Human life is intimately woven into place. Through nations and homelands, monuments and sacred sites it becomes the anchorage point for ethnic, cultural and national identities. Yet it is also place that becomes the battlefield, war zone, mass grave, desecrated site and destroyed landscape in the midst or aftermath of cultural wounding.
Much attention has been given to the impact of trauma and violence on human lives across generations, but what of the spaces in which it occurs? How does culturally prescribed violence impact upon place? And how do the non- human species with whom we coexist also suffer through episodes of conflict and violence? By identifying violence in place as a crisis of our times, and by encouraging both the witnessing and the diagnosing of harm, this book reveals the greater effects of cultural wounding. It problematises the habit of separating human life out from the ecologies in which it is held. If people and place are bound through kinship, whether through necessity and survival, or choice and abiding love, then wounding is co- terminus. The harms done to one will impact upon the other. Case studies from Australia, North and South America, Europe and the Pacific, illustrate the impact of violence in place, while supporting a campaign for methodologies that reveal the fullness of the relational bond between people and place.
The book will appeal to students and practitioners alike, with interests in cultural and human geography, anthropology, environmental humanities and moral ecology.
Table of Contents
PART I Meeting place in the epistemological gap
1 Context and cultural wounding: the relational sphere of life in place
PART II Witnessing place violence and the intent to harm
2 An ethnography of place harm
PART III Diagnosing place harm
3 Destruction and designifi cation
4 Social disorder: toponymic erasure and the making of harmful places
5 Elemental erasure and ecological decline
PART IV Reinstating kinship and healing place
6 Kincentric ecology and seeking an axiological return
Amanda Kearney is Senior Lecturer in Anthropology at the University of New South Wales in Sydney, Australia.