Browse results

You are looking at 1 - 10 of 90 items for :

  • Environmental History x
  • Upcoming Publications x
  • Just Published x
  • Access: Open Access x
  • Search level: All x
Clear All
In: Maritime Spaces and Society
Inspiring Change through the Humanities
Imaginative Ecologies: Inspiring Change through the Humanities highlights the role literature and visual arts play in fostering sustainability. It weaves together contributions by international scholars, practitioners and environmental activists whose insights are brought together to illustrate how creative imaginations can inspire change. One of the most outstanding characteristic of this volume is its interdisciplinarity and its varied methods of inquiry. The field of environmental humanities is discussed together with ideas such as the role of the public intellectual and el buen vivir. Examples of ecofiction from the UK, the US and Spain are analysed while artistic practices aimed at raising awareness of the effects of the Anthropocene are presented as imaginative ways of reacting against climate change and rampant capitalism.

Abstract

Drawing inspiration from Rachel Carson’s paper ‘Help your Child to Wonder’ (1956) and Lawrence Buell’s seminal term “environmental imagination” (1995) referring to the reader’s ability to experience a sense of connection with the environment and a deeper understanding and appreciation of the natural world, this chapter looks at the role that children’s literature can play in imagining a more sustainable society and the importance of instilling a sense of wonder to the natural world in children. In order to question the role and power of children’s literature it highlights the contributions of Beatrix Potter to the study, protection and writing of nature and looks at Potter’s own literary ecology, including her engagement with nature and the sources of her inspiration. By focusing on the figure of Potter and showing how her own engagement with the natural world formed the children’s tales she wrote and illustrated, this paper raises key issues for ongoing debates within ecocriticism and environmental humanities such as Potter’s use of anthropomorphism and the role of imagination in bringing about change.

Open Access
In: Imaginative Ecologies
In: Prometheus Tamed 
In: Prometheus Tamed 
The volume Environmental Change and African Societies contributes to current debates on global climate change from the perspectives of the social sciences and the humanities. It charts past and present environmental change in different African settings and also discusses policies and scenarios for the future. The first section, “Ideas”, enquires into local perceptions of the environment, followed by contributions on historical cases of environmental change and state regulation. The section “Present” addresses decision-making and agenda-setting processes related to current representations and/or predicted effects of climate change. The section “Prospects” is concerned with contemporary African megatrends. The authors move across different scales of investigation, from locally-grounded ethnographic analyses to discussions on continental trends and international policy.
Contributors are: Daniel Callo-Concha, Joy Clancy, Manfred Denich, Sara de Wit, Ton Dietz, Irit Eguavoen, Ben Fanstone, Ingo Haltermann, Laura Jeffrey, Emmanuel Kreike, Vimbai Kwashirai, James C. McCann, Bertrand F. Nero, Jonas Ø. Nielsen, Erick G. Tambo, Julia Tischler.
Author:

Abstract

Africa is not only the fastest growing continent in terms of population (reaching at least two billion inhabitants by 2050), it has also been probably the fastest-growing continental economy of the last decade, with urban centres bursting with energy, (and demand, and expectations), and with growing evidence of agricultural breakthroughs with many crop and animal products. During the last fifty years, Africa’s population had already tripled and its expanding agricultural sector—and exploding internal and external demand for firewood and other forestry products as well as for water, minerals, and fossil fuels—had resulted in massive land use change. This brought with it a number of threats to biodiversity and soil quality, all amid the looming backdrop of global climate change and its potential impact on the continent. In this chapter, these recent and predicted processes of environmental change will be unpacked and interpreted in relation to their differentiated impacts on diverse geographical settings (such as humid or arid areas) as well as on manifestations of economic, political, and cultural diversity (such as crop cultivation or pastoralism).

Open Access
In: Environmental Change and African Societies
Author:

Abstract

This chapter pleads for making watersheds a focal point of research on Africa’s ecological past and future, helping us to understand the regional effects of climate change and political ecology. It discusses how Africa’s hydrological systems are changing—and will continue to do so—under two major influences. First, dam building has massively altered riverine environments for many decades and is currently experiencing another boom. Second, regional and global climate change have severe effects on hydrologies. This chapter explores the relative effects of climate change and historical trends in water management on water resources in two African contexts: the Blue Nile and Zambezi watersheds.

Open Access
In: Environmental Change and African Societies
Author:

Abstract

This chapter discusses major approaches to the environmental history of Africa in terms of the drivers of environmental change, including both human and non-human factors. This allows for the contextualisation of what currently is considered perhaps the largest single environmental threat: global climate change. A key factor in identifying Africa as the most vulnerable continent is the perception that African societies are directly dependent upon their fickle environment. Africans are often seen as living virtually in and of nature. Societies elsewhere, by contrast, are considered to be shielded from nature’s whims by a cultural environment created through modern technology and science. The differences in the relationship of Western and African societies to nature, however, have been vastly overstated. By way of critiquing the underlying nature (Africa) versus culture (West) dichotomy, this chapter investigates African environmental infrastructures, including land management systems, elaborate systems of water harvesting and food storage, and burning regimes, which cushion the impact of weather and environmental extremes. It substantiates its arguments by means of a case study from 1920s and early 1930s north-central Namibia. A global climate event (a severe drought), the global economic crisis, and regional political and demographic developments nearly led to a killer famine. The history of this drought demonstrates how environment and climate are embedded in and fractured through social, economic, and political factors.

Open Access
In: Environmental Change and African Societies