"Lively Ethography: Storying Animist Worlds"

van Dooren, Thom and Deborah Bird Rose | from Multimedia Library Collection:

van Dooren, Thom and Deborah Bird Rose. “Lively Ethography: Storying Animist Worlds.” Environmental Humanities 8, no. 1 (2016): 77-94. doi:10.1215/22011919-3527731.

This article is an effort to dwell with the kinds of writing and thinking practices that we have been developing in our research, especially over the past seven years. This is an approach grounded in an attentiveness to the evolving ways of life (or ēthea; singular: ethos) of diverse forms of human and nonhuman life and in an effort to explore and perhaps restory the relationships that constitute and nourish them. Our aim is to develop “lively ethographies”: a mode of knowing, engaging, and storytelling that recognizes the meaningful lives of others and that, in so doing, enlivens our capacity to respond to them by singing up their character or ethos. Most of our work in this area has focused on extinction, but this approach might readily be taken up in a range of other contexts. This article alternates between two types of writing. One is expository and lays out an analysis of ethos, liveliness, storytelling, “response-ability,” and becoming witness. The second is performative, offering short ethographic vignettes that enact some of the qualities and approaches we have discussed. Here each of these vignettes is taken from our recent work in Hawai‘i, a deeply generative and often fraught field site that has inspired much of our thinking. (Text from authors’ abstract)

© Thom van Dooren and Deborah Bird Rose 2016. Environmental Humanities is available online only and is published under a Creative Commons license (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0).