Radical Human Ecology

Intercultural and Indigenous Approaches

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  • Edited by Lewis Williams, University of Saskatchewan, Canada, Rose Roberts, member of Lac La Ronge Indian Band and previous faculty, University of Saskatchewan, Canada and Alastair McIntosh, Centre for Human Ecology and University of Strathclyde, UK
  • Human ecology - the study and practice of relationships between the natural and the social environment - has gained prominence as scholars seek more effectively to engage with pressing global concerns. In the past seventy years most human ecology has skirted the fringes of geography, sociology and biology. This volume pioneers radical new directions. In particular, it explores the power of indigenous and traditional peoples' epistemologies both to critique and to complement insights from modernity and postmodernity.

    Aimed at an international readership, its contributors show that an inter-cultural and transdisciplinary approach is required. The demands of our era require a scholarship of ontological depth: an approach that can not just debate issues, but also address questions of practice and meaning.

    Organized into three sections - Head, Heart and Hand - this volume covers the following key research areas:

    Theories of Human Ecology
    Indigenous and Wisdom Traditions
    Eco-spiritual Epistemologies and Ontology
    Research practice in Human Ecology
    The researcher-researched relationship
    Research priorities for a holistic world

    With the study of human ecology becoming increasingly imperative, this comprehensive volume will be a valuable addition for classroom use.
  • Contents: Foreword; Introduction: human ecology: a pedagogy of hope?, Lewis Williams with Rose Roberts and Alastair McIntosh; Part I Head: Theories of Human Ecology: The attitude of human ecology, Ulrich Loening; The challenge of radical human ecology to the academy, Alastair McIntosh; Being from and coming to: outline of an ethno-ecological framework, Ullrich Kockel; Returning the sacred: indigenous ontologies in perilous times, Makere Stewart-Harawira. Part II Heart: Radical Epistemologies of Relationship: The human ecologist as alchemist: an inquiry into Ngai Te Rangi cosmology, human agency and well-being in a time of ecological peril, Lewis Williams; Exploring identity, belonging and place-making as a transition activist, Gerri Smyth; Education for life: human ecology pedagogy as a bridge to indigenous knowing, Iain McKinnon; Sufi path: possibilities of transcending limited and limiting identity, Nayyar Javed; The promise of Orthodox Christianity for sustainable community development, Keith Morrison; North American Indians, connectivity and human ecology, Lewis Mehl-Madrona and Barbara J. Mainguy; Living in respect: traditional knowledge of the Woodland Cree in Northern Saskatchewan, Rose Roberts. Part III Hand: Human Ecology in Practice: Teaching radical human ecology in the academy, Alastair McIntosh; Human ecology as peacebuilding, Anne Goodman; Migration, aboriginality and acculturation, Ben-Zion Weiss; The immigration experience: losses and gains for immigrant and refugee women, Judy White; Rebuilding China's economy on gendered rural family labour: a case study of generational migration stasia and ecological degradation, Yongmei Zhang and Marie Lovrod; Human ecology: from conceptual exercise to militant practice in Maranhão, István van Deursen Varga and Cristina Moreno; The place of creation: transformation, trauma and re-rooting creative praxis, Eimear O'Neill; Experiments in action research and human ecology: developing a community of practice for rural resilience pioneers, Nick Wilding; He whanaunga tera: the politics and practice of an indigenous and intercultural approach to ecological well-being, Lewis Williams; Afterword; Index.
  • About the Editor: Lewis Williams, University of Saskatchewan, Canada, Rose Roberts, member of Lac La Ronge Indian Band and previous faculty, University of Saskatchewan, Canada and Alastair McIntosh, Centre for Human Ecology and University of Strathclyde, UK.
  • Reviews: 'Below the clamor of a bustling world, this volume imparts the seeds of a radical alternative for human ecology. They lie beneath the surface: amid the whispered voices at the margin, in the praxis of traditional spirituality, along the dusty road of post-modernism, and from the ivy halls of science. This is not the human ecology of a prehistoric fireside or an academic symposium. It is an unconventional and timely pedagogy of hope.'
    From the Foreword by Richard J. Borden, Rachel Carson Chair in Human Ecology, College of the Atlantic and Past-President/Executive Director, Society for Human Ecology

    'There can be no doubt about the academic value of this book… It looks over the edge, and ventures outside established lines.' International Journal of Environment and Pollution
    'This is indeed a book of scholarly and practical importance that deserves a wider audience. The key strengths of the book are its auto-biographical approach and activist orientation. Since about half of the contributors are Indigenous and an equal number are women, this anthology offers a rich diversity of voices and narratives, not readily found in conventional human ecology… Radical Human Ecology will make a good university course text as well as a useful activist manual. It is a book with lots to offer to anyone who is concerned about building a better future for humanity and the planet.' Global Change, Peace and Security
    'Radical Human Ecology: Intercultural and Indigenous Approaches challenges prevailing orthodoxy in the field, arguing that current approaches to human ecology still fundamentally fail to see humans as an integral part of nature… The obvious care that has been taken by the editors to ensure balanced representation and contributions from around the world is also admirable.' Australasian Journal of Environmental Management

    'Human Ecology is about the wellbeing of people and planet. That is indeed the mission of this remarkable Radical Human Ecology compendium.' The Network Review

    'Radical Human Ecology clearly celebrates the complexity and diversity of the varied research it assembles in making a contribution to the literature. While one strength of this text lies in its acknowledgement of the importance and application of indigenous ontologies and epistemologies to academic inquiry' … Australian Journal of Indigenous Education