Theorizing Outdoor Recreation and Ecology

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by Sean Ryan

footprints on a sand dune

Deciding what user impacts are natural or unnatural has inspired much debate. Biophysically, moose cause similar kinds of soil and vegetation impacts as hikers. Yet moose are the sign of nature while hikers are the sign of damage. The field of outdoor recreation is beset with paradoxes, and this book presents a unique, alternative framework to address these dilemmas.

Examining outdoor recreation through the lens of ecological theory, Ryan draws from theorists such as Foucault, Derrida and Latour. The book explores minimum impact strategies designed to protect and enhance ecological integrity, but that also require a disturbing amount of policing of users, which runs counter to the freedom users seek. Recent ecological theory suggests that outdoor recreation's view of nature as balanced when impacts are removed is outdated and incorrect. What is needed, and indeed Ryan presents, is a paradoxical and ecological view of humans as neither natural nor unnatural, a view that embraces some traces in nature.

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Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan
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About the Author

Sean Ryan is an Individualized Study Tutor in the Centre for Interdisciplinary Studies. View Ryan's faculty page.


Ecological Ethics and Living Subjectivity in Hegel’s Logic

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The Middle Voice of Autopoietic Life

by Wendell Kisner

stylized colour mosaic

By interweaving Hegelian dialectic and the middle voice, this book develops a holistic account of life, nature, and the ethical orientation of human beings with respect to them without falling into the trap of either subjecting human rights to totality or relegating non-human beings and their habitats to instrumentalism.

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Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan
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About the Author

Wendell Kisner is Associate Professor and Program Director of the MA-Integrated Studies Program. View Wendell's faculty page.


Landscape Ethnoecology

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Concepts of Biotic and Physical Space

photo of a Boreal forest

Edited by Leslie Main Johnson and Eugene S. Hunn

Although anthropologists and cultural geographers have explored “place” in various senses, little cross-cultural examination of “kinds of place,” or ecotopes, has been presented from an ethno-ecological perspective. In this volume, indigenous and local understandings of landscape are investigated in order to better understand how human communities relate to their terrestrial and aquatic resources. The contributors go beyond the traditional ecological knowledge (TEK) literature and offer valuable insights on ecology and on land and resources management, emphasizing the perception of landscape above the level of species and their folk classification. Focusing on the ways traditional people perceive and manage land and biotic resources within diverse regional and cultural settings, the contributors address theoretical issues and present case studies from North America, Mexico, Amazonia, tropical Asia, Africa and Europe.

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Publisher: Berghahn Books
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