Being a Beast

Adventures Across the Species Divide

Author: Charles Foster

Publisher: Metropolitan Books

ISBN: 1627796347

Category: Nature

Page: 272

View: 7040


A passionate naturalist explores what it’s really like to be an animal—by living like them How can we ever be sure that we really know the other? To test the limits of our ability to inhabit lives that are not our own, Charles Foster set out to know the ultimate other: the non-humans, the beasts. And to do that, he tried to be like them, choosing a badger, an otter, a fox, a deer, and a swift. He lived alongside badgers for weeks, sleeping in a sett in a Welsh hillside and eating earthworms, learning to sense the landscape through his nose rather than his eyes. He caught fish in his teeth while swimming like an otter; rooted through London garbage cans as an urban fox; was hunted by bloodhounds as a red deer, nearly dying in the snow. And he followed the swifts on their migration route over the Strait of Gibraltar, discovering himself to be strangely connected to the birds. A lyrical, intimate, and completely radical look at the life of animals—human and other—Being a Beast mingles neuroscience and psychology, nature writing and memoir to cross the boundaries separating the species. It is an extraordinary journey full of thrills and surprises, humor and joy. And, ultimately, it is an inquiry into the human experience in our world, carried out by exploring the full range of the life around us.

Out of the Woods

Seeing Nature in the Everyday

Author: Julia Corbett

Publisher: University of Nevada Press

ISBN: 1943859884

Category: Nature

Page: 232

View: 2499


2018 Reading the West Book Awards Nonfiction Winner Have you ever wondered about society’s desire to cultivate the perfect lawn, why we view some animals as “good” and some as “bad,” or even thought about the bits of nature inside everyday items–toothbrushes, cell phones, and coffee mugs? In this fresh and introspective collection of essays, Julia Corbett examines nature in our lives with all of its ironies and contradictions by seamlessly integrating personal narratives with morsels of highly digestible science and research. Each story delves into an overlooked aspect of our relationship with nature—insects, garbage, backyards, noise, open doors, animals, and language—and how we cover our tracks. With a keen sense of irony and humor and an awareness of the miraculous in the mundane, Julia recognizes the contradictions of contemporary life. She confronts the owner of a high-end market who insists on keeping his doors open in all temperatures. Takes us on a trip to a new mall with a replica of a trout stream that once flowed nearby. The phrase “out of the woods” guides us through layers of meaning to a contemplation of grief, remembrance, and resilience. Out of the Woods leads to surprising insights into the products, practices, and phrases we take for granted in our everyday encounters with nature and encourages us all to consider how we might re-value or reimagine our relationships with nature in our everyday lives.

Ceilings and Dreams

The Architecture of Levity

Author: Paul Emmons,Federica Goffi,Jodi La Coe

Publisher: Routledge

ISBN: 135106584X

Category: Architecture

Page: 252

View: 6707


Where is the space for dreaming in the twenty-first century? Lofty thoughts, like dreams, are born and live overhead, just as they have been represented in Renaissance paintings and modern cartoons. Ceilings are often repositories of stories, events and otherwise invisible oneiric narratives. Yet environments that inspire innovative thinking are dwindling as our world confronts enormous challenges, and almost all of our thinking, debating and decision-making takes place under endless ceiling grids. Quantitative research establishes that spaces with taller ceilings elicit broader, more creative thoughts. Today, ceilings are usually squat conduits of technology: they have become the blind spot of modern architecture. The twenty essays in this book look across cultures, places and ceilings over time to discover their potential to uplift the human spirit. Not just one building element among many, the ceiling is a key to unlock the architectural imagination. Ceilings and Dreams aims to correct this blind spot and encourages architects and designers, researchers and students, to look up through writings organized into three expansive categories: reveries, suspensions and inversions. The contributors contemplate the architecture of levity and the potential of the ceiling, once again, as a place for dreaming.

The Land Speaks

New Voices at the Intersection of Oral and Environmental History

Author: Debbie Lee,Kathryn Newfont

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 0190664525

Category: History

Page: 312

View: 8919


"The Land Speaks explores the intersections of two vibrant fields, oral history and environmental studies. The pieces range North America, examining wilderness and cities, farms and forests, rivers and arid lands. The authors argue that oral history can capture communication from the land and serve as a tool for environmental problem solving. Essays include transcript excerpts and photographs, and address issues as diverse as climate change, pollution, animal encounters, and firefighting"--

Human-Animal Relationships in San and Hunter-Gatherer Cosmology, Volume II

Imagining and Experiencing Ontological Mutability

Author: Mathias Guenther

Publisher: Springer Nature

ISBN: 303021186X

Category: Social Science

Page: 210

View: 4227


Exploring a hitherto unexamined aspect of San cosmology, Mathias Guenther’s two volumes on human-animal relations in San cosmology link “new Animism” with Khoisan Studies, providing valuable insights for Khoisan Studies and San culture, but also for anthropological theory, relational ontology, folklorists, historians, literary critics and art historians. Building from the examinations of San myth and contemporary culture in Volume I, Volume II considers the experiential implications of a cosmology in which ontological mutability—ambiguity and inconstancy—hold sway. As he considers how people experience ontological mutability and deal with profound identity issues mentally and affectively, Guenther explores three primary areas: general receptiveness to ontological ambiguity; the impact of the experience of transformation (both virtual/vicarious and actual/direct); and the intersection of the mythic, spirit world with reality. Through a comparative consideration of animistic cosmology amongst the San, Bantu-speakers and the Inuit of Canada’s eastern Arctic, alongside a discussion of animistic currents in Western humanities and ethology, Guenther clearly paints the relative strengths and weaknesses of New Animism discourse, particularly in relation to San ontology and cosmology, but with overarching relevance.