Landscape and Ethnoecology - an Ethnobiological View

Date and Time: 
Thursday, 5 May, 2011 - 21:50 to 22:10
JOHNSON, Leslie - Main Athabasca University

Landscape is a concept often taken for granted in ethnobiological work, treated as setting, described in geographic or biological terms. Landscape is productive to examine as the (literal) foundation of ethnobiological work: where are the people located, the plants and animals of interest distributed? By what categories or broad evaluations do the people describe the lands on which they move and derive their living? What are the implications of these understandings? Landscape work is intrinsically transgressive of spatial scales and levels of meaning or generality. How language structure, environmental and social characteristics shape perception, classification, and interaction with local environments and the “natural world” are important aspects of ethnobiological research. Similarly, questions of how these relationships are altered or exist within today’s globalized world of migration and dis-located networks, and what the implications of the medley (or cacaphony) of contrasting visions and understandings of Nature and the Land, and human relationship to it, are of key significance in the early 21st century.