When we listen, what can we hear? Foregrounding listening methods in ethnobotany

Session Type: 
Roundtable
Session Date and Time: 
Friday, 26 April, 2024 - 11:30 to 13:00
Primary Organizer: 
Aubrey Streit Krug - The Land Institute, Kelly Kindscher - University of Kansas

In our dominant culture, listening is considered to be something largely passive. Yet, when we have the experience of feeling genuinely listened to, it has the power to transform and expand our relationships. While not always something that is valued or carefully taught, who we listen to and how we listen can have great impact on the design, quality, results, governance and relevance of our research. In a world increasingly built on abbreviated information, how might we return to being active observers in our listening? What are the ethical and practical aspects of leading with listening in our research across lines of difference? What might be some barriers, challenges and tools to getting there? This interactive roundtable discussion will describe the utility of active listening in ethnobotanical research, and the responsibility of researchers to practice that listening with integrity - as is the case with historical sources as well as living, contemporary ones. Participants in this roundtable come together through unique partnerships emerging amongst The Land Institute, the University of Kansas, Indigenous communities, and the community-based Palestinian research group Makaneyyat, that are all investigating the roles of food plants in our lives and cultures through ethnobotany, perennial crop development, art, restoration, participatory research, and education. Participants include Marcela Paiva Veliz, Kelly Kindscher, Tayor Keen, Omar Tesdell, Tala Khouri, Amy June Breesman, and Aubrey Streit Krug.