Undisciplined Environments

The following texts were chosen for our Experimental Session at Undisciplined Environments: International Conference of the European Network of Political Ecology.


Anderson, M Kat. Tending the Wild: Native American Knowledge and the Management of California’s Natural Resources. University of California Press, 2013.
“These techniques, especially fire, were integral to the health and vigor of myriad species of plants and animals and were the basis of successful subsistence economies throughout the state. Behind the seemingly simple act of digging leopard lilies, pinching clover greens, or capturing quail lay intimate, complex knowledge. It is this knowledge, based on the keen observation of plants’ physical requirements and responses to fire and animals’ reproductive biology, nutritional needs , and migration cycles, that provided the foundation for figuring out how to both harvest and sustain plants and animals.”

Behrens, Peter, The Law of Dreams. Edinburgh: Canongate Books, 2007.
“Your dead want an answer and all you have is memory and the road. Perhaps there was a room somewhere within the Dragon — somewhere in the warren of passageways, staircases, kitchens, card rooms, and bedrooms — where he could hide, and no one could ever find him. An unvisited room, dusty and forgotten. A space concealed by the living house, surrounded, and perfectly safe. Of course such a room couldn’t be. That was your grave you were thinking of.“Steamer, three or four days up the river from Quebec.” “Three or four days!” The boy nodded. “They’ve so much land in America they don’t know what to do with it, they give it away. It’s not like Ireland at all.” The terrain was barren and brown, stripped of turf, trees, gorse, animals. No potato
plots. No patches of well-drained limestone ground. Nothing could be raised in such a slickness of mud. No mysteries. Everything had been scavenged from somewhere else. Water’s always moving, you can’t lie there. There’s no ending, down there. Perhaps for fish. A body wants the ground.”

Bird Rose, Deborah . Reports from a Wild Country: An Ethics for Decoloization. Sydney: UNSW Press, 2004.
“Life with others is inherently tangled in responsibility. Levinas thus claims the primacy of ethics as an inherent and inalienable aspect of the human condition. He teaches an ethic of human connectivity: ‘consciousness and even subjectivity follow from, are legitimated by, the ethical summons which proceeds from the intersubjective encounter. Subjectivity arrives, so to speak, in the form of a responsibility towards an other….’ […] this ethic of connection, of mutually implicated humans whose primary duty is to respond to the calls of others, particularly those who are vulnerable, does not demand a suppression or denial of one’s own self.”

Boyer, Anne. Garments against women. Ahsahta Press, 2015.

But you can see some other things, like what they say is a stage is the actual heaving everything of the human everyone. It requires no separate class of actors upon it.

You watch the form of men as they act with each other in ritualized opposition to create the illusion that the actors upon the stage are in fact the scene. They’ve been playing at the same struggle for a long time: to keep the struggle theatrical fixes power.

But there is another, real struggle: it’s not between actor and actor. It’s between the actors and the stage.

Braidotti, Rosi. “The Inhuman: Life beyond Death.” The Posthuman. Cambridge: Polity Press, 2013. 

The awareness of the absolute difference between intensive or incorporeal affects and the specific affected bodies that one happens to be is crucial to affirmative posthuman ethics. Death is the unsustainable, but it is also virtual in that it has the generative capacity to engender the actual. Consequently, death is but an obvious manifestation of principles that are active in every aspect of life, namely the impersonal power of potential. The posthuman subject rests on the affirmation of this kind of multiplicity and the relational connection with an ‘outside’ that is cosmic and infinite.

Butler, Octavia E. Dawn. New York: Warner Books Inc, 1987.
“We’ll give you hand tools, simple equipment, and food until you begin to make the things you need and grow your own crops. We’ve already armed you against the deadlier microorganisms. Beyond that, you’ll have to fend for yourselves- avoiding poisonous plants and animals and creating what you need.” “How can you teach us to survive on our own world? How can you know enough about it or about us?” “How can we not? We’ve helped your world restore itself. We’ve studied your bodies, your thinking, your literature, your historical records, your many cultures. . . . We know more of what you’re capable of than you do.”

Cudworth, Erika & Stephen Hobden. “Civilisation and the Domination of the Animal.” Millennium – Journal of International Studies 42 (3): 746–66.
“Changing table manners, such as the introduction of cutlery, were a product of the restraining of violence (transforming weapons such as knives into eating tools) and ‘expanding the threshold of repugnance’. The development of forks was a result of the increasing distaste for eating with hands. This was part of a wider development which eschewed dirt and the public presence of anything gory and bloody. Thus the killing of domesticated animals for food was undertaken in buildings and located in poorer parts of cities, and public executions were removed from public Spectacle.”

Merriman, Peter. “Human Geography without Time-Space.” Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers 37 (1): 13–27, 2012.
“…to rethink our geographical primitives: why not position movement, rhythm, force, energy or affect as primitives or registers that may be of equal importance when understanding the unfolding of events, and why approach space and time as privileged measures for conceptualising location, position and context? Anglophone understandings of space have both Latin ⁄ French and Germanic origins, with Francophone understandings of espace ⁄ spatium as open, infinite, liberated and free, having very different associations to the delimited, constrained, located and partitioned Germanic meanings of space as rum ⁄ raum ⁄ room.”

Williams, Raymond. Keywords – A vocabulary of Culture and Society – Revised Edition Oxford Univ. Press, 1983.

Nature comes from fw nature, oF and natura, L, from a root in the past participle of nasci, L — to be born (from which also derive nation, native, innate, etc). Its earliest sense, as in oF and L, was (i), the essential character and quality of something. Nature is thus one of several importante words, including culture, which began as descriptions of a quality or process, immediately defined by a specific reference, but later became independent nouns.The relevant L phrase for the developed meaning is natura rerum — the nature of things, which already in some L uses was shortened to natura — the constitution of the world.