The Land Speaks: New Voices at the Intersection of Oral and Environmental History

ISBN : 9780190664510

Debbie Lee; Kathryn Newfont
320 Pages
156 x 235 mm
Pub date
Nov 2017
Oxford Oral History Series
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The Land Speaks explores the intersections of two vibrant fields, oral history and environmental studies. The fourteen oral histories collected here range North America, examining wilderness and cities, farms and forests, rivers and arid lands. The contributors argue that oral history can capture communication from nature and provide tools for environmental problem solving.


Introduction Listening to the Land through Oral History; Kathryn Newfont with Debbie Lee; Part I: Building Fluency; Chapter 1 Memories of Precipitation: Gathering and Assessing Ecological Oral Histories in an Era of Climate Change; Peter Friederici; Chapter 2 Fostering Relationships with the Wild: Oral History's Role in Recreation Management; Alison Steiner and Daniel R. Williams; Chapter 3 The Public Significance of the Private Farm; Nathaniel Van Yperen; Part II: Listening through Place; Chapter 4 Documenting Tension on Idaho's Public Lands: A Case Study from the Idaho Oral History Center Collections; Troy J Reeves and Linda Morton-Keithley; Chapter 5 Territorial: A Collective Oral History of Land and Indigeneity in the Carib Territory of Dominica; Emma Gaalaas Mullaney; Part III: Fostering Community through Environment; Chapter 6 Resurrecting Dead Lands: Two Oral Histories of Urban Explorers; Ben S. Bunting Jr.; Chapter 7 When the Flood Came for Good: Personal Stories and Impersonal Change in the Savannah River Valley; Robert P. Shapard; Chapter 8 (Re)Constructing Community Commons and Traditions: Urban Gardening and Community Spaces in the Haddington Neighborhood of West Philadelphia; Patrick Hurley, Shakiya Canty, and Walter Greason; Part IV: Attending to Public Land; Chapter 9 Sky-Fighters of the Forest: Conscientious Objectors, African American Paratroopers, and the U.S. Forest Service Smokejumping Program in World War II; Annie Hanshew; Chapter 10 Filling the Gaps with Silence: Women's Stories and the Movement to Save the Indiana Dunes; Brittany Bayless Fremion; Chapter 11 A sense of comfort and belonging in the woods: The Narrative of Laurel Munson Boyers; Brenna Lissoway and Lu Ann Jones; Part V: Interviewing the Environment; Chapter 12 Thinking Like a File Cabinet: Eco-Cruising in the Bitterroot; James G. Lewis; Chapter 13 Legend Days: Becoming Animal in the Selway Bitterroot Wilderness; Debbie Lee; Chapter 14 The Many Lives of Newtown Creek: A New York Story; Betsy McCully; Further Reading; Contributors; Index

About the author: 

Debbie Lee is a professor of English at Washington State University. She is author or editor of six books of literary history including Slavery and the Romantic Imagination and Literature Science and Exploration in the Romantic Era: Bodies of Knowledge (Cambridge), and her creative nonfiction has appeared in Narrative, Montreal Review, Terrain, Los Angeles Review of Books and elsewhere. She co-directed, with Dennis Baird, the Selway-Bitterroot Wilderness History Project, which includes forty-four oral histories and a digital and analog archive.; Kathryn Newfont is Associate Professor of History at the University of Kentucky. Her book, Blue Ridge Commons: Environmental Activism and Forest Politics in Western North Carolina (University of Georgia), won the 2012 Thomas Wolfe Memorial Literary Award and the Appalachian Studies Association's 2012 Weatherford Award for Non-fiction. The book grew from oral history interviews conducted through UNC-Chapel Hill's Southern Oral History Program, and had fellowship support from the National Endowment for the Humanities.

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