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People and Places of Nature and Culture

Using the rich and vital Australian Aboriginal understanding of country as a model, People and Places of Nature and Culture affirms the importance of a sustainable relationship between nature and culture. While current thought includes the mistaken notion—perpetuated by natural history, ecology, and political economy—that humans have a mastery over the Earth, this book demonstrates the problems inherent in this view. In the current age of climate change, this is an important appraisal of the relationship between nature and culture, and a projection of what needs to change if we want to achieve environmental stability.

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“An ambitious examination of Western discourses of nature and culture and their ideological and material effects within Europe and colonial settler states, especially Australia. . . . This book offers a wealth of insights and new ways of seeing and debating complex and enduring environmental questions.”

Australasian Journal of Environmental Management

Table of Contents

Preface: From Sustainability to Symbiosis

Part I: Cultural Nature
Chapter 1: The Nature of Natures and the Cultures of Natures
Chapter 2: Is the Public Sphere to the Biosphere as Culture is to Nature (as Male is to Female?)
Part II: Landscape Aesthetics
Chapter 3: Nature’s Fairest Forms: Aesthetics of Nature
Chapter 4: Pleasing Prospects Revista’d: The Gentleman’s Park Estate
Part III: Colonial Country
Chapter 5: Home in the Wilds: Wild(er)ness as a Cultural Category
Chapter 6: Riding Roughshod Over It: Mateship Against the Bush
Part IV: National Parklands
Chapter 7: Nature Sanctuarized: ‘Our’ National Parks as Modern Cathedrals
Chapter 8: Sites and Rights of Enjoyment: Nature and Native Title in National Parks
Part V: Industrial Land Use
Chapter 9: Eating Earth: Mining and Gluttony
Chapter 10: Kings in Kimberley Watercourses and Wetlands: Sadism and Pastorialism
Part VI: Land Symbiotics
Chapter 11: ‘We are the Land Ourselves’: Aboriginal Country is a Cultural Landscape
Chapter 12: Home is Here: Livelihood, Bioregion and Symbiosis


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