A list of current faculty is available here.
Captivity Literature and the Environment : Nineteenth-Century American Cross-Cultural Collaborations
In his study of captivity narratives, Kyhl Lyndgaard argues that these accounts have influenced land-use policy and environmental attitudes at the same time that they reveal the complex relationship between ethnicity, landscape, and authorship. In connecting these themes, Lyndgaard offers readers an alternative environmental literature, one that is dependent on an understanding of nature as home rather than as a place of temporary retreat. He examines three captivity narratives written in the 1820s and 1830s - A Narrative of the Life of Mrs. Mary Jemison, The Captivity and Adventures of John Tanner, and Life of Black Hawk -all of which engage with the Jacksonian policy of Indian removal and resist tropes of the so-called Vanishing Indian. As Lyndgaard shows, the authors and the editors with whom they collaborated often saw their stories as a plea for environmental and social justice. At the same time, audiences have embraced them for their vision of a more inclusive and less exploitative American society than was proffered by the rhetoric of Manifest Destiny. Their legacy is that while environmental and social justice has been slow in fulfilment, their continued popularity testifies to the fact that the struggle for justice has never been ceded.
Derek R. Larson
Keeping Oregon Green is a new history of the signature accomplishments of Oregon’s environmental era: the revitalization of the polluted Willamette River, the Beach Bill that preserved public access to the entire coastline, the Bottle Bill that set the national standard for reducing roadside litter, and the nation’s first comprehensive land use zoning law. To these case studies is added the largely forgotten tale of what would have been Oregon’s second National Park, intended to preserve the Oregon Dunes as one of the country’s first National Seashores.
Through the detailed study of the historical, political, and cultural contexts of these environmental conflicts, Derek Larson uncovers new dimensions in familiar stories linked to the concepts of “livability” and environmental stewardship. Connecting events in Oregon to the national environmental awakening of the 1960s and 1970s, the innovative policies that carried Oregon to a position of national leadership are shown to be products of place and culture as much as politics. While political leaders such as Tom McCall and Bob Straub played critical roles in framing new laws, the advocacy of ordinary citizens—farmers, students, ranchers, business leaders, and factory workers—drove a movement that crossed partisan, geographic, and class lines to make Oregon the nation’s environmental showcase of the 1970s.
Drawing on extensive archival research and source materials, ranging from poetry to congressional hearings, Larson’s compelling study is firmly rooted in the cultural, economic, and political history of the Pacific Northwest. Essential reading for students of environmental history and Oregon politics, Keeping Oregon Green argues that the state’s environmental legacy is not just the product of visionary leadership, but rather a complex confluence of events, trends, and personalities that could only have happened when and where it did.
Kyhl Lyndgaard, Scott Slovic, and James E. Bishop
Energy scholar Vaclav Smil wrote in 2003, "Tug at any human use of energy and you will find its effects cascading throughout society." Too often public discussions of energy-related issues become gridlocked in debates concerning cost, environmental degradation, and the plausibility (or implausibility) of innovative technologies. But the topic of energy is much broader and deeper than these debates typically reveal. The literature of energy bears this out-and takes the notion further, revealing in vivid stories and images how energy permeates the fundamental nature of existence. Readings in this collection encompass a wide array of topics, from addiction to oil to life "off the grid," from the power of the atom to the power of bicycle technology. Presenting a wide array of poetry, fiction, nonfiction, and interviews-ranging from George Eliot's nineteenth-century novel Mill on the Floss to Sandra Steingraber's recent writing on the subject of fracking-this first-of-its-kind anthology aims to capture the interest of the general reader as well as to serve as a potential textbook for college-level writing classes or environmental studies classes that aspire to place the technical subject of energy into a broader cultural context
Recent decades have witnessed a surge of literature and activism from religious leaders and thinkers on the natural environment. Religions and Environments: A Reader in Religion, Nature and Ecology brings together some of the most thought-provoking examples of such writings from the nineteenth century up to today, spanning a variety of methodological approaches and religious traditions, viewpoints and locations.
Religions and Environments: A Reader in Religion, Nature and Ecology depicts some of the diverse ways that religious narratives and practices have helped people connect to the physical world around them. To do so, it is divided into three parts: the wilderness, the garden, and the city. Traditions represented include nature spiritualities, Asian traditions, Judaism, Islam, Christianity, and indigenous traditions.Reflecting the most current scholarship in the study of religion and nature, as well as providing important historical essays, it draws on a range of perspectives and methodologies, including historical, theological, philosophical and literary methods.
"Nature and the city have most often functioned as opposites within Western culture, a dichotomy that has been reinforced (and sometimes challenged) by religious images. Bohannon argues here that cities and natural environments, however, are both connected and continually affected by one another. He shows how such connections become overt during natural disasters, which disrupt the narratives people use to make sense of the world,
including especially religious narratives, and make them more visible.
This book offers both a theoretical exploration of the intersection of the city, nature, and religion, as well as a sociological analysis of the 1997 flood in Grand Forks, ND, USA. This case study shows how religious factors have influenced how the relationship between nature and the city is perceived, and in particular have helped to justify the urban control of nature. The narratives found in Grand Forks also reveal a broader understanding of the nature of Western cities, highlighting the potent and ethically-rich intersections between religion, cities and nature."
Whitney Bauman, Richard Bohannon, and Kevin J. O'Brien
How do religion and the natural world interact with one another? Grounding Religionintroduces students to the growing field of religion and ecology, exploring a series of questions about how the religious world influences and is influenced by ecological systems.
Grounding Religionexamines the central concepts of ‘religion’ and ‘ecology’ using analysis, dialogical exchanges by established scholars in the field, and case studies. The first textbook to encourage critical thinking about the relationships between the environment and religious beliefs and practices, it also provides an expansive overview of the academic field of religion and ecology as it has emerged in the past forty years.
The contributors introduce students to new ways of thinking about environmental degradation and the responses of religious people. Each chapter brings a new perspective on key concepts such as sustainability, animals, gender, economics, environmental justice, globalization and place. Discussion questions and contemporary case studies focusing on topics such as Muslim farmers in the US and Appalachian environmental struggles help students apply the perspective to current events, other media, and their own interests.
Whitney Bauman, Richard Bohannon, and Kevin J. O'Brien
"Religion and ecology" has arrived. What was once a niche interest for a few academics concerned with environmental issues and a few environmentalists interested in religion has become an established academic field with classic texts, graduate programs, regular meetings at academic conferences, and growing interest from other academics and the mass media. Theologians, ethicists, sociologists, and other scholars are engaged in a broad dialogue about the ways religious studies can help understand and address environmental problems, including the sorts of methodological, terminological, and substantive debates that characterize any academic discourse.
This book recognizes the field that has taken shape, reflects on the ways it is changing, and anticipates its development in the future. The essays offer analyses and reflections from emerging scholars of religion and ecology, each addressing her or his own specialty in light of two questions: (1) What have we inherited from the work that has come before us? and (2) What inquiries, concerns, and conversation partners should be central to the next generation of scholarship?
The aim of this volume is not to lay out a single and clear path forward for the field. Rather, the authors critically reflect on the field from within, outline some of the major issues we face in the academy, and offer perspectives that will nurture continued dialogue.