Treating nature as 'fellow citizen'

November 4, 2010

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SFU humanities professor Stephen Duguid’s new book, Nature in Modernity: Servant, Citizen, Queen or Comrade (Peter Lang Pub, 2010), explores the origins and implications of the mastery of nature agenda within Western culture. He argues there is a long-standing parallel shadow tradition grounded instead in mutuality, respect and reciprocity. Duguid explores our hunter-gatherer heritage, the shift to a more sedentary and agricultural life and the subsequent emergence of mastery of self and nature to make the case that our current ecological crisis is rooted in this tradition of mastery. He also explores a counter tradition, identifying a range of cultural tools grounded in alternative traditions that can be used to create a culture of care, mutuality and reciprocity to welcome nature in all its complexity as a “fellow citizen.”


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