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July is National Park & Recreation Month

Each year since 1985, Americans have celebrated National Park and Recreation Month during the month of July to recognize the importance of parks and recreation in establishing and maintaining the quality of life for, and contributing to the physical, economic and environmental well-being of communities.

 

Berghahn is happy to present some of its relevant Environmental Studies titles:

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BEYOND THE LENS OF CONSERVATION
Malagasy and Swiss Imaginations of One Another
Eva Keller

Volume 20, Environmental Anthropology and Ethnobiology

 

The global agenda of Nature conservation has led to the creation of the Masoala National Park in Madagascar and to an exhibit in its support at a Swiss zoo, the centerpiece of which is a mini-rainforest replica. Does such a cooperation also trigger a connection between ordinary people in these two far-flung places? The study investigates how the Malagasy farmers living at the edge of the park perceive the conservation enterprise and what people in Switzerland see when looking towards Madagascar through the lens of the zoo exhibit. It crystallizes that the stories told in either place have almost nothing in common: one focuses on power and history, the other on morality and progress. Thus, instead of building a bridge, Nature conservation widens the gap between people in the North and the South.

 

 

New in Paperback!

CIVILIZING NATURE
National Parks in Global Historical Perspective
Edited by Bernhard Gissibl, Sabine Höhler and Patrick Kupper

Volume 1, Environment in History: International Perspectives Series

 

National parks are one of the most important and successful institutions in global environmentalism. Since their first designation in the United States in the 1860s and 1870s they have become a global phenomenon. Shifting the focus from the usual emphasis on national parks in the United States, this volume adopts an historical and transnational perspective on the global geography of protected areas and its changes over time. It focuses especially on the actors, networks, mechanisms, arenas, and institutions responsible for the global spread of the national park and the associated utilization and mobilization of asymmetrical relationships of power and knowledge, contributing to scholarly discussions of globalization and the emergence of global environmental institutions and governance.

 

CREATING WILDERNESS
A Transnational History of the Swiss National Park
Patrick Kupper

Volume 4, Environment in History: International Perspectives Series

 

The history of the Swiss National Park, from its creation in the years before the Great War to the present, is told for the first time in this book. Unlike Yellowstone Park, which embodied close cooperation between state-supported conservation and public recreation, the Swiss park put in place an extraordinarily strong conservation program derived from a close alliance between the state and scientific research. This deliberate reinterpretation of the American idea of the national park was innovative and radical, but its consequences were not limited to Switzerland. The Swiss park became the prime example of a “scientific national park,” thereby influencing the course of national parks worldwide.

 

 

RECLAIMING THE FOREST
The Ewenki Reindeer Herders of Aoluguya
Edited by Åshild Kolås and Yuanyuan Xie
Foreword by F. Georg Heyne

 

The reindeer herders of Aoluguya, China, are a group of former hunters who today see themselves as “keepers of reindeer” as they engage in ethnic tourism and exchange experiences with their Ewenki neighbors in Russian Siberia. Though to some their future seems problematic, this book focuses on the present, challenging the pessimistic outlook, reviewing current issues, and describing the efforts of the Ewenki to reclaim their forest lifestyle and develop new forest livelihoods. Both academic and literary contributions balance the volume written by authors who are either indigenous to the region or have carried out fieldwork among the Aoluguya Ewenki since the late 1990s.

 

 

 

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Other titles in Environmental Anthropology and Ethnobiology Series:

 

Volume 19

SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT
An Appraisal of the Gulf Region
Edited by Paul Sillitoe

This volume gives a wide ranging introduction focusing on the arid Gulf region, where the challenges of sustainable development are starkly evident. The Gulf relies on non-renewable oil and gas exports to supply the world’s insatiable CO2 emitting energy demands, and has built unsustainable conurbations with water supplies dependent on energy hungry desalination plants and deep aquifers pumped beyond natural replenishment rates.

 

Volume 18

THINGS FALL APART?
The Political Ecology of Forest Governance in Southern Nigeria
Pauline von Hellermann

Through an in-depth historical and ethnographic study of forestry in Edo State, this book challenges this routine linking of political and ecological crisis narratives. It shows that the roots of many of today’s problems lie in scientific forest management itself, rather than its recent abandonment, and moreover that many “illegal” local practices improve rather than reduce biodiversity and forest cover.

 

 

Other titles in Environment in History: International Perspectives Series:

 

Volume 6

FAULT LINES
Earthquakes and Urbanism in Modern Italy
Giacomo Parrinello

Earth’s fractured geology is visible in its fault lines. It is along these lines that earthquakes occur, sometimes with disastrous effects. These disturbances can significantly influence urban development, as seen in the aftermath of two earthquakes in Messina, Italy, in 1908 and in the Belice Valley, Sicily, in 1968. Following the history of these places before and after their destruction, this book explores plans and developments that preceded the disasters and the urbanism that emerged from the ruins. These stories explore fault lines between “rural” and “urban,” “backwardness” and “development,” and “before” and “after,” shedding light on the role of environmental forces in the history of human habitats.

 

Volume 5

RIVERS, MEMORY, AND NATION-BUILDING
A History of the Volga and Mississippi Rivers
Dorothy Zeisler-Vralsted

Rivers figure prominently in a nation’s historical memory, and the Volga and Mississippi have special importance in Russian and American cultures. Beginning in the pre-modern world, both rivers served as critical trade routes connecting cultures in an extensive exchange network, while also sustaining populations through their surrounding wetlands and bottomlands. In modern times, “Mother Volga” and the “Father of Waters” became integral parts of national identity, contributing to a sense of Russian and American exceptionalism. Through their histories we derive a more nuanced view of human interaction with the environment, which adds another lens to our understanding of the past.

 

Volume 3

MANAGING THE UNKNOWN
Essays on Environmental Ignorance
Edited by Frank Uekötter and Uwe Lübken

With its combination of empirical case studies and theoretical reflection, the essays make a significant contribution to the interdisciplinary debate on the production and resilience of ignorance. At the same time, this volume combines insights from different continents as well as the seas in between and thus sketches outlines of an emerging global resource history.

 

 

Volume 2

POWERLESS SCIENCE?
Science and Politics in a Toxic World
Edited by Soraya Boudia and Nathalie Jas

In spite of decades of research on toxicants, along with the growing role of scientific expertise in public policy and the unprecedented rise in the number of national and international institutions dealing with environmental health issues, problems surrounding contaminants and their effects on health have never appeared so important, sometimes to the point of appearing insurmountable. This calls for a reconsideration of the roles of scientific knowledge and expertise in the definition and management of toxic issues, which this book seeks to do.

 

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Berghahn Journals is happy to suggest some relevant articles:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Nature Has Its Own Soul and Speaks Its Own Language’: The Meaning of Local Landscape in the Pallastunturi Fells 

Anthropological Journal of European Cultures, Volume 19, Number 2

 

The Bourgeois Construction of the Rural: An Israeli Case
Israel Studies Review, Volume 28, Number 1

 

Urban Park Restoration and the “Museumification” of Nature
Nature and Culture, Volume 2, Number 2

 

Tunka National Park: Problems and Prospects
Sibirica, Volume 12, Number 2

 

Consuming Leisure Time: Landscapes of Infinite Horizons
Social Analysis, Volume 55, Number 2