ASIA-PACIFIC OBSERVATORY

UPDATES/EVENTS
Food Futures—
Humanities and Social Sciences Approaches at the Asia-Pacific Observatory

Hsinya Huang, American and Comparative Literature, National Sun Yat-sen Univerity
Yih-ren Lin, Humanities in Medicine, Taipei Medical University
Chia-hua Lin, English Department, University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa
Ysanne Chen, International Business, National Sun Yat-sen University

The issue of food incurs ever-growing concern around the globe due to deteriorating situations such as climate change, biodiversity loss, and numerous other critical planetary challenges. In response to these crises, the Asia-Pacific Observatory joined Dr. Joni Adamson, the Director of North American Observatory, to organize a roundtable titled “Building Caring Solidarity Economies: Food Sovereignty, Community Solar, and Gastronomies of Place” and presented it at the 2019 Annual Meeting of American Studies Association (ASA). This roundtable examined communities building caring “solidarity economies” around food and energy systems. Panelists talked briefly about their work with “build as we fight” communities, then open the discussion to the audience. Yih-ren Lin and Pagung focuses on the Tayal indigenous bands in Jianshi Township, Taiwan, who have created a seed bank for traditional millet varieties. They discuss how the Tayal are preserving traditional ethnobotanical practices in their mountain communities while navigating globalization forces, including their own embrace of Christianity. Syaman Rapongan, a prominent aboriginal (Tao) writer, describes the Tao Libangbang (flying fish) culture and the sea and island ecologies of Orchid Island, Taiwan. He explains how the Tao’s traditional fishing and cooking offers people and marine life the time and space to regenerate from the impacts of nuclear contamination. Chia-hua Lin discusses her research on Ka‘ala farm, in Honolulu, where the Kanaka Maoli (Native Hawaiians) are growing traditional foods (kalo/taro) and raising fish as their kūpuna (ancestors) did. She explains how this farm is part of an Indigenous resurgence in Hawaiʻi that is pushing back against sugarcane and pineapple plantations which have caused food insecurity in Hawaii to the point that 85-90% of food must be imported. As a whole, the roundtable explores how local, community-driven movements are resisting eco-colonialism and neoliberal sustainability (green growth) while building solidarity economies or new “subsistence” perspectives based on sufficiency.

During the trip to Hawai‘i, Dr. Hsinya Huang took the opportunity and did a field study at the lo‘i kalo (taro farm) named Ka Papa Loʻi ʻo Kānewai adjacent to the campus of the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa. Together with a well-known Tao writer, Syaman Rapongan, Dr. Huang met with the director of the lo‘i, Makahiapo Cashman, during which the director shared Hawaiian worldview regarding the caring of kalo (taro).

Precisely, Chia-Hua Lin’s project focuses on the caring of kalo in the Native Hawaiian tradition. In Kanaka Māoli (Native Hawaiian) worldview, the growing of kalo is not merely a production of food or an economic source; it is the caring of their kin. In Hawaiian myth, the firstborn son of sky father, Wākea, and earth mother, Papa, gave birth to a daughter Ho‘ohokukalani. Later Wākea and Ho‘ohokukalani had a son named Haloa-naka. The firstborn son, however, was stillborn and buried. Out of the earth where Haloa-naka was buried grew the kalo that fed the second son, also named Haloa, who became the ancestor of Kanaka Māoli. Hence, Native Hawaiians consider kalo their ancestor. Based on this worldview Kanaka Māoli developed a reciprocal relationship with and traditional knowledge about the environment. It is, therefore, not difficult to see the significance of kalo in Hawaiian culture and in the fight for environmental justice and food sovereignty in the Hawaiian context. During the visit to Ka Papa Loʻi ʻo Kānewai, we also see how students are taken to the lo‘i to learn about Hawaiian culture, traditional knowledge, and worldview by actually working in the lo‘i. Through their physical work, the bodies of the students carry and practice the ancestral memory and knowledge of Kanaka Māoli. Kumu (teacher) as well as students working in the lo‘i, Chia-Hua Lin argues, can also be considered activists asserting the food sovereignty of Kanaka Māoli.

Syaman Rapongan, Chia-hua Lin, Hsinya Huang and Makahiapo Cashman
At Ka Papa Loʻi ʻo Kānewai
(Photo credit: Chia-hua Lin)

Panelists at the ASA annual conference
(Photo credit: Chia-hua Lin)

Walking Workshop in the Mountainous Tayal Villages of Tian-pu, Mei-yuan, and Smangus

At the ASA Annual Meeting, the Millet Ark project Dr. Yih-Ren Lin presented with the respected Tayal practitioner and activist, Pagung Tomi, received well deserved praises for their amazing effort to preserve one of the significant crops in Tayal culture—millet. They endeavor to encourage the farmers to grow millet by creating a co-op platform on which they can sell their products to sustain not only the material life but cultural heritage surrounding the millet.

The Tayal people traditionally source food through hunting, fishing, gathering and growing crops. Qutux Niqan, “a group that eats together,” is one of the core social values of the Tayal community. Nontheless, it also helps constitute an ecological network in which this human group possess a deep awareness of the interconnective relations with nature, and thus adopts a respectful attitude towards the land in regards to collecting food. Agricultural and hunting activities are paired with rituals and ceremonies to acknowledge the spirits of the land and ask for their blessing.

Tayal hunting culture is at the root of maintaining the stainability of the landscape and ecosystem. Hunting involves knowing the prey and its place in the food chain, and requires an understanding of not only animal behavior but also plants and phenology. Furthermore, Tayal hunters set snares using only materials found on site, so as to not disturb the existing environment. Another tradition observed by the Tayal is for all members of a hunting party to make peace with one another before a hunt, in order to ensure unity when facing adversity. A hunter who passes away is believed to cross a rainbow bridge accompanied by his hound as well as his prey; further testimony that the Tayal people view the creatures they hunt as equals rather than enemies.

There are many Tayal legends cautioning against wastefulness and selfishness when it comes to food. Several tales explain that food used to be gifted freely to the tribe by the spirits and the forest. It was only once the food was squandered by lazy and greedy tribesmen did they cease to have an abundance of millet, and the Tayal people were required to grow their own crops. Thus agricultural activity of the Tayal people is strongly governed by their morals of respecting, sharing and caring for their land. The Sbalay ceremony that is performed at the start of each cultivation cycle to reinsure harmony with all the creatures that have previously used the land is yet another demonstration of the Tayal mentality.

Millet is the main crop grown by the Tayal people and is an essential part of their diet. Milestones in the cultivation process are marked by ceremonies, including those for the plowing of the fields, the sowing of the seeds, the harvesting of the crops and many more. The Tayal people also plant cucumbers around the fields as a snack for hungry workers and hunters. After harvesting and storing the crops, the Tayal people will then sun-dry and husk the millet to prepare it for culinary use. Each variety of millet can be used for a different purpose, crops that are darker in color can be distilled into liquor, stickier millet can be made into traditional Tayal variations of cakes and mochi, whereas non-sticky grains are cooked as a staple in everyday meals.

The Tayal people have a well-developed knowledge of how to ferment and marinate food for many different purposes, such as travel, rituals, feasts, or even to ward off evil spirits. Ingredients for curing meat often include onions, ginger, chili peppers, black mustard seeds, paired with hornet pupae, poultry or other game meats. Pickling containers can be pots, vats, jars, etc.; and the various processing methods include salt rubs, brine curing, dry curing, marinating, steaming, mixing and so on. An example of this is tmmyan, the famed Tayal dish of cured game meat. The meat is rubbed with salt, fermented with millet and maqaw (mountain pepper) or ginger, then stored in an airtight jar to create a delectable savory snack.

Bamboo is crucial to the Tayal lifestyle; not only is it a source of food, but it can also be made into shelter and infrastructure, tools and utensils or even clothes and instruments. The cultivation of bamboo is yet another demonstration of the Tayal’s thorough understanding of their crops; for instance, farmers know to harvest bamboo earlier in order to stimulate better growth, because interconnected roots makes trimming down older stalks beneficial to the whole bamboo grove. Elders may caution against building homes with the bamboo that produced sweeter shoots, for fear of attracting pests. Bamboo and millets are grown in turn, with newly moved-in tribes burning old bamboo groves to make way for fields of millet, then leaving behind bamboo roots again when they leave. Thus the discovery of existing groves of the dominant and resilient bamboo also indicates to future dwellers the presence of their ancestors.

Keeping with the spirit of traditional Tayal agriculture, some modern-day farmers have incorporated the use of microorganisms. The microbes are harvested from different environments through detailed observation and gathered knowledge on the plants, bacteria and fungi found in nature. The use of microorganisms in agriculture help complete the ecosystem of the farm, with the microbes aiding in the decomposition of animal waste and other organic material. For example, the addition of certain microbes to chicken coops can prevent the foul odor and pests that come with excrement, and the improved surroundings breeds healthy chickens that produce cleaner eggs. Crops are also protected with fallen leaves instead of man-made tarps as another measure to maintain the natural environment and grow plants without the use of artificial products.

Pagung sings stories of Tayal ancestors’ migration, land management, and food culture in her millet barn.
(Photo credit: Shiuhhuah Serena Chou )

Syax Tali’s eco-henhouse
(Photo credit: Syax Tali)

The Humanities for Innovation and Social Practices: A Workshop on Food Futures

After the field study, Dr. Hunag invited Syax Tali, Tayal eco-farmer, teacher, and practitioner, to share his natural farming methods and philosophy.

The path of natural farming, according to Syax Tali, is a process of unlearning and relearning. He had always been a farmer, but after his wife fell ill because of the pesticide, he decided to try natural farming. As he later found out, he had to unlearn everything he thought he knew about farming and relearn everything again. Is it not also critical for us environmentalists to go through the process of unlearning and relearning when working with different communities?

Not only did he have to unlearn and relearn everything, as Syax Tali indicates, he has to constantly learn from the Mountains, the forest, and earth. The humidity, temperatures, and even the make-up and condition of microorganism change every day, even every hour. As a result, he has to observe the environment closely and learn how to care for the land and plants in different conditions. In order to develop a sustainable nature agriculture, Syax Tali also has to learn how to make natural fertilizer out of microorganisms and kitchen waste. He knows how to turn eggshell into nutrient solution for his chickens.

Humanities Innovation and Social Practices (HISP) Group
(Photo credit: The Humanities for Innovation and Social Practices, NSYSU)

2021 International Conference on "Food Futures," Annual Meeting of Humanities for the Environment (HfE) Network

The field trips, walking workshops, and other scholarly activities anticipate solidarity and affiliation with indigenous peoples across the Pacific. These alliances displace national perspectives in favor of a Pacific Rim perspective that connects not only regions but bio-regions, connecting local and enlarged communities and environments. In face of crises in our civilization, indigenous farmers, practitioners, activists, etc. urge us to live with care and honor and to celebrate and share the planet as a commons in ways that are more ethical and just.

All this work is currently the focus of the Observatory and undergirds the 2021 The International Conference on Food Futures, annual meeting of the Global Observatories, and a special issue of the journal Humanities, planned by Humanities for the Environmental global network of Observatories (HfE) on the topics of Environmental Humanities, Critical Food Studies, Public Health, Sustainability.

The International Conference on Food Futures is now scheduled to take place in Kaohsiung, Taiwan, headquarters of the Asia-Pacific Observatory in November 2021. The Conference invites submissions related to issues surrounding “Food in the Anthropocene.” The global food regime is a matter of growing concern within the urgent horizons of climate change and biodiversity loss, among other critical planetary challenges. The conference will ask questions about humans, food systems, and the futures of food, including but not limited to:

What role can or does culture (and the humanities, in collaboration with the social and natural sciences) play in transforming the relations between societal challenges and environmental crises where food is a central factor?

How can new/future food systems be developed that hold greater promise of sustainability than dominant local/global systems at present?

Can new consumption practices be enabled at scales that make a difference globally? If so, how?

How are humanists working in collaboration with community groups, indigenous groups, and business, to pilot public-facing projects focusing on increasing food security and sustainability?


This conference will examine the growing interconnections between food sovereignty, land and sea rights, legacies of colonization and slavery, dispossession, and food insecurities. We invite academics, writers, activists, independent scholars, and artists to submit their work.

Exciting news from Professor Poul Holm, Director of European Observatory, for a leading award from EU research council on 4-Oceans:

On this happy morning when after four years our brains can begin to detoxify, I write to share the news that the European Research Council last week awarded a 10.4 mill. euro grant to the 4-OCEANS project led by Cristina Brito (Lisbon), James Barrett (Cambridge), Francis Ludlow (Trinity College Dublin) and myself. Our project is to look at the role of the oceans for human societies in the last two millennia. A short outline is now at: https://www.tcd.ie/tceh/projects/4-oceans/ Kick-off will be July 2021 and the project will run for the next six years.

I am certain that this will be a boost to global environmental humanities. For now I just want to say that I look forward to increasing collaboration with you and HfE friends and colleagues in the coming years.

All the best
Poul
------------
Poul Holm
Professor of Environmental History,
Director, Trinity Centre for Environmental Humanities
Trinity College Dublin, Ireland
R, MAE Chair Humanities Class
Guest Professor, Department of Historical Studies, Gothenburg University
Honorary Research Associate, McDonald Institute, University of Cambridge ERC AG NorFish
http://peoplefinder.tcd.ie/ProfileUsername=HOLMP

2021 International Conference on "Food Futures," Annual Meeting of Humanities for the Environment (HfE) Network.
November 12-13, 2021
National Sun Yat-sen University
Kaohsiung, Taiwan

In January 2019, the EAT-Lancet commission released a two-year study on “Food in the Anthropocene,” arguing that “civilization is in crisis,” and that the urgent need for both healthy diets and balanced planetary resources not come at the expense of accelerating trends which are unprecedented in human history (Lucas and Horton 2019). The global food regime is a matter of growing concern within the urgent horizons of climate change and biodiversity loss, among other critical planetary challenges. Building on a forthcoming special issue of the journal Humanities focused on these issues, the Humanities for the Environmental global network of Observatories (HfE) will convene an international conference in Kaohsiung, Taiwan, headquarters of the Asia-Pacific Observatory. The conference will ask questions about humans, food systems, and the futures of food, including but not limited to:

What role can or does culture (and the humanities, in collaboration with the social and natural sciences) play in transforming the relations between societal challenges and environmental crises where food is a central factor?

How can new/future food systems be developed that hold greater promise of sustainability than dominant local/global systems at present?

Can new consumption practices be enabled at scales that make a difference globally? If so, how?

How are humanists working in collaboration with community groups, indigenous groups, and business, to pilot public-facing projects focusing on increasing food security and sustainability?

This conference will examine the growing interconnections between food sovereignty, land and sea rights, legacies of colonization and slavery, dispossession, and food insecurities. We invite academics, writers, activists, independent scholars, and artists to submit their work.

Postponing the HfE November Meeting on Food Futures Until 2021

On behalf of the Organizing Committee of the 2020 Humanities for the Environment (HfE) Annual Conference, we would like to convey our sincere gratitude to you for submitting proposals, and for being patient with us while the committee endeavors to decide the plan for the conference in light of the pandemic.

After much deliberation, however, the committee has decided to postpone the conference to Nov. 2021 due to pandemic restrictions and to protect all participants. We thank you profusely for your understanding. We will keep you updated as we go forward. Please do plan to join us in November of 2021 with the same topic—and all your food futures abstracts—on hold until then.

Please allow us to convey our heartfelt gratitude, again, for your interest in our conference. We look forward to welcoming you to Taiwan in 2021 and would like to send you positive thoughts for strength, courage, and health in these times of challenges.

In solidarity and in hope,

Organizing Committee

2020 International Conference on "Food Futures," Annual Meeting of Humanities for the Environment (HfE) Network. November 13-14, 2020

National Sun Yat-sen University
Kaohsiung, Taiwan
2020foodfutures@gmail.com

#IndigenousESD

In a collaborated research initiated by #IndigenousESD, in which our member from National Sun Yat-sen University has been an active participant, an overview with 10 concrete policy recommendations to improve the education for Indigenous Youth has been published in the Journal of Teacher Education for Sustainability: Below are the publication information:

ESD for All: Learnings from the #IndigenousESD Global Research in Journal of Teacher Education for Sustainability: 10.2478/jtes-2019-0020

During the COVID-19 crisis, many countries need to transform their education systems to secure a safe reopening of schools, we endeavor to make sure that our efforts of educating children and youth in a concept of sustainability receives significant consideration when reopening and hopefully even reinventing formal schooling. We also strive to call upon UNESCO to support a safe return to school as well as to shift priorities to more relevance and appropriate teaching for Indigenous students.

Also, a research on 21st century competencies as well as a regional analysis for the Latin American Region will soon be published. An open access link will be announced upon the researches’ publication.

Link to download the file(.docx)
2020 International Conference on "Food Futures," Annual Meeting of Humanities for the Environment (HfE) Network.
November 13-14, 2020
National Sun Yat-sen University
Kaohsiung, Taiwan

In January 2019, the EAT-Lancet commission released a two-year study on “Food in the Anthropocene,” arguing that “civilization is in crisis,” and that the urgent need for both healthy diets and balanced planetary resources not come at the expense of accelerating trends which are unprecedented in human history (Lucas and Horton 2019). The global food regime is a matter of growing concern within the urgent horizons of climate change and biodiversity loss, among other critical planetary challenges. Building on a forthcoming special issue of the journal Humanities focused on these issues, the Humanities for the Environmental global network of Observatories (HfE) will convene an international conference in Kaohsiung, Taiwan, headquarters of the Asia-Pacific Observatory. The conference will ask questions about humans, food systems, and the futures of food, including but not limited to:

What role can or does culture (and the humanities, in collaboration with the social and natural sciences) play in transforming the relations between societal challenges and environmental crises where food is a central factor?

How can new/future food systems be developed that hold greater promise of sustainability than dominant local/global systems at present?

Can new consumption practices be enabled at scales that make a difference globally? If so, how?

How are humanists working in collaboration with community groups, indigenous groups, and business, to pilot public-facing projects focusing on increasing food security and sustainability?

This conference will examine the growing interconnections between food sovereignty, land and sea rights, legacies of colonization and slavery, dispossession, and food insecurities. We invite academics, writers, activists, independent scholars, and artists to submit their work.

Tatala (Assembled boat) of Pongso no tao

ABOUT SVARTÁRKOT CULTURE — NATURE

THE SVARTÁRKOT CULTURE – NATURE (SCN) programme focuses on the diverse interactions between humans and nature, inspired by the Svartárkot farm in Bárðardalur valley, northern Iceland. The programme is managed by a group of independent scholars and scientists partly affiliated with the Reykjavik Academy, in cooperation with Svartárkot’s farmers. Most of the programme’s courses and lectures take place in the Kiðagil guesthouse and community centre in Bárðardalur valley near the Svartárkot farm.

The project has no secure funding but is supported by tuition fees and occasionally by research grants obtained by group members. The SCN courses offer unique learning experiences combining high-quality academic lectures with the spectacular local landscapes. The Svartárkot farm, the Bárðardalur Valley and the neighbouring Lake Mývatn region are situated in areas of diverse natural features: lakes with unique bird-life, wilderness, lava fields, glacial rivers, and waterfalls. The history, literature and folklore of the area are fascinating, containing stories of ghosts and trolls as well as a long history of human resilience and innovation. The climatology and unique ecosystems of the area are also presented.

The spring of life, a hidden secret in Bárðardalur valley. Photo Viðar Hreinsson
A well on the deserted farm Brenniás. Photo Viðar Hreinsson

Currently, SCN operates in two arenas with a third under development:

1. Offering summer courses to small groups of international graduate and post-graduate students, professors and scholars looking for new insights and inspirations in post-and transdisciplinary methods.

2. Offering lectures and services to professors and universities who bring their students as a part of their curriculum. This may include travels in Iceland that SCN organizes, and a stay at Kiðagil for a certain amount of time.

Lecturing at Aldeyjarfoss, 2007 demo course

SCN has held 6 annual academic courses: One in 2007, two courses in 2009 and one in each year of 2014, 2015 and 2018. Furthermore, SCN has received a number of student groups from the USA and United Kingdom in this period.

Originally posted by Svartárkot Culture — Nature
https://svartarkot.is/about/


HfE Series: Recrafting Environmental Communication in The Circumpolar North

Joni Adamson, Director for Humanities for the Environment North American Observatory on speed-writing as a tool for humanists at the 2018 HfE leadership conference in Sweden.

By Joni Adamson, Professor of English and Environmental Humanities, Arizona State University Published 05 February 2019

Every year since the 2013 launch of the Humanities for the Environment network, representatives from HfE have met at Observatories all over the world. In October 2018, the meeting was held in Sigtuna, Sweden, hosted by the Circumpolar Observatory, the Stefansson Arctic Institute, the Nordic Network for Interdisciplinary Environmental Studies and the Sigtuna Foundation. Representatives came together for three days of presentations and updates about the ongoing work and projects from each HfE Observatory, along with strategic discussions about the development of the network.

The group also wanted to use the meeting to tackle some of the larger issues surrounding communication, knowledge and action that are emerging in all the HfE Observatories. Participants were asked to consider how knowledge from scientists, humanists, artists, indigenous peoples, and partners from civil society could be communicated and mobilised to greater effect in response to sustainability challenges. The assembled group was led in a speed-writing activity (adapted from the Book Sprint concept) by the meeting’s co-organizers, Steven Hartman, Director of the Circumpolar Observatory, and Dr. Lea Rekow. Each attendee was asked to write a short article about one project or issue important to their own Observatory, with the goal of learning strategies for producing effective communication in compressed timeframes. The participants were challenged to produce a feature story for publication by the end of the weekend.

Hartman and Rekow are co-curators of BifrostOnline, an international, open-access channel promoting education for sustainability and climate change awareness through short documentaries, interviews, feature articles, events and public interventions. Dr. Rekow brings a wealth of communications experience to her roles at both BitfrostOnline and the Circumpolar Observatory. She served as the founding director of Green My Favela, an urban restoration project based in the favelas of Rio de Janeiro. Over the years she has worked extensively in co-production with ethnic minorities, Indigenous peoples, and marginalized communities in several contexts around the globe, using media as a foundational component of her broader praxis. She has also drawn on her experience to curate and craft media-rich educational programs for several cultural institutions.

Rekow curates a rich selection of material for BifrostOnline’s media archive. To date these resources number approximately a thousand open access sources relating to climate change, including citizen science projects, podcasts, maps, academic papers, policy reports, personal stories and data visualisations, creating a broad, interdisciplinary resource where researchers, educators, academics and others interested in climate change-related issues can access information and ideas that may inform their practice. The goal is to build not only a science-based databank of information, but also to archive works that elicit emotion-based responses or help in the framing of action plans to meet regional and global socio-environmental challenges.

Rekow has learned from her work in environmental communications that people form their beliefs around worldviews held by their communities, rather than around facts they are presented with. Therefore, communicating information is often not enough to impact the way people think and act. Finding positive and active ways to help people realise their own agency and build resilience within different challenging contexts depends on building trust over time and responding to people’s needs, rather than imposing external or academic ideas upon them.

During the writing sprint activity in Sigtuna, Rekow established a structured environment for participants to produce short articles to be featured on the Bifrost website. Individuals were paired into writing and editing teams who supported each other throughout the weekend. Under Rekow’s helpful prompts and guidance they generated texts by harnessing free-thinking and focused freewriting approaches, laying out concepts and developing stories from them in real time, then working together to organize their ideas into edited texts.

The writing sprint was a unique experience, relying on commitment from all participants to collaborate within the limits of a non-negotiable timeframe and a set production schedule. The sprint provided a way of organizing a kindred knowledge community with diverse bodies of work to reflect the concerns and research practices that currently engaging HfE members. For many it was an energizing experience that encouraged cooperation and knowledge sharing within a challenging and unfamiliar situation. The process wasn’t perfect, but it enabled participants to push past the limitations of how busy researchers typically approach writing in a concentrated time frame. The edited articles from this exercise will be appearing throughout spring and summer on BifrostOnline. Some of those that have already appeared include Sea-ice Stories from Iceland and Labrador and Juliana v. United States: the unresolved case already making a difference.

Lea Rekow at Green My Favela

Rekow’s own sprint-written blog, Greening our Planetary Menu, explores the impact of agriculture and the transformational potential of “bottom up” projects. For example, in Brazil she innovated DIY media kits that hack old webcams and produce microscopes to study plants with functionally literate children, conducted farm-to-table workshops, and created children’s gardens from sites that had to be remediated by clearing of tons of garbage.  She offers insights about how these kinds of projects provide increased opportunities for humanists to work “from the bottom-up” as facilitators between formal and informal societal tiers with youth at key vulnerable ages “to help instill knowledge, skills, and a sense of possibility for living healthier, more fulfilling lives.” These projects also provide avenues, she observes, for “community leaders to emerge to recraft environments that are historically marred by conflict, oppression, poverty.”

HfE Observatory members decided that over the course of the next two years the global network will experiment with efforts to scale up projects led by humanists in collaboration with scientists and various societal stakeholders regionally and internationally for greater impact. Above and beyond focusing on their own regional projects, all Observatories will design a food-systems-oriented project and seek to collaborate across the network on the theme of food. The European Observatory has already been awarded a large grant by the Irish Research Council in support the FoodSmart Dublin project and a call for papers for a special journal issue guest edited by HfE members on Food Cultures & Critical Sustainability is expected to be announced in spring 2019.

 

 


Joni Adamson is a Secretary General of the HfE and Director of the North American Observatory.  She is Professor of English and Environmental Humanities in the Department of English and Director of the Environmental Humanities Initiative at Arizona State University.

Humanities for the Environment (HfE) is a global Observatory network of researchers and projects seeking to answer questions about the role of the humanities in a time in which human activity is significantly reshaping the geological future of the planet. HfE seeks not only enrich our understanding of the human past but also help us understand, engage with, and address global environmental challenges. Rather than defining a single research agenda adequate to these inquiries, HfE has established eight research ‘observatories’ in Africa, Asia, Australia, Circumpolar North, Europe, Latin America, and North America.

 

Originally posted by Sydney Environment Institute
http://sydney.edu.au/environment-institute/blog/hfe-series-recrafting-environmental-communication-circumpolar-north/?fbclid=IwAR07dVVH-qfgQiGP8mlkdSxfWn8z62brXDqZRUSaWm1vcGixFaBN3sARogE


FIRST-EVER INTERNATIONAL SUMMIT IN ENVIRONMENTAL HUMANITIES

30 June–2 July 2018, Hohenkammer and Rachel Carson Center (Germany)

Environmental Humanities (EH) is a new and innovative field of study that engages interdisciplinary scholarship from across the humanities spectrum to study the relationship between humans and the physical world they inhabit. In summer 2018, the Rachel Carson Center convened a meeting of leaders in Environmental Humanities—those who have set up networks or taken steps to institutionalize the subject at their home universities—from across the globe to discuss best practice and find ways of cooperating and sharing expertise in our shared moment of planetary crisis. The summit was also attended by eleven international young scholars who are forging their academic careers in this new field.

At the summit, over two days of discussion in diverse ways and in many voices, participants acknowledged the following four principles for scholars in the Environmental Humanities:

THE IMPORTANCE OF COMMUNITY

As pioneers in our new and still-emergent field and with precarious university structures, we are especially dependent on our community of like-minded thinkers. What binds us together are our shared concerns, which arise out of the entanglement of our personal trajectories and experiences with our scholarly research. We care viscerally, emotionally, and politically about the topics we work on and feel a deep sense of responsibility to engage as global citizens. Our community is intergenerational and international and we need ensure it is resilient across space and across time.

DISCIPLINARITY ACROSS GENERATIONS

Environmental Humanities is a new assemblage of interdisciplinary approaches and tools. Its diversity is invigorating, but we are all engaged in a process of questioning and changing existing paradigms, and this can create conflict with previous generations of scholars and uncertainty for young scholars who do not yet have established paths to tread. EH scholars need resources of humility, respect, and trust to work with scholars from different disciplines and from different generations.

WORKING WITH PARTNERS OUTSIDE ACADEMIA

Understanding interlinked environmental issues requires a holistic, networked approach: creating a broad front in Environmental Humanities that can enable cultural shifts in the wider world requires us to forge alliances with partners outside of academia. We want to cultivate relations with the GLAM (galleries, libraries, archives, museums) sector, creative and media industries, community and activist groups, local government and political parties, private sector corporations/foundations, schoolteachers and children, religious organizations, and farms and botanical gardens; and also take opportunities to collaborate across disciplines and hierarchies within our own institutions.

DEVELOPING DIVERSE SKILLS

The EH toolbox needs skills that facilitate interdisciplinary project work and outreach—digital and multimedia literacy, filmmaking, ethnographic methods, intercultural skills, fundraising and budget management—and also build our capacities to listen well, to tell stories engagingly, to speak multiple languages, and embrace diversity in all its forms. EH needs to do as much as possible to break out of its Euro-American comfort zone, to learn new languages and reach new places, to become truly diverse and inclusive.

To learn more about the event, and for access to the full report and participant list, click here .

Courtesy of Rachel Carson Center posted November 21, 2018


An Island Dynamics and Indigenous Knowledge –based International Conference

Indigenous Communities, Indigenous Spaces

Tradition and Change in a Globalising World

1-5 October 2018, Pongso no Tao/ Orchid Island, Taiwan

http://www.islanddynamics.org/indigenouscommunities.html

This international conference explores the connection between Indigenous communities and Indigenous spaces in an age when the very conceptions of space, place, and territory are undergoing a rapid change due to globalization. Is indigeneity only found in and through place, or can we envision non-situated and deterritorialized indigeneities? Can Indigenous rights and livelihoods be asserted without being simultaneously reinforced or played by the rules of the coloniality?

The conference considers tradition and change in the context of the Indigenous spaces where lives are lived and - globalization occurs: local communities and connections across continents, sacred sites and secular spaces, Indigenous villages and Indigenous cities, traditional territories and political spaces within and beyond the state. It also provides spaces to discuss and reflect on and engage with intercultural and trans-collaborative political approaches by indigenous and non-indigenous peoples and scholars. Many of these approaches are working towards ensuring long-term sustainability for indigenous people, increasing social and environmental justice in their respective territories, and decolonizing structures, relations and ways of being.

This conference is a collaboration of:

• The Community of Pongso no Tao/Orchid Island, Taiwan •Tao Foundation, Pongso no Tao • Island Indigenous Science Studio, Pongso no Tao • Lan En Culture and Education Foundation, Pongso no Tao
• National Taiwan Normal University’s Department of Geography & Graduate Institute of Environmental Education, Taipei, Taiwan
• National Sun Yet-Sen University’s Center for Marine Policy Studies & Graduate Institute of Marine Affairs, Kaohsiung, Taiwan
• Ilisimatusarfik/University of Greenland’s Department of Social Sciences, Greenland
• RMIT University’s School of Global, Urban and Social Studies, Melbourne, Australia
• Minstry of Science and Technology, Taiwan
• Council of Indeigenous Peoples, Taiwan
• National Prehistorry Museum, Taitung, Taiwan

Co-Convenors & Organisers

Adam Grydehøj, Huei-Min TSAI, Syaman Rapongan, Syaman Lamuran, Tibusungʉ'e Vayayana, Yaso Nadarajah, Tzu-Ming LIU, Su-Min SHEN, Sendo WANG

Participants:

The participants came from 15 countries about 130 people, including Canada(4), Maxico (1), UK (1), France (1),Sweden(1), Denmark (1), Greenland (1), teh Netherlands (2), Germany (2), Switzerland (1) Australia (3), New Zealnd (1), Philippine (2), Japan (2) China(1) and Taiwan (40), plus over 70 people from local communities

The Conference Programs

1. Welcome
On October 1st, after a long ride of train and boat, the conference participants arrived at the island and were warm welcomed by the Tao Community,chaired by Si Maraos, Executive Director, Lan En Cultural Foundation; and there were greetings from Representatives of Township and Tao communities. Greetings from Syaman Lamuran (Director, Tao Foundation), Tibusungʉ'e Vayayana (Deputy Minister, Council of Indigenous Peoples), Sinan Mavivo (Tao Representative, Council of Indigenous Peoples), Syapen Kaleywan (Elders, singing and greetings), Adam Grydehøj (Director, Island Dynamics, Denmark & Associated Researcher, Ilisimatusarfik/University of Greenland, Greenland), Eric Clark (Chair, International Geographical Union Commission on Islands; Lund University, Sweden), Gerard Persoon (Leiden University, the Netherlands). Two dancing performances were followed.
2. Themes
Session 1: Indigenous Spaces and Development
Session 2: Indigenous Research and Methods
Session 3: Indigenous Rights and Representation
Session 4: Indigenous Voices and Presence
Session 5: Toward Indigenous Futures
3. 3. Studies in the Fields:

In order to be engaged with Indigenous knowledge systems on the island, the field studies involve immersion into the life world of the Tao (Yami). It encourages wisdom and local participants to recognize the value of traditional knowledge in environmental management. We observe the mountain, river, and oceanic environment around us and cultivate the ability to identify and solve problems. Actively caring about the original environment and exploring the prudence of traditional culture can bridge traditional knowledge and science.

Map of the conference venues and field study sites:

Conceptual Map of the Island: Indigenous Space-time, Indigenous Knowledge on Pongso no Tao (the Island of People)

(I) angit* – sky – 天空 (II) wawa – ocean – 海洋 (III) vanwa – beach – 部落灘頭 (IV) ili – village – 聚落 (V) kahasan – forest – 山林 (VI) soli – taro field – 芋田
*Tao Language 達悟語


(1) In the Field 1

Vanwa : Ceremony, boat launching and folk singing
Place: Iraraley Beach (Vanwa)
Lecturer: Syapen Meylamney)

background

As a meeting place between the ocean and the land, the venwa is a very important and sacred ceremonial field in the Tao culture. If the tribe has important public issues, members of the tribe gather here to discuss and -solve the problem together. The tribal beach head is not only the central point of tribal space, but also the core of the cultural, social system and public power operation in the Tao society. It is a sacred space reflecting the social culture of the Tao people.

(2) In the Field 2

Ili - Living spaces and villages
Group 1 Iraraley Traditional Vahay (House) Lecturer: Tsai, Wu-lun
Group 2 Ivalino Traditional Vahay (House) Lecturer: Syapen Jihan
Background Tao people’s social life interweaves the geographical -and the blood relationships of the tribal community. The tribe is an independent unit composed of all members living in the same tribal area. The fisheries, pastures, and agricultural lands of each tribe are commons, not to be used by others. A complete Tao home must have vahai (main house), makarang (high house) and tagakal (hill table). The vahai faces the sea and is where people live, cook, store, and sleep. The makarang is the place where objects are manufactured. The tagakal is a- - place for daily life, leisure, chatting, children's play, and - singing.

(3) In the Field 3

Angut:‘Eyes of the Sky’ Indigenous ways of star observation
Meeting Place: Iratay
Place: Iratay Syapen Lamuran’s Art Studio
Lecture : Syapen Lamuran Background Flying fish season is the core of Tao culture. A year is divided into three seasons: the rayon, the teyteyka and the amiyan. As oceanic people, Tao is also sensitive to the changing wind, weather and currents. The names of wind show their knowledge on weather observation and risk responses.

The meanings of each season are as follows.

Calender

Season Traditional Name Name of Month Month's meaning Western calendar
Spring Rayon
Flying Fish
Season
Kapowan (Paneneb) Closed door, abstinence FEB
Pikawkaod Separation and sharing MAR.
Papatow Fishing Dolphin fish APR.
Pipilapila Netting fish MAY
Summer Teyteyka
End of Flying
Fish Season
Apiavean Good Moon Month JUN
Omood do piavean Harvest festival JUL.
Pitanatana Making pottery AUG.
Kaliman Last flying fish SEP
Winter Amyan
Month of
Waiting fish
Season
Kaneman Bead ash, ghost OCT
Kapitowan a fiesta in honor of a deity NOV.
Kaowan Coolest Month DEC.
Kasiaman JAN

(4) In the Field 4

Wawa: Ocean, currents, and fish
Place: Lanyu High School Conference Room
Lecture: Syaman Rapongan ( presented -via a film ) Background Libangbang (flying fish) culture is an important cultural feature of Tao. They believe that the flying fish is managed by tao do do (the people in the heaven). The time of fishing and the way of cooking should be in accordance with taboos and rituals. The tribe believes that as long as the various ceremonies and taboos in the flying fish season are properly performed, the flying fish will -swim to the beach of the tribe.

The Tao people establish the order and taboos of eating by the mythical story of flying fish. The essence is to grant marine life a chance to breathe and at the same time maintain the balance and sustainability of the marine ecology.

(5) In the Field 5 Kahasan: Forest, Taboo and Materials for Tatala (Traditional Canoe) building
Place: Iraraley tribe’s forest commons
Lecturer: Syaman Macinanao

Background
The tatala, traditional housing construction and paddy farming are closely related to the use of forest plants of Tao. Each tribe has its own irrigation channel system, hillsides, forest areas and pastures.
(5) In the Field 5

Soli: Taro fields and women’s spaces
Place: Iraraley Taro Field
Lecturer: Sinan Manidong

Background The main crop of the Tao people is taro. In order to irrigate the fields, natural mountain streams are adapted and built into irrigation systems. Such major projects are usually completed by a large number of people. Therefore, the construction of canals usually involved mobilization of several families.

Photos

(Conference venue: Lanyu High School)

(Opening Ceremony at Lan-En Knderagarden)



(Conference - volunteers)





Humanities for the environment annual meeting at Sigtuna Sweden 2018

Six of the eight HfE observatories were represented at the NIES-arranged Humanities for the Environment conference in Sigtuna, including the African, Asian-Pacific, Circumpolar, European, Latin American, & North American observatories.

Picture of 6 members of the Board of Directors following the business meeting yesterday: (L-R) James Ogude Poul Holm Hsinya Huang Sally Kitch Joni Adamson and Steven Hartman.

Picture of attendees.


International Symposium on Humanities for the Environment

19 Nov. 2018
LA7006, College of Liberal Arts,
National Sun Yat-sen University, Kaohsiung

Program

2018.11.18    Arrival/Registration

2018.11.19

9:00-9:20 Opening Ceremony
TEE Kim Tong (Convener, Organizing Committee, ISHE)
Ping-Chen Hsiung (President, ANHN, Chinese University of Hong Kong)
9:20-10:10 Keynote: Adaptation of Assimilation:
Humans Facing the Challenge of Being Humans for the First Time Ever

Speaker: Luiz Oosterbeek (Polytechnic Institute of Tomar)
Moderator: Ay-Ling Wang (National Sun Yat-sen University)
Discussant: Chen-Hsing Tsai (Tamkang University)
10:10-11:00 Panel: East Asian Environment in Perspective
Speakers: Harold Sjusen (New York University)
                   Whei-Ming Chou (National Chengchi University)
Moderator: Mu-Chou Poo (Chinese University of Hong Kong)
11:00-11:15 Tea Break
11:15-12:15 Writers’ Workshop: 熱帶雨林與原住民書寫
Speakers: 瓦歷斯·諾幹Walis Nokan (Writer of Atayal)
                   田思Tian Si (Malaysian Writer)
                   田欣穎Xin-Ying Thian (Malaysian Journalist)
Moderator: TEE Kim Tong (National Sun Yat-sen University)
12:15-13:30 Lunch
13:30-14:10 Plenary: A New Order of Knowledge: The Anthropocene and the Environmental Humanities
Speaker: Hannes Bergthaller (National Chung Hsing University)
Moderator: Shu-Li Chang (National Cheng Kung University)
Discussant: Iping Liang (National Taiwan Normal University)
14:10-15:10 Panel: Transpacific Poetics and Environmental Humanities
Speakers: Anurag Bhattacharyya (Dibrugarh University)
                   Yu-Lin Lee (National Chung Hsing University)
                   LIM Kar Loke (Universiti Tunku Abdul Rahman)
Moderator: Huei-Min Tsai (National Taiwan Normal University)
Discussant: Hsiu-Li Juan (National Chung Hsing University)
15:10-15:30 Tea Break
15:30-16:10 Roundtable: Asian Humanities
Moderator: Ping-Chen Hsiung (Chinese University of Hong Kong)
Speakers: Harold Sjusen (New York University)
                   Luiz Oosterbeek (Polytechnic Institute of Tomar)
16:10-16:20 Closing Remarks
17:00-19:30 Banquet

2018.11.20 Departure


【Contact】Ms. IYun Huang, at flydodos@gmail.com

池上秋收 - 稻穗藝術節

Call for Papers
International Symposium on Humanities for the Environment
National Sun Yat-sen University, Taiwan
November 18- November 19, 2018

Never in human history as now in the 21st century has our species’ ability to cope with planetary change been so urgent. Although the Anthropocene as an official geological epoch is still under debate, the concept has been widely used to describe the pervasive human impact on the planet since Nobel Prize-winning chemist Paul Crutizen proposed that we were “living in the Anthropocene”. An Anthropocene Working Group has been commissioned to investigate the possibility of formally adding the Anthropocene to the Geological Time Scale. Referring to the Anthropocene and its most discussed consequence, climate change, the historian Dipesh Chakrabarty has suggested that humanities as a discipline needs to envision the way the human beings become an agent of historical change. Recently Joni Adamson, Poul Holm, and other scholars across the globe have established The HfE Observatories (Humanities for the Environment: Observatories for Environmental Humanities Researchers) through which to observe, explore and enact the crucial ways humanistic and artistic disciplines may help us understand and engage with global ecological problems by providing insight into human action, perceptions, and motivation. They have collectively publicized “Humanities for the Environment: A Manifesto for Research and Action” as an invitation to the “Humanities for the Environment” open global consortium of humanities observatories. This Symposium presents cutting-edge researches and voices from the HfE Global Network to examine how the humanities and arts contribute to understanding the challenges of global environmental change. Through observing and exploring human actions and motivations, values, priorities, and habits, we propose an agenda that focuses on global humanities research in response to the challenges of planetary environmental change. This Symposium explores the role of the humanities in a time in which human activity is significantly reshaping the geological future of the planet. It demonstrates our continuous effort to expand the network and develop a shared agenda for research and action.

The deadline to submit abstracts is May 20, 2018, and it should be no longer than 500words . The length of your full paper should not exceed 8,000 words.

To submit your abstract, please click on the following link:
https://goo.gl/forms/inDFlpsvpyI3vunP2

Important dates:
Deadline for abstract submission: May 20, 2018
Notification of acceptance: May 31, 2018
Deadline for full paper submission: October 1, 2018

Organizers:
Center for Humanities Innovation and Social Practices, NSYSU, Taiwan
Center for the Humanities, NSYSU, Taiwan
The Humanities for the Environment, Asia-Pacific Observatory
Asian New Humanities Network

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