Perma/Culture:: Imagining Alternatives in an Age of Crisis, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover


Imagining Alternatives in an Age of Crisis, 1st Edition

Edited by Molly Wallace, David Carruthers


238 pages

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In the face of what seems like a concerted effort to destroy the only planet that can sustain us, critique is an important tool. It is in this vein that most scholars have approached environmental crisis. While there are numerous texts that chronicle contemporary issues in environmental ills, there are relatively few that explore the possibilities and practices which work to avoid collapse and build alternatives.

The keyword of this book’s full title, 'Perma/Culture,' alludes to and plays on 'permaculture', an international movement that can provide a framework for navigating the multiple 'other worlds' within a broader environmental ethic. This edited collection brings together essays from an international team of scholars, activists and artists in order to provide a critical introduction to the ethico-political and cultural elements around the concept of ‘Perma/Culture’. These multidisciplinary essays include a varied landscape of sites and practices, from readings from ecotopian literature to an analysis of the intersection of agriculture and art; from an account of the rewards and difficulties of building community in Transition Towns to a description of the ad hoc infrastructure of a fracking protest camp.

Offering a number of constructive models in response to current global environmental challenges, this book makes a significant contribution to current eco-literature and will be of great interest to students and researchers in Environmental Humanities, Environmental Studies, Sociology and Communication Studies.

Table of Contents

Poem "Seeds of Aleppo"

Tiffany Higgins

Introduction Perma/Culture

Molly Wallace and David Carruthers

PART I: Pattern Languages

Ch 1. A Pain in the Neck and Permacultural Subjectivity

Andrea Most

Ch 2. Bringing Forth an Ecotopian Future: The Production of Imagined Futures through Contemporary Cultural Practices

Stephen Zavestoski and Andrew Weigert

Ch 3. Reclaiming Accountability from Hypertechnocivility, to Grow Again the Flowering Earth

Patrick Jones

Ch 4. Murray River Country: Challenging Water Management Practices to (Re)invent Place

Camille Rouliere

Ch 5. Wild Urban Green Spaces as Seen through Montreal’s "Wild City Mapping" Project

Dominique Ferraton

PART II: Transitions in Practice

Ch 6. The Art of Permatravel

Nina Gartrell

Ch 7. Momentum in the Age of Sustainability: Building Up and Burning Out in a Transition Town

Emily Polk

Ch 8. "Fracking Is Stoppable, Another World is Possible"

Claire Males

Ch 9. The Problem with Money: Possibilities for Alternative, Sustainable, Non-monetary Economies

George Price


Ch 10: A War Against Weeds: Combating Climate Change with Polycultural Pacifism

David Carruthers

Ch 11. Regeneration: Loss and Reclamation in African American Agrarianism

Leah Penniman

Ch 12. Defining the Process of Re-indigenization through Soil Communities

Ruth Lapp and Robert Lovelace

Ch 13. Sharing Food, Sharing Knowledge: Food and Agriculture in Contemporary Art Practices

Amanda White

Ch 14. The End(s) of Freeganism and the Cultural Production of Food Waste

Leda Cooks

Poem The gleaner difference

Natalie Joelle

Afterword Gleanings

Molly Wallace

About the Editors

Molly Wallace is Associate Professor of English at Queen’s University, Canada. She writes about and teaches contemporary literature and ecocultural studies.

David Carruthers is a PhD candidate in English at Queen’s University, Canada. His recent work appears in Mosaic: a journal for the interdisciplinary study of literature.

About the Series

Routledge Environmental Humanities

From microplastics in the sea to hyper-trends such as global climate change, mega-extinction, and widening social disparities and displacement, we live on a planet undergoing tremendous flux and uncertainty. At the center of this transformation is human culture, both contributing to the state of the world and responding to planetary change. The Routledge Environmental Humanities Series seeks to engage with contemporary environmental challenges through the various lenses of the humanities and to explore foundational issues in environmental justice, multicultural environmentalism, ecofeminism, environmental psychology, environmental materialities and textualities, Traditional Ecological Knowledge, environmental communication and information management, multispecies relationships, and related topics. The series is premised on the notion that the arts, humanities, and social sciences, integrated with the natural sciences, are essential to comprehensive environmental studies.

The environmental humanities are a multidimensional discipline encompassing such fields as anthropology, history, literary and media studies, philosophy, psychology, religion, sociology, and women’s and gender studies; however, the Routledge Environmental Humanities is particularly eager to receive book proposals that explicitly cross traditional disciplinary boundaries, bringing the full force of multiple perspectives to illuminate vexing and profound environmental topics. We favor manuscripts aimed at an international readership and written in a lively and accessible style. Our readers include scholars and students from across the span of environmental studies disciplines and thoughtful citizens and policy makers interested in the human dimensions of environmental change.

Please contact the Editor, Rebecca Brennan ([email protected]), to submit proposals.

Praise for A Cultural History of Climate Change (2016):

A Cultural History of Climate Change shows that the humanities are not simply a late-arriving appendage to Earth System science, to help in the work of translation. These essays offer distinctive insights into how and why humans reason and imagine their ‘weather-worlds’ (Ingold, 2010). We learn about the interpenetration of climate and culture and are prompted to think creatively about different ways in which the idea of climate change can be conceptualised and acted upon beyond merely ‘saving the planet’.

Professor Mike Hulme, King's College London, in Green Letters

Series Editors:

Professor Scott Slovic, University of Idaho, USA

Professor Joni Adamson, Arizona State University, USA

Professor YUKI Masami, Kanazawa University, Japan

Previous editors:

Professor Iain McCalman, University of Sydney Research Fellow in History; Director, Sydney University Environment Institute.

Professor Libby Robin, Fenner School of Environment and Society, Australian National University, Canberra; Guest Professor of Environmental History, Division of History of Science, Technology and Environment, Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm Sweden.

Dr Paul Warde, Reader in Environmental History, University of Cambridge, UK

Editorial Board

Christina Alt, St Andrews University, UK, Alison Bashford, University of New South Wales, Australia, Peter Coates, University of Bristol, UK, Thom van Dooren, University of New South Wales, Australia, Georgina Endfield, Liverpool UK, Jodi Frawley, University of Western Australia, Andrea Gaynor, The University of Western Australia, Australia, Christina Gerhardt, University of Hawai'i at Mānoa, USA,□Tom Lynch, University of Nebraska, Lincoln, USA, Jennifer Newell, Australian Museum, Sydney, Australia , Simon Pooley, Imperial College London, UK, Sandra Swart, Stellenbosch University, South Africa, Ann Waltner, University of Minnesota, US, Jessica Weir, University of Western Sydney, Australia

International Advisory Board

William Beinart,University of Oxford, UK, Jane Carruthers, University of South Africa, Pretoria, South Africa, Dipesh Chakrabarty, University of Chicago, USA, Paul Holm, Trinity College, Dublin, Republic of Ireland, Shen Hou, Renmin University of China, Beijing, Rob Nixon, Princeton University, USA, Pauline Phemister, Institute of Advanced Studies in the Humanities, University of Edinburgh, UK, Sverker Sörlin, KTH Environmental Humanities Laboratory, Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm, Sweden, Helmuth Trischler, Deutsches Museum, Munich and Co-Director, Rachel Carson Centre, LMU Munich University, Germany, Mary Evelyn Tucker, Yale University, USA, Kirsten Wehner, University of London, UK

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS / Development / Sustainable Development
NATURE / Ecology