Ethnogeomorphology

Deirdre Wilcock*, Gary Brierley, Richard Howitt

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

65 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Geomorphology offers an effective entry point into wider debates across geography and the sciences, framing understandings of landscapes as manifestations of complex and emergent relationships that can be used as a platform to support conversations among multiple and diverse worldviews. Physical geographers have much to contribute in moving beyond monological (one only) views of landscapes. This paper draws upon concepts of emergence, connectivity and space-time relationality to develop an 'ethnogeomorphic' outlook upon biophysical-and-cultural ('living') landscapes. This perspective is grounded through ethnographic case studies with Indigenous1 communities in Australia and Canada that examine knowledge production and concerns for environmental negotiation and decision-making. Extending beyond a traditional approach to ethnosciences, ethnogeomorphology seeks to move beyond cross-disciplinary scientific disciplines (and their associated epistemologies) towards a shared (if contested) platform of knowledge transfer and communication that reflects multiple ways of connecting to landscapes. Convergent perspectives upon landscape understandings are highlighted from Indigenous knowledges and emerging, relational approaches to geomorphic analysis. Ethnogeomorphology presents a situated, non-relativist response to people-landscape connections that reflects and advocates sentient relationships to place. Potential applications of ethnogeomorphology as an integrating theme of geographic inquiry are explored, highlighting important tensions in the knowledge production process.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)573-600
Number of pages28
JournalProgress in Physical Geography
Volume37
Issue number5
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2013

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