Post Suggested Readings Here

Have suggestions for readings? Please post and discuss them here.

I'll start with one. Curt's discussion of food tonight at the library caused me to think of David Mas Masumoto's Epitaph for a Peach, a wonderful book about his family peach farm in CA; but like Leopold, Mas uses peach farming to shed light on larger social, political, economic and philosophical structures. I think the book is about 15 years old now, but it's beautiful and holds up. Mas is a fantastic speaker too. Dan

subjugated knowledges

-- i will add more from our group soon

Native American perspectives:

Sanchez, Carol Lee. "New World Tribal Communities: An Alternative Approach for Recreating Egalitarian Societies." Weaving the Visions: New Patterns in Feminist Spirituality. Eds. Judith Plaskow and Carol P. Christ. San Francisco: Harper and Row, 1989. 344-56.

Sanchez, Carol Lee. "Animal, Vegetable, and Mineral: The Sacred Connection." Ecofeminism and the Sacred. Ed. Carol J. Adams. New York: Continuum, 1993. 207-28.

Momaday, N. Scott. Man Made of Words: Essays, Stories, Passages. New York: St. Martin's Press, 1998. This anthology contains the essays, “An American Land Ethic,” and “A First American Views His Land.”

Allen, Paula Gunn. "The Woman I Love Is a Planet the Planet I Love Is a Tree." Reweaving the World: The Emergence of Ecofeminism. Eds. Irene Diamond and Gloria Feman Orenstein. San Francisco: Sierra Club Books, 1990. 52-57.

Allen, Paula Gunn. The Sacred Hoop: Recovering the Feminine in American Indian Traditions. Boston: Beacon Press, 1986.

Awiakta, Marilou. Selu: Seeking the Corn Mother's Wisdom. Golden, Colorado: Fulcrum Publishing, 1993.

Cajete, Greg. Native Science: Natural Laws of Interdependence. Santa Fe: Clear Light Publishers, 2000.

Cajete, Greg. "An Enchanted Land: Spiritual Ecology and a Theology of Place." Winds of Change 1993: 50-55.

Hogan, Linda. Dwellings: A Spiritual History of the Living World. New York: Touchstone Books, 1995. Everything by Hogan, including poetry, essays, novels, and autobiography are superb and superbly relevant to green consciousness.

Queer perspectives

Gaard, Greta. "Toward a Queer Ecofeminism." In New Perspectives on Environmental Justice: Gender, Sexuality, and Activism. Ed. Rachel Stein. New Brunswick, N.J.: Rutger's University Press, 2004. 21-44. (the whole book is good)

Perception and Knowledge

Hi all,

On the subject of how perception informs our knowledge, the work of Maurice Merleau-Ponty is invaluable. The final statement of his philosophy appears in an essay called "Eye and Mind", which can be found in The Merleau-Ponty Reader (Northwestern U.P.). The other text that might be of use to some (but not for students) is The Prose of the World (also NWUP). I would be more than happy to discuss why either of these could be interesting in person.

talking merleau

I would love to have that conversation, Bryan. It's been a LONG time since I've drunk Merleau. Sharon

Defense of Industrial Agriculture

Some of you might want to include the other side of the debate about agriculture. For decades, the dean of agricultural economics, Luther Tweeten, fought a rearguard defense against the critique we all love so much. A good example is in Comstock, Is There A Moral Obligation to Save the Family Farm?

Also, Paul B. Thompson has written extensively on a variety of ethical issues involved in industrial agriculture; he spends a good deal of time with practitioners and has a nuanced, thoughtful perspective on these issues. He's not really a defender, but he brings the perspective of people in the industry into the conversation a lot more than do most of the critics.

Kimberly Smith
Assoc. Professor, Political Science and
Environmental Studies
Carleton College

Wendell Berry On..

Several of you asked for specific Berry essays. It's kind of hard to respond, because I don't have all my books here, but here are some suggestions:

Overview of his cultural & ecological critique of Am agriculture: Unsettling of America (there is an abridged version of this essay, but it's hard to find)

On food and agriculture: Almost everything relates, but to begin:

Pleasures of Eating, in What Are People For?
A Good Farmer of the Old School; A Defense of the Family Farm; Six Agricultural Fallacies, in Home Economics
Farming and the Global Economy, in Another Turn of the Crank

On wilderness preservation:

Conserving Forest Communities; Conservation of Nature and Preservation of Humans, in Another Turn of the Crank

On sex, gender and feminism:

Why I am not going to buy a computer; Feminism, the Body and the Machine, in What Are People For?
Men and Women in Search of Common Ground, in Home Economics
Sex, Economy, Freedom, Community, in book of same title
Also, my piece on Wendell Berry's Feminist Agrarianism, Women's Studies 30 (2001): 623-646

On race:

The Hidden Wound

On Politics:

Citizenship Papers

He also has literary essays on Abbey and Stegner and Caudill; stuff on coal mining in the Appalachians (Long-Legged House), lots of stuff on manual labor, gardening, transportation, how other cultures do farming, etc etc etc

And lots of novels, stories and poems on these topics, too.

Kimberly Smith
Assoc. Professor, Political Science and
Environmental Studies
Carleton College

a few books on restoration

Hi Folks:

For those interested in books that approach ecological restoration from the social sciences and humanities perspectives, here is a short list of my favorites:

The Sunflower Forest: Ecological Restoration and the New Communion with Nature, by William Jordan.
Restoring Nature: Perspectives from the Social Sciences and Humanities, by Paul H. Gobster and R. Bruce Hull.
Nature by Design: People, Natural Process, and Ecological Restoration, by Eric Higgs.
Beyond Preservation: Restoring and Inventing Landscapes, by Judith De Luce, A. Dwight Baldwin, and Carl Pletsch.
Environmental Restoration: Ethics, Theory and Practice, by William Throop.
Ecological Restoration: Principles, Values, and Structure of an Emerging Profession, by Andre Clewell & James Aronson.

I've used all of these books at one time or another in my restoration class, so can speak somewhat coherently about any of them.

Cheers, Rick

callicott on restoration ecology

Found this article tucked away in my files. I think it speaks, in part, to those who were asking about how ecology may or may not have "moved beyond" Leopold. It also may be of particular interest, since Callicott will be here next week!

J. Baird Callicott, Choosing appropriate temporal and spatial scales for
ecological restoration, J. Biosci. | Vol. 27 | No. 4 | Suppl. 2 | July 2002 | 409–420

I think it can be found in pdf online.

Reinventing the 'Burbs

We mentioned the work underway in some communities to reinvent the suburbs, so they are not only aesthetically more pleasing and diverse, but so they also help create healthier natural, economic, and social environments. Tons of books look at the problem, notably Kunstler's classic The Geography of Nowhere, along with many New Urbanist manifestos. But if the suburbs are already built (and they dominate the landscape in many places) how might we redesign the streets and commercial centers (those islands of big box stores and bland office "parks") to create healthier communities? A few recent studies include: Julia Christensen, Big Box Reuse; Paul Lukez, Suburban Transformation; Ellen Dunham-Jones, Retrofitting Suburbia; Tim Beatley, Green Urbanism. Tim and Kristi Manning, BTW, have an older book that I encourage city managers and planners to buy: The Ecology of Place, which brings together a lot of the practice-philosophy-science connections Curt discussed. Tim's an urban planner but, like Leopold, he understands that historical contexts, philosophical questions, and personal connections are part of the picture too. (Anyone who brings Leopold into city planning, which he does, gets my vote.)  

Supplementing Leopold, by the Killer B's discussion group

Hi, gang. Here's what I have so far; I'll dress this up and fill it out later:

King Corn
Lords of Nature: Life in a land of great Predators (Green Fire Films)
In the Light of Reverence (Bullfrog Films)
a documentary that was ten years in the making. Produced by Christopher McLeod and Malinda Maynor (Lumbee), the documentary was released in 2001, and features three tribal nations, the Hopi, the Winnemem Wintu, and the Lakota Sioux, and their struggle to protect three sacred sites that are central to their understanding of the world and their spiritual responsibilities to care for their homelands.
NOVA: The World in Balance
Planet Earth (BBC production, 2006; Discovery Channel 2007)
Inconvenient Truth
Lives of a Cell
Why is Sex Fun?
The Shape of Water (2006, produced and directed by Kum-Kum Bhavnani)(see The Shape of Water is a feature documentary that tells the stories of powerful, imaginative and visionary women confronting the destructive development of the Third World with new cultures and a passion for change. The film takes us to Senegal, Israel/Palestine, Brazil, and India.
Wall-E (Pixar, 2008)

Winter Morning Walks: 100 Postcards to Jim Harrison, by Ted Kooser (Carnegie Mellon U, 2001)
Hopkins, Gerard Manley. See his collected works for poems reflecting on the value of nature, especially Inversnaid, in which he says,
"What would the world be, once bereft
Of wet and wildness? Let them be left,
O let them be left, wildness and wet;
Long live the weeds and the wilderness yet."

Predatory Bureaucracy: The Extermination of Wolves and the Transformation of the West, by Michael J. Robinson
War Against the Wolf: America’s Campaign to Exterminate the Wolf, ed. By Rick McIntyre
Land of Little Rain by Mary Austin
The Colors of Nature: Culture, Identity, and the Natural World, by Alison Hawthorne Deming, Lauret E. Savoy
Planet Walker, by John Francis (see also
The Great Remembering by Peter Forbes (and Coming to Land in a Troubled World)
The Hidden Wound, by Wendell Berry, considered by Curt Meine and others to be B’s most underappreciated work. Wendell Berry searches through the beginnings of American history, for the root cause of our current challenges.
Kumulipo: A Hawaiian Creation Chant, by Martha Warren Beckwith
My Year of Meats, by Ruth L. Ozeki
Flight of the Iguana: A Sidelong View of Science and Nature, by David Quammen
Ecofascism: Lessons from the German Experience, by Peter Staudenmaier and Janet Biehl
Sunflower Forest, by Bill Jordan
J. Baird Callicott, Earth’s Insights
Hardin, Garrett. Living within Limits: Ecology, Economics, and Population Taboos. (OUP, 1995)
Kingsolver, Barbara. Animal, Vegetable, Miracle.
Shiva, Vandana. Stolen Harvest (2000). Water Wars (2002). Staying Alive (1989).
Anthony Weston, Practical Companion to Environmental Ethics, in which he says an ethic doesn’t tell you what to do, rather, it guides one in how to go about thinking about what to do (akin to Curt Meine’s saying the question is not what Leopold would do, but how he would approach it)
Diamond, Jared. Guns, Germs and Steel.
Sanders, Scott Russell. Staying Put.
Circling Home.
Seuss, The Lorax (Random House, 1971) (see also
LeGuin, Ursula. Dispossessed

Hardin, Garrett. Tragedy of the Commons. 1968.
Simon, Julian. Can Natural Resources Really be Infinite? Yes! In The Ultimate Resource 2 (Princeton U Press, 1998).
Online resources:
The World Clock, available at

Kathryn J. Norlock

sustainable agriculture

Curt mentioned Beeman & Pritchard, A Green and Permanent Land (U Press of Kansas). This is, I believe, currently the only history of sustainable ag that focuses on public policy. (It covers mostly the 20th century).

I cover some of this ground in Wendell Berry and the Agrarian Tradition.

Kimberly Smith
Assoc. Professor, Political Science and
Environmental Studies
Carleton College