Books and Articles


United States

American Indians and the Environment


The works of Derrick Jensen - A Language Older Than Words, The Culture of Make Believe, Endgame
Aldous Huxley's Island
Rappaport's Ecology, Meaning and Religion

Confronting Consumption
Right now I'm reading Storming the Gates of Paradise by Rebecca Solnit

Out-of-the-Way Stuff You Might Not Expect:

Fantasy, the Bomb, and the Greening of Britain, by Meredith Veldman.

It's been awhile since I stumbled across it, but as I recall, Veldman is a PhD student sitting on a train on her way to uni, reading EP Thompson for academic purposes and JRR Tolkien for a bit of relief, and thinking, "hmmm…hmmm;" I can see it, South Park style. Ding! She makes the connection. Lots of quibbles (not least because I think she forgets to mention Thompson's "A hobbit among Gandalfs," but when I read it I thought "Damn, why didn't I think of that?" In light of the recent explosion of the fantasy genre and all its green attendants onto the big screen, I think she was pretty prescient. Morris through Lewis and Tolkien and onto the anti-nuclear movement, it's a really good start. - Eliza Jane Darling

From The 5 Best Books List on the EAnth Listserv

Durham, William H. 1979. Scarcity and Survival in Central America:
Ecological Origins of the Football War. Stanford: Stanford University Press.

Fairhead and Leach, 1996 "Misreading the African Landscape"

Virginia Nazarea, 1999 Ethnoecology: situated knowledge/located lives

Gary Nabhan, 1997 Cultures of Habitat

John Bennett, The Ecological Transition: Cultural Anthropology and Human Adaptation

Tim Ingold, The Perception of the Environment

Ellen and Fukui, Redefining Nature edited

Emilio Moran, Through Amazonian Eyes: The Human Ecology of Amazonian Populations

Kay Milton, Loving Nature

John Bennett, The Ecological Transition: Cultural Anthropology and

John Bennett, Human Adaptation

Roy Rappaport, Pigs for the Ancestors

Emilio Moran, The Ecosystem Concept in Anthropology

Gregory Bateson, Steps to an Ecology of Mind

Nature and Society
Uneven Development
Do Glaciers Listen
Entangled Edens
Imagined Country
Uncommon Ground
Landscape and Memory
The culture of Nature
Picturing Tropical Nature
Senses of Place
People, Plants, and Justice
The Idea of Wilderness
Violent Environments
Green Imperialism
Liberation Ecologies
In Search of the Rain Forests
Reimagining Political Ecology
Black Rice

Tim Ingold, The perception of the environment: essays on livelihood, dwelling and skill (London : Routledge, 2000).

Richard Lee, The !Kung San: Men, Women and Work in a Foraging Society (1979), Cambridge and New York: Cambridge University Press.

E.E. Evans-Pritchard, The Nuer: A Description of the Modes of Livelihood and Political Institutions of a Nilotic People Oxford University Press 1940

Michael J. Watts, Silent Violence: Food, Famine and Peasantry in Northern Nigeria (Hardcover) by University of California Press 1983

Donald Worster, Rivers of Empire: Water, Aridity, and the Growth of the American West (Paperback) by, Oxford University Press 1992

Basso, Keith. 1996. Wisdom Sits in Places: Language and Landscape Among the Western Apache.

Crumley, Carole. 1994. Cultural Knowledge and Changing Landscapes.

Berkes, Fikret. 1999. Sacred Ecology: Traditional Ecological Knowledge and Resource Management

Stone, Glenn. 1996. Settlement Ecology: the Social and Spatial Organization of Kofyar Agriculture

Hugh Raffles' *In Amazonia: A Natural History*

Stephen Helmreich, *Alien Ocean: Anthropological Voyages in Microbial Seas*

Hugh Brody, Maps and Dreams

Tim Ingold, The Perceptions of the Environment

Kay Milton, Environmentalism and Culture Theory

Callum Robert,s The Unnatural History of the Sea

Julie Cruikshank, The Social Life of Stories

James Fox, Harvest of the Palm: Ecological Change in Eastern Indonesia (Harvard University Press, 1977)

Harold Conklin, Hanunóo Agriculture in the Philippines (FAO, 1957)

Rappaport, Roy A. 1967. Pigs for the Ancestors: Ritual in the Ecology of a New Guinea People. New Haven, Yale University Press.
For its magnificent Maring ethnography, daunting standards of technical environmental field research, and scintillating ideas…..

Clarke, William C. 1971. Place and People: an ecology of a New Guinea community. Canberra, Australian National University Press.
Again, fabulous Maring ethnography, groundbreaking description and analysis of subsistence in the Simbai Valley, and prose to die for…

Majnep, Ian S. and Bulmer, Ralph. 1977. Birds of My Kalam Country. Auckland, Auckland University Press.
Deep ornithological and ecological knowledge filtered through the minds and pens of two extraordinary natural historians- a unique anthropological partnership producing a true classic that will delight as long as birds beguile us, and other cultures fascinate….

Ohtsuka, Ryutaro. 1983. Oriomo Papuans: Ecology of Sago-Eaters in Lowland Papua. Tokyo, University of Tokyo Press.
One of the first, and most detailed, accounts of hunting and sago gathering in the southern lowlands - pathbreaking quantification of spatio-temporal patterns of human activity….

Dwyer, Peter D. 1990. The Pigs that Ate the Garden: A Human Ecology from Papua New Guinea. Ann Arbor, University of Michigan Press.
After his first New Guinea encounters as a field zoologist, Dwyer has produced a true goldmine of environmental anthropological writing based on three longterm study areas - this great (but neglected) monograph on the Etoro (of Raymond Kelly fame) showcases all his qualities - superlative data on hunting, sustained argument, and supple prose…

E. E. Evans-Pritchard, THE NUER (first ethnography to explicitly call itself a study of "ecology")

A. L. Kroeber, CULTURAL AND NATURAL AREAS OF NATIVE NORTH AMERICA (revived interest in the environment in US anthro)

Julian Steward, THEORY OF CULTURE CHANGE (for better or worse, gave us cultural ecology)

Raymond Firth, his entire oeuvre—surely the overwhelmingly most impressive body of work in environmental anthro, if not in all anthro; 5000+ pages of theoretically quite sophisticated material

Audrey Richards, HUNGER AND WORK IN A SAVAGE TRIBE (not a very PC title by modern standards, but she pretty much invented nutritional anthro AND applied anthro)



Roy Rappaport, PIGS FOR THE ANCESTORS, 2nd edn, 1984 (note his very long, interesting afterword updating it)

Steve Feld, SOUND AND SENTIMENT (mostly about music and emotion, but lots on the environment and uses ethnoscientific methodology; this is my very favorite recent ethnography)




Marc Bloch, Fernand Braudel




Knut Rasmussen REPORTS OF THE FIFTH THULE EXPEDITION: Buried in its vast, obscure tomes are incredible first-person accounts by Inuit, collected by the Greenlander (essentially, Inuit) ethnographer.

Russell Bernard and Jesus Salinas NATIVE ETHNOGRAPHY

Pedraza Diamond Jenness, THE FAITH OF A COAST SALISH INDIAN (texts from Old Pierre, Halkomelem) Barbeau, Marius, and William Beynon (collectors);

John Cove and George MacDonald (eds.). 1987 (re-editing of material collected and originally published in the early 20th century). TSIMSHIAN NARRATIVES. Canada, Museum of Civilization, Mercury Series, #3. William Beynon (Tsimshian) collected these amazing stories around 1900.

Endre Nyerges' "Orthodoxy and revision in West African Guinea savanna ecology" (pp. 81-98, in Against the Grain, AltaMira Press, 2008).

McCay and Acheson's The Question of the Commons (1987)

David Griffith, "The Estuary's Gift: An Atlantic Coast Cultural Biography" (1999, PSU Press).

Roberto Gonzalez, "Zapotec Science: Farming and Food in the Northern Sierra of Oaxaca"

Hal Conklin, Ethnographic Atlas of Ifugao

The Estuary's Gift

Eugene Hunn, Nch'I-Wana the Big River: The Mid-Columbia Indians and their Land

Richard White, The Organic Machine, a wonderful book about the Columbia River and

William Cronin, Nature's Metropolis (about the development of Chicago over time and its effects on the environment).

Gene Hunn, N'CHI-WANA

Roberto Gonzalez, ZAPOTEC SCIENCE



Ben Orlove, Lines in the Water: Nature and Culture at Lake Titicaca

Piers Vitebsky, The Reindeer People: Living with Animals and Spirits in Siberia

Johannes, R.E.B. 1981. Words of the Lagoon: Fishing and Marine Lore in the Palau District of Micronesia. Berkeley, University of California Press.

Geertz, Clifford 1963. Agricultural Involution: The Processes of Ecological Change in Indonesia. Berkeley and Los Angeles, University of California Press.

Brunois, Florence 2008. Le jardin du Casoar, la forêt des Kasua: epistemologie des savoir-être et savoir-faire écologiques (Papouasie-Nouvelle-Guinée). Paris, Éditions de la Maison des sciences de l'homme.

Sillitoe, Paul 2003. Managing Animals in New Guinea: Preying the Game in the Highlands.New York, Routledge (Studies in Environmental Anthropology)

Whitehead, Harriet 2000. Food Rules: Hunting, Sharing, and Tabooing Game in Papua New Guinea. Ann Arbor, University of Michigan Press.

Paige West, Conservation is Our Government Now

Deborah Barandt, Tangled Routes: Women, Work and Globalization on the Tomato Trail. What I especially like about this book (and I am adopting it as a text in one of my classes) is her collaborative approach, which brings together scholars, activists, workers and student researchers - its highly "readable" and explores important topics from the perspective of the food industry - specifically tomatoes.

Collier, George 1976 Fields of the Tzotzil. Austin: University of Texas Press.

Sheridan, Thomas 1988 Where the Dove Calls: The Political Ecology of a Peasant Community in Northwestern Mexico. Tucson: University of Arizona-Press.

Barlett, Peggy 1982 Agricultural Choice and Change. New Brunswick, NJ:¬Rutgers University Press.

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