Book Focus: A State of Change

I just received this gorgeous, gorgeous book in the mail, generously loaned to me by one of my students:


This is the result of 20 years of work by Laura Cunningham as a naturalist and artist. Any my early read is that it’s very, very good. So I’d like to try something on the blog over the next few months. Each week, I’ll look at one chapter of A State of Change and write about it from a Renewing the Commons point of view. I’ll start with chapter 1, “The Golden Bear,” in the coming week.

One big element I want to explore is, what can we learn for current-day land use from a deeper understanding of the landscapes of the past? Another is, what can the (relatively well-explored) land history of California point to about other regions in North America, where the pre-colonial landscapes are further in the past or not as well understood?

Hopefully this will be fun and meaningful. Post a comment if you have any additional ideas!

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2 Responses to Book Focus: A State of Change

  1. One overlooked text to check out is Ursula LeGuin’s “Always Coming Home”- sort of a future factional ethnography novel of a California in some distant time, where communities have re-localized and rooted culture, ceremony, story, and subsistence back to places. A very interesting read.

  2. Pingback: “The Golden Bear”: Wilderness and Keystone Species | Renewing the Commons

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