Ethnobiology Through Song

Session Organizer(s): 
Alvaro Fernandez-Llamazares
Dana Lepofsky

In honour of Kwaksistalla Wathl’thla Chief Adam Dick

This session will explore the role of songs in transmitting and maintaining biocultural knowledge amongst Indigenous Peoples and Local Communities from all over the world. We seek a range of contributions with different scholarly perspectives, approaches, and orientations. First, we invite papers providing the theoretical foundations of the study of songs in ethnobiology, reviewing the history of scholarship, including key methods, subdisciplines, approaches, and findings. Second, we welcome case studies highlighting the role of songs in the intergenerational transmission of biocultural knowledge and traditional ecological management practices, as well as in cultivating a sense of place and fostering emotional connections with the land. Third, because traditional songs encompass a diversity of relational values, including reciprocity, kinship, and responsibility, contributions are sought that delve into the role of songs in promoting paradigms of respect towards the natural world. And fourth, we encourage submissions reviewing examples of biocultural revitalization through song, as well as case studies of how global change, and more specifically climate change, is influencing music-making in many communities around the world. All contributions are encouraged to consider how songs reveal conceptualizations of nature-culture interactions that differ substantially from Western epistemologies, and how the use and applications of songs and music could push forward the research agenda of modern-day ethnobiology.