Matching Items (5)

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What Matter(s) in Education Beyond the Human?: Learning as Sympoietic Storyworlding

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The current sustainability crisis is born from a specious notion that humans are separate from and in a position of control over nature. In response, this dissertation reconceptualizes education beyond

The current sustainability crisis is born from a specious notion that humans are separate from and in a position of control over nature. In response, this dissertation reconceptualizes education beyond its current anthropocentric model to imagine education as learning through relationality with all that is ‘beyond’ the human. The study leaves behind hegemonic binary distinctions (human
ature, teacher/student, formal
on-formal education) to reimagine education as a multidirectional process of learning as worlding and becoming-with Earth (Haraway, 2016a). It explores what matters in education and how it comes to matter.

This dissertation introduces the concept of storyworlding to describe what occurs when multispecies, multi-mattered assemblages (re)write Earth’s narratives through their relationships with one another. Taking its inspiration from the work of the Common Worlds Research Collective, Donna Haraway, and Isabelle Stengers, storyworlding acknowledges that the relationships between and among all biotic and abiotic forces on Earth make stories through their interactions, and these stories make a pluriverse of worlds.

The study is structured as a natureculture (Haraway, 2003) ethnography. This innovation on ethnography, a traditionally human-centered method, focuses on agential, multispecies/ multi-mattered assemblages rather than the description of human culture. Data is not generated and then labeled as fixed in this study. It is emergent in its assemblages as a co-narrator in sympoietic storyworlding (Haraway, 2016b).

Data generation took place over 6 months in a small, coffee-producing region of Southeastern Brazil. Data generation methods included walking conversations with children and the more-than-human world, participation in a multi-grade, one-room schoolhouse, and the collection of visual and audio data such as drawings, photographs, videos, and audio recordings.

Using an intentionally slow, messy, and fluid diffractive analysis, I follow the data where it leads as I think with the concept of storyworlding (Barad, 2007; Mazzei, 2014). Drawing inspiration from Donna Haraway, Isabelle Stengers, and Iveta Silova, the dissertation concludes with an Epilogue of speculative fabulation (SF) imaginings through which I invite the reader to engage in the thought experiment of reimagining not only what matters in education, but what education, itself, is.

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Date Created
  • 2020

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Crossing a zone of mutual oblivion: sustainability and childrearing in the Anthropocene

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Raising future generations is a culturally diverse, universally technological human project. This research brought the everyday work of raising children into the domain of sustainability scholarship, by first proposing a

Raising future generations is a culturally diverse, universally technological human project. This research brought the everyday work of raising children into the domain of sustainability scholarship, by first proposing a model of childrearing as a globally distributed socio-technical system, and then exploring the model with participants in two nodes – an elementary and middle school, and a children’s museum. In the process, the research objective shifted towards using methods that were less academic and more relevant to childrearing agents. The focus on participatory survey data was abandoned, in favor of autoethnographic documentation of a long-term engagement with a third node of the system, a child welfare setting. This approach yielded unexpected findings that fit the proposed model, identified characteristics of a Zone of Mutual Oblivion (ZMO) that exists between childrearing and sustainability, and clarified ways in which people prioritize their own needs and responsibilities, the developmental needs of children, the potential needs and capacities of future generations, and the functional integrity of ecological systems.

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Date Created
  • 2019

Post-Zoo Design: Alternative Futures in the Anthropocene

Description

Public awareness of nature and environmental issues has grown in the last decades and zoos have successfully followed suit by re-branding themselves as key representatives for conservation. However, considering the

Public awareness of nature and environmental issues has grown in the last decades and zoos have successfully followed suit by re-branding themselves as key representatives for conservation. However, considering the fast rate of environmental degradation, in the near future, zoos may become the only place left for wildlife. Some scholars argue that we have entered a new epoch titled the “Anthropocene” that postulates the idea that untouched pristine nature is almost nowhere to be found. Many scientists and scholars argue that it is time that we embraced this environmental situation and anticipated the change. Clearly, the impact of urbanization is reaching into the wild, so how can we design for animals in our artificializing world? Using the Manoa School method that argues that every future includes these four, generic, alternatives: growth, discipline, collapse, and transformation , this dissertation explores possible future animal archetypes by considering multiple possibilities of post zoo design.

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Date Created
  • 2019

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From Frankenstein to District 9: ecocritical readings of classic and contemporary fiction and film in the anthropocene

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From Frankenstein to District 9: Ecocritical Readings of Classic and Contemporary Fiction and Film demonstrates how American studies methodologies, ecological literary criticism, and environmental justice theory provide both time-tested and

From Frankenstein to District 9: Ecocritical Readings of Classic and Contemporary Fiction and Film demonstrates how American studies methodologies, ecological literary criticism, and environmental justice theory provide both time-tested and new analytical tools for reading texts from transnational perspectives. Recently, American literary scholars have been responding to calls for collective interdisciplinary response to widening social disparities and species collapses caused by climate change in the new epoch recently being termed "the anthropocene." In response, I analyze canonical texts, such as Mary Shelley's Frankenstein and Aldous Huxley's Brave New World in juxtaposition with Neill Blomkamp's South African science fiction thriller District 9 and contemporary US American novels such as Toni Morrison's Sula, William Faulkner's "The Bear" in Go Down, Moses and Richard Power's Generosity and The Echo Maker, to show how writers, filmmakers, and academics have been calling attention to dramatic climate events that consequently challenge the public to rethink the relationships among human beings to other species, and to ecological systems of low predictability, high variability, and frequent extremes. Rather than focusing solely on the "human," I examine how the relationships and livelihoods of multi-species communities shape and are shaped by political, economic, and cultural forces. As a whole, this dissertation seeks to make abstract, often intangible global patterns and concepts accessible by providing models for what I call "readings in the anthropocene" or re-readings of classic and contemporary texts and film that offer insights into changing human behavior and suggesting alternative management practices of local and global commons as well as opportunities to imagine how to live in and beyond the anthropocene.

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Date Created
  • 2015

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Anthropocene in the geomorphology of the Sonoran Desert

Description

Human endeavors move 7x more volume of earth than the world’s rivers accelerating the removal of Earth’s soil surface. Measuring anthropogenic acceleration of soil erosion requires knowledge of natural rates

Human endeavors move 7x more volume of earth than the world’s rivers accelerating the removal of Earth’s soil surface. Measuring anthropogenic acceleration of soil erosion requires knowledge of natural rates through the study of 10Be, but same-watershed comparisons between anthropogenically-accelerated and natural erosion rates do not exist for urbanizing watersheds. Here I show that urban sprawl from 1989 to 2013 accelerated soil erosion between 1.3x and 15x above natural rates for different urbanizing watersheds in the metropolitan Phoenix region, Sonoran Desert, USA, and that statistical modeling a century of urban sprawl indicates an acceleration of only 2.7x for the Phoenix region. Based on studies of urbanization’s erosive effects, and studies comparing other land-use changes to natural erosion rates, we expected a greater degree of urban acceleration. Given that continued urban expansion will add a new city of a million every five days until 2050, given the potential importance of urban soils for absorbing anthropogenically-released carbon, and given the role of urban-sourced pollution, quantifying urbanization’s acceleration of natural erosion in other urban settings could reveal important regional patterns. For example, a comparison of urban watersheds to nearby non-urban watersheds suggests that the Phoenix case study is on the low-end of the urban acceleration factor. This new insight into the urban acceleration of soil erosion in metropolitan Phoenix can help reduce the acute risk of flooding for many rapidly urbanizing desert cities around the globe. To reduce this risk, properly engineered Flood Control Structures must account for sediment accumulation as well as flood waters. While the Phoenix area used regional data from non-urban, non-desert watersheds to generate sediment yield rates, this research presents a new analysis of empirical data for the Phoenix metropolitan region, where two regression models provide estimates of a more realistic sediment accumulation for arid regions and also urbanization of a desert cities. The new model can be used to predict the realistic sediment accumulation for helping provide data where few data exists in parts of arid Africa, southwest Asia, and India.

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Agent

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Date Created
  • 2019