leaders. In addition, these principles are norms against which North American treaty interpretations should be reframed. The author provides an important foundation for ongoing treaty negotiations, and for what contemporary Ojibwe cultural figures corroborate as ways of leading a good, integrated life.

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