Thank you also to Ron Benner and Debra Sparrow for sharing your love of art, plants, and learning. And thank you to Elizabeth, whom I can no longer fully thank, for inviting me into your writing group with Fish, Mali, Jay, Amy, and Alana. Also, thank you to the Teacher x Education Office for offering space for the indoor installation, as well as Lena Schrieb for designing the poster. Thank you to Ofira, Ido, Mike, Nora, Andrew, Erika…and all our children…and the entire community at Acadia Park for making life rich, for building webs of friendship, food, and song strong enough to sustain us all.
On that note —Save Acadia Park! In such a privatized world, the teaching methods required to sustain it are specific and unchanging. We could go our separate ways and rest peacefully in the dappled shade of the apple trees. Perhaps I would pick up a hoe and begin to weed, while you would learn the names of the plants and animals in the garden, and, after a while, we would meet again to harvest fresh vegetables and flowers for a communal meal, and share the space with a lively class of students.
How was our coming together made possible within the history, aesthetics, design, materials, and discourses of gardens? As educators, how do these frames shape our practices of knowing and teaching so that we may engage ethically with things that matter? Going down these garden paths, however, will not be easy. Amidst the beauty and vitality of life, we will also twist and turn along the journey into places of solitude, death, decay, and failure Halberstam, However, gardens are never one thing, and their meaning, historically and today, is constantly shifting.
Moreover, inasmuch as many of these gardens are intended to escape the confines of the indoor classroom, 2 they are frequently rigidly arranged in neat, orderly rows, very much like the gridded landscape of the indoor classroom see Figure 1. Herrington, , Landscape Journal, 20 1 , pp. These parallels between indoor and outdoor education go beyond the design of learning spaces and include complicated historical discourses separating nature and culture and perpetuating social injustices.
Responding to the complicated legacies of school gardening requires going down the garden path again and again in order to understand the particular times and places, materials, and discourses that bring school gardens into being and contribute to their 3 growth or demise. This notion of garden paths, and the uncertain relationship between knowledge and reality that is at play in gardens, is a generative and difficult space for academic inquiry. As such, these sentences challenge habitual interpretations of language. Time, place, language, discourse, and materiality Barad, will figure centrally in going down these school garden paths again and again.
To begin with, understanding the etymology of the word garden is helpful, since the English word for garden is related to the word for enclosure. According to Wikipedia, The etymology of the word gardening refers to enclosure: See Grad Slavic settlement for more complete etymology. The words yard, court, and Latin hortus meaning "garden," hence horticulture and orchard , are cognates—all referring to an enclosed space.
Garden, With its linguistic origins in English, French, and German, this etymology of the word garden does not offer a universal definition of gardens and what gardening means in diverse places and times. However, considering that garden-based education remains a highly Eurocentric pedagogical practice and discourse and my own positionality within this European lineage , I have found myself returning again and again to this etymology as a provocation to think carefully and ethically about gardens.
In particular, this notion of enclosure unsettles more day-to-day references to gardens and outdoor classrooms as utopic places to escape the confines of indoor educational experience. A garden, as Hunt defines it, is a bounded space that makes reference to the world beyond its boundaries.
Places of this kind are outside of all places, even though it may be possible to indicate their location in reality. School gardens become heterotopias par excellence, since their existence is frequently due to utopic desires, although the many contradictory discourses and materials entangled in the real sites of these gardens suggest that they enact more than they can contain. The frame never quite determined precisely what it is we see, think, recognize, and apprehend. Something exceeds the frame that troubles our sense of reality.
In this dissertation, what I term a pedagogy of enclosures becomes the rather unexpected framework for troubling, understanding, and re-imagining personal and collective human and more-than-human entanglements in educational gardens and teaching relationships more generally. Methodologically, site-specific installation art Bishop, , ; Bourriaud, ; Kester, opens up conditions for arts-based research within and beside the frames of school gardens and what comes together when entering into these heterotopias, these liminal, indeterminate times and spaces of teaching and learning.
These chapters can be read and engaged with in various ways, hence at the conclusion of the introduction I provide some potential navigational options on how you might like to go down these garden paths. These are places where I have been a visitor Chambers, , where I have invited student teachers onto this emergent research journey, and where I experimented with the majority of the practices and questions that follow in this dissertation.
The place of this research is much more, therefore, than The Orchard Garden, a teaching and learning garden on the campus of the UBC. Each place has a history, often a contested history, of the people who inhabited it in past times. Each place has an aesthetics, offers a sensory environment of sound, movement and image that is open to multiple interpretations. And each inhabited place has a spatial configuration through which power and other socio-politico-cultural mechanisms are at play. The Orchard Garden began in as a student-led food production garden for the Faculty of Land and Food Systems, and became a partnership project in with the Faculties of Education and the School of Architecture and Landscape Architecture.
Led by a student team of undergraduate and graduate students in Education and Land and Food Systems, over 1, education students student teachers and graduate students attended classes in the 6 garden between and While each visit was unique, over the years of educational programming a storyline weaving place, history, memory, geography, and politics emerged that became part of the teaching philosophy at the garden.
The following brief narrative invites you down the garden paths at The Orchard Garden, where I worked, volunteered, researched, and gardened for 5 years as its education coordinator. A group of student teachers gathers together in a loose circle beneath the old apple tree see Figure 2 , surrounded by rows upon rows of dishevelled vegetable garden beds and wild jumbles of poppies, yarrow, and other flowers. The air hums with bees—honeybees from our three hives and hundreds of other unnameable local species.
Swallows swoop above us. A sparrow sings on the top branch of the old tree. When UBC was founded, it was an agricultural university, and fields covered most of the campus. At one time, an orchard spanned from here, behind Land and Food Systems, to the Faculty of Education. This tree, and a few others back there in the parking lot, are all that remain from the orchard. The portables were torn down between and During the summer we have a CSA—which stands for Community Supported Agriculture—where people come by every week to pick up bags of produce which they purchased before the growing season started.
However, this agricultural history is only one part of the story. We are privileged to garden as visitors on this land…. Are we really visitors or guests on this land, as many state in their 8 acknowledgments of colonial history? I return to my woefully inadequate, linear historical narrative of land and soil as I know to tell it. While gardening may seem like a way to connect with the here and now, I invite you to consider the history of the land and its people wherever you garden or wherever your school may have a garden.
The students are nodding respectfully, although it is unlikely that these words are unsettling their understandings of the relationships between education, land, and people. A few hands are raised. There will be a series of high-rises here, up to 18 storeys, to house international students as part of a very expensive college program to fully qualify them to study at UBC.
But this is so beautiful and important! This garden is more 9 than a teachable moment, a pedagogical tool for learning. This little marginal space has made certain assemblages of things, emotions, ideas, knowledge, and relationships possible that simply did not exist before. These are not objects that can be possessed or preserved, yet they matter deeply. The installation began with Threads sown, when I planted a classroom-sized rectangular plot at the garden into a classroom-shaped Figure 3 - Flax desks blooming at The Orchard Garden, Threads sown, grid of flax desks.
Around the desks I planted a wall of 10 grains, and, with the exception of an open door at the back of the classroom, the entire space was enclosed by a simple cedar frame see Figure 3. In August, for Threads grown, I hung four wooden window frames in the installation space that depicted black and white photographs of the difficult history of school gardening printed onto white canvas.
Images of school gardens from residential schools and during Nazi Germany were particularly unsettling, juxtaposed with the vitality of the late-summer garden.follow site
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On August 2, , I hosted my first research event at the garden with a class of student teachers and their instructor, Jeannie Kerr. From November 13—30, , the installation series moved into a public space in the basement of the teacher education building at UBC, with an official opening on November For three weeks, I sat in the basement at a round table and spun flax to linen thread with a wooden drop spindle. On November 20, , I held my second research event with Jeannie Kerr and another group of student teachers, this time for a class focusing on Indigenous education.
As part of the workshop, we invited Debra Sparrow, a Musqueam First Nations weaver and artist, to speak with the students about art, education, and relationships with the land. Through this intense collaboration that included co-presenting at educational conferences , it became clear to Jeannie that retaining her anonymity in my research was unnecessary Jeannie also refers to me by name in her own dissertation, see Kerr, Each event followed a different structure, although they were all at least 3 hours long and included hands-on activities, time for students to write reflections in their Field Notes a three-page notebook , and whole-class conversation.
I describe them as events rather than workshops to recognize that while the moments with the student teachers in the installation were a fleeting few hours, the outcomes for this research—and the research participants—extended beyond and prior to these ephemeral encounters and our narrations thereof. The students were workshop participants interested in garden-based education, and this was our sixth workshop with the group. Jeannie Kerr participated once again, not as an instructor this time, but drawn into the research project as a collaborator, friend, and doctoral student colleague.
For Threads given, we collaboratively spun beautiful linen memory webs throughout the wooden frame of the installation. In the webs we knotted bundles of canvas cut from the windows depicting the history of school gardens, now written over with our personal garden memories and reflections. Later that spring, I planted a ring of fireweed rhizomes at the centre of the classroom, wondering as I did so if these linen webs and fireweed plants would ever become gifts of regeneration to the land, to cultivate and sustain relationships of responsibility to all others Kuokkanen, Throughout the remainder of that second summer, I tended the gift giving installation, adding flax straw mats and soft flax tow to the circular mound of fireweed.
Bound by a promise to the team of student gardeners, I struggled with my obligation to remove the fluffy seeds from the flowering fireweed, since the student gardeners had only reluctantly accepted my plan to plant weeds in the food gardens at The Orchard Garden on this particular condition. I, however, longed for the fireweed seeds to fill the air and ground. By the summer of , we knew that this would be our last season at the garden since construction for a new college for international students at UBC—Vantage College at the Orchard Commons University of British Columbia Vantage College, n.
Digging beneath the wild profusion, however, I could still find flax mats and memory bundles, and one frail, silvery strand of linen spider web remained suspended in the air, spanning the doorway of the classroom. It was at this time that I left Vancouver to write the final chapters of this dissertation from Owen Sound, my childhood hometown in Ontario. I was gone by the time the bulldozers and diggers arrived to 12 destroy the installation that I had documented in nearly photographs in a time-lapse series from April August see Ostertag, Originally, when I began studying posthumanist, material feminist, actor-network theories, and Indigenous scholars, I imagined that school gardens may create possibilities for reconfiguring what and who is a teacher.
My hope was that teaching with gardens might lead to a distributed and relational sense of the teacher, one that includes the more-than-human and breaks free from the confines of the rational, autonomous teacher enclosed within the four-walled classroom that continues to shape teacher identities and pedagogical relationships and spaces.
Could I truly imagine gardens-as-teachers, as I theoretically longed to and occasionally sensed was possible, and still respond to and somehow reconcile this difficult history? It is this internal tension—between longing for human and more-than-human togetherness in how we become teachers juxtaposed with a profound sense of unease regarding school gardening history, discourses, and practices—that made the methodological and theoretical contributions of arts-based research particularly salient and compelling.
The first research question of this dissertation was as follows: Nevertheless, the endless openness to learning and new relationships that becoming teachers necessitates certainly draws on the experiences of becoming students and relationships with students. While many doctoral students in my program graduate and become teacher educators, during my doctoral education fellow graduate students, professors, and I rarely, if ever, openly, theoretically, or practically explored our teaching practices for teacher education see Kosnik et al.
Finally, while this is a study in teacher education, it is not an analysis of a teacher education program. Rather, working with the garden, the student teachers, Jeannie Kerr in her capacity as teacher educator, and with a student team of gardeners and educators at The Orchard Garden created spaces and encounters at the margins of the formal teacher education program and the academy to play with, challenge, and confront the possibilities and impossibilities of becoming teachers together.
These considerations led to a second research question: More specifically, what conditions for researching and engaging ethically with teacher becomings are made possible through site-specific installation art practices and theory, particularly in the context of school gardening? For instance, as an advocate for school-gardening initiatives and being cognizant of how most school gardening projects are highly marginalized, underfunded, and tenuous, I was aware 15 of the risks involved in a rigorous critique of school gardening projects including our own Orchard Garden when the existence of these gardens is threatened on a daily basis.
Arts-based research approaches offered me possibilities for engaging critically, ethically, and generatively with the challenging aspects of school gardening rather than assuming a destructive and distanced position of moralistic criticism. Furthermore, just as photographs and the processes of photography bring forward the significance of frames and framing Butler, , arts-based research practices brought to my attention the importance of enclosures in researching and teaching with gardens.
For instance, attending to and tending to the gridded flax classroom—as aesthetically beautiful, as compulsively inescapable, as devastating failure when wind and rain wreaked havoc on the straight lines—were gifts that arts-based research made possible. Instead of going beyond the Anthropocene, the corporate university, colonial legacies, instances of solitude, loneliness, and profound failure during the research, I recognized that lingering beside Sedgwick, these grids, lines, and frames was more generative than attempting to escape them into a utopic dream of human and nonhuman togetherness: This pedagogy of enclosures becomes a way of ethically attending to and creatively engaging with the boundary-making practices that are always present when things, discourses, plants, animals, and people come together, particularly in pedagogical encounters.
However, in attending to pedagogies of enclosures more generally particularly, though not exclusively, settler colonial boundary-making practices through a humble stance of loving criticality Rogoff, , I hope to compel educators to creatively and ethically attend to boundary-making practices in education, in gardening, and in research itself. I begin with the theoretical frameworks and then turn to methodological considerations; however, in this process-oriented work of conceptualizing, planting, reflecting on, teaching within, and responding to the installation series, theory did not proceed the creative process of arts-based research undertaken in this study.
In this dissertation, theories and methodologies grew together. One day, a young boy visiting the museum asked me about the First Nations people living in the tipis outside the fort walls. Before delving into the significant contributions these theories have brought to this work, however, I would like to acknowledge two related limitations.
Separating nature and culture as I admittedly do in this dissertation , however, is not a universal split recognized by all cultures and, likely, all species. Rather than overcoming these incommensurabilities or potentially misappropriating diverse Indigenous knowledge practices, my work as a white Anglophone Eurocentric academic is to linger beside Sedgwick, these differences and begin the humble act of explaining myself. Imagine how you as writers from the dominant society might turn over some of the rocks in your own garden for examination.
Imagine … courageously questioning and examining the values that allow the de-humanizing of peoples through domination. This methodological stance, Denzin continued, questions objectivity and neutrality, acknowledges the moral and political nature of research, can be autoethnographic, participatory, and collaborative, and, it can also be humble. This humility is necessary, since otherwise nonindigenous scholars risk recentring white, settler narratives see Guthman, , rather than sharing knowledge-making practices that acknowledge, receive, and reciprocate the gifts of Indigenous scholars.
Through a decolonizing feminist materialist framework, it is my hope that garden-based education and research can offer new settlements for the practices and scholarship loosely assembled under the headings of material feminisms, posthumanism, and feminist science studies, as well as educators and researchers working in school gardens, place-based education, and environmental education more generally.
While there are no perfect solutions to these ethical binds, material feminist, posthumanist, and Indigenous scholarship—combined with arts-based research and contemporary installation art theory which I address in the following section —offer unique theoretical and methodological positions and practices that can contribute to reconfiguring the relationship between gardens, land, and education. For instance, gardens were unique material and discursive spaces for this research since they are an example of naturecultures Haraway, that defy clear boundaries between nature and culture, yet, simultaneously, the act of gardening creates the very enclosures that, one could argue, separate domesticated land from wilderness.
This definition illustrates how gardens figure as human and nonhuman assemblages, and how becoming teachers together with gardens offers the possibility for growing complex socio-political collectives. She described her stance as onto-epistemological, since it recognizes that practices of knowledge cannot be claimed as purely human, as they are always implicated with being in the world. Helpful for my thinking around gardens and a pedagogy of enclosures, Barad is very 21 sensitive to boundary-making practices and what is at stake when certain discourses or matters are claimed to exist within or outside of human knowledge: In the case of the geometry of absolute exteriority, the claim that cultural practices produce material bodies starts with the metaphysical presumption of the ontological distinction of the former set from the latter.
The inscription model of constructivism is of this kind: Inasmuch as material feminist scholars attempt to bring together materials and discourses in this emerging theoretical conversation, this is very dangerous territory. Via the powerful and productive contributions of postmodernist and postructuralist emphasis on discourse and socially constructed realities, feminism has examined the interconnections of power, knowledge, subjectivity, and language.
My own rather confusing experiences with this onto-epistemological stance suggest that phenomenology and constructivism are mutually exclusive yet equally necessary commitments in material feminist research. A material discursive theoretical stance, therefore, does not collapse two modes of knowing into one perfect, God-like view of the world. Instead, material and discursive performances of knowledge recognize the limitations of the very frameworks by which we attempt to know the world. This materiality of knowledge practices is central to material feminist and posthumanist theorizing.
Finally, Alaimo and Hekman suggested, Material ethics allows us to shift the focus from ethical principles to ethical practices. Practices are, by nature, embodied, situated actions. Ethical actions, which unfold in time and take place in particular contexts, invite the recognition of and response to expected as well as unexpected material phenomena. By focusing on a critical history of German and Canadian school gardening as well as my personal implications in this history and in the ongoing material and discursive performances of enclosure in teaching and 23 gardening practices, I hope to engage in ethical and decolonizing material feminist research practices.
In a small and humble way, I have also attempted to decolonize these frames while imagining new possibilities for teaching and living together generatively with land. Methodologically, these shifts to include materiality and the nonhuman as active co-constituents in the research process have created spaces for new research practices that challenge the centrality of human language in qualitative research.
As Haraway said, Facing the harvest of Darwinism, we do not need an endless discourse on who speaks for animals, or for nature in general. We have had enough of the language games of fatherhood. We need other terms of conversation with animals, a much less respectable undertaking. The point is not new representations, but new practices, other forms of life rejoining humans and non-humans. Cultural geographers Whatmore and Hinchliffe, Kearnes, Degen, and Whatmore experimented with the urgent need to supplement the familiar repertoire of humanist methods that rely on generating talk and text with experimental practices that amplify other sensory, bodily and affective registers and extend the company and modality of what constitutes a research subject.
These emerging methodological practices have significant implications for garden-based education researchers, since they open up spaces and interpretative modes for a multitude on nonhuman beings to participate in the research process. In particular, in this dissertation site-specific installation art practices and theory provided theory 24 and research practices to engage critically, creatively, and generatively with gardens. To bring the arts-based research process to life on the written page, I turn to life writing Hasebe-Ludt et al.
Siting my research within this Department and University not only enabled me to build the partnerships required to teach student teachers in The Orchard Garden, but it also fostered the unique conditions required to enable such experimental, arts-based research in the first place. Through the arts-based research scholarship circulating in the academic community where I was a doctoral student, I was supported in imagining other ways of researching in which I could include materiality and the nonhuman in creative, risky research methodologies.
While it is difficult to capture the depth and breadth of arts-based research, what has been vital for me in this research is the sense that these research practices are a form of critical research that is neither negative or utopic. From the classroom grid of flax plants to the threatening presence of fireweed spreading beyond its enclosure, thinking artistically within a garden with student teachers and particular plants has truly brought energy and academic vigour rather than rigour! The rigid data collection regimes, coding practices, and writing styles of many qualitative and quantitative research methodologies certainly have their place in constructing human knowledge and shaping material relations with the world; however, these do not encompass the totality of human material and discursive practices of knowing and being in the world.
As such, good arts-based research offers the possibility for asking new questions and experiencing—even creating—the world differently. Determining what makes good arts-based research, however, is a complex undertaking. In order to address this concern, I have drawn on the work and ideas of a number of artists: Each artist has, in his or her own way, informed my ways of imagining gardens, education, and research itself differently. It all began with a chance encounter.
Fortunately, when I put in the search words, a book came up with the most intriguing title: Gardens of a Colonial Present Benner, The themes that Benner explored of plant-people relationships, migration, colonialism, empires, capitalism, enclosures Indigenous peoples in prisons and reserves, knowledge, and plants , and ecology are all central concerns in my own work. While I have never met Ron Benner in person our interview was by telephone on May 15, , I did have the pleasure of meeting Sharon Kallis, the second artist who played a pivotal role in this research.
Notwithstanding the close engagement with Sharon Kallis and learning from the work of Benner, Belmore, and Haacke, I nevertheless recognize that a limitation to this research has been the lack of extensive collaboration with professional artists. As a result, I have attempted to cautiously and humbly create what I understand more as artistic encounters rather than labelling myself as an artist or creating artworks.
Attending to these encounters has generated powerful and enriching situations that have propelled this research project. While the material things, nonhuman creatures, and places in this site-specific arts-based research installation series are of utter importance to the knowledge and situations created, it is in the spirit of these relational encounters—between humans and within the more-than-human—that art-making becomes research and a way of being differently in the world. Artists who engage in site-specific art and performances do so because they are deeply intrigued by the processes of creating temporally and spatially responsive situations in which site, artist, and spectator co-create meaning and new relationships emerge in an encounter that cannot be replicated or commodified.
Since site-specific installation art emerged in the s and s as an alternative to and critique of institutionalized and commodified art, many installations are ephemeral and only exist for a particular moment in time, in a particular place. On the one hand, this insistence on site and context in installation art suggests that there is no rational, autonomous knowing subject. Caught in this double bind, Bishop suggested, What installation art offers, then, is an experience of centring and decentring. Instead, in The One and the Many, Kester offered examples of radical plurality and collaboration in contemporary collaborative art practices.
These lively scholarly conversations are provocative and were important for this particular research project that explored how things—human and nonhuman, material and discursive—come together in pedagogical relationships. Exploring the boundaries of these relationships and what comes in and what is left outside the enclosures of the garden, the classroom, and this research has been an enriching research methodology with which to think, teach, and garden differently. One of the challenges of arts-based research, particularly site-specific installation art and its inherent specificity to experiences and relationships that emerge in a time and place, is that the meaning of these experiences can never be represented in a written text such as this dissertation.
What are the traces that remain? How are these events retrieved, recorded, and reassembled? In addition to the images, autobiographic narratives, chronologies, diagrams, scripts, material lists, forensic site reports, and so on that can be used to construct a second-order performance, Kaye signalled the significance of the body at the centre of documentation p. Documentation and representation, therefore, are not antithetical to site-specificity but are necessary in order to constantly destabilize and re-draw the lines between experience and interpretation.
It is, by comparing, juxtaposing, translating, narrating, repositioning—that is by assembling—that we create and think. As such, a methodology of life writing is consistent with my interest in the practice turn, as well as the materiality, physicality, technology, temporality, and location that are entangled within the written words that appear on the page. Furthermore, the threads of this dissertation—about a garden, student teachers, and my personal stories of becoming teachers together—are of very disparate things coming together, and not always comfortably.
As Hasebe-Ludt et al. My use of figurative language in this dissertation, particularly metaphor, has been one attempt at not collapsing either materials or discourses into one another, even in textual writing practices. Metaphors conventionally draw on material reality to express abstract ideas, in which an object or concept is carried over meta: In this dissertation, the threads are many things and ideas that have been useful for me in thinking and enacting teaching relationships differently. The challenge, however, is not to use metaphors complacently but to continuously keep them open to negotiation.
As Law wrote, social scientists need to keep the metaphors of reality-making open, rather than allowing a small subset of them to naturalize themselves and die in a closed, singular, and passive version of out-thereness…thinking, instead, in terms of degrees of enacted reality, or more reals and less reals.
That we seek practices which might re-work imaginaries. That we work allegorically. Pierre , as cited in St. This is one reason why, in an effort to unsettle my use of particular metaphors, I have turned the installation 33 series inside out and written the dissertation in reverse order to the actual chronology. Furthermore, as it becomes clear in each thematic chapter, metaphoric threads have been unruly figures to work with, and plant-based metaphors in particular have acquired a neo-literal vitality Braidotti, For instance, growing flax, processing linen, learning to use a drop spindle, and encountering fireweed have brought metaphors, particularly the metaphor of the thread, to life in unexpected ways, so that the complacent, coherent, and worn-out comparisons of threads to memories, stories, inter-connections, knots, entanglements, and journeys were revitalized and contributed dramatically to the research process.
In their work on life writing, Hasebe-Ludt et al described collaboration as being a key part of autobiographical work. In addition to plant-person collaborations, my work with Jeannie Kerr begins to hint at what collaborative doctoral research could become. Jeannie contacted me in , interested in bringing her Philosophy of Education class to the garden for a visit.
The resilience doctrine rationalizes that disaster is inherent in everything, and that the most people can hope for is to get better at bouncing back. At heart this attitude has little to promise for the future. This discourse has been thoroughly critiqued, and we join that critique.
But the resilience doctrine is really the stuff of global neoliberal governance, of UN conferences and development cooperation regimes. The election happened in the middle of this conversation with you, Chellis, and we felt it like an earthquake. Or maybe it was more like a forest fire; the fuel had been building up for many years. Up until Election Day, we thought our biggest worries were well-intentioned international initiatives that would actually make life worse or be band-aids on the catastrophes of climate change. We were concerned about an abundance of optimism that says climatic disaster can be endured if our economies just keep growing.
Now it feels like we were the ones in denial! Those angry Americans had no regard for the consequences to be suffered by vulnerable people and communities here or elsewhere. The rest of the world has pledged to carry the Paris climate agreement forward without the US, but even if they do fulfill their emissions commitments, under the agreement those commitments would still allow warming of 2.
Besides, the scholarship on possible links between disasters and political change is tentative about shocks causing positive change. If we can draw a conclusion from our research, it is this: Until there is deep political and economic transformation to roll back climate change, communities like the ones we wrote about will keep paying the price. Likewise with emissions reduction. Now, in this toxic political atmosphere, many on our side will stop discussing that necessity and seek small compromises instead.
That, and a lot of rebellious political activity, will have to do for now. This article was first posted on Alternet. How the world breaks: The rise of loneliness worldwide, the centrality of real estate speculation for global economic growth, and the breakdown of many large-scale factories that helped to bring workers together mean that we have to rethink the ways we demand change.
We can build community and force elites to listen to our demands at the same time. Radical municipalism is a project to take direct democratic control over the places where we live. When we talk to people about this strategy, the same kinds of questions often come up. In this article, we highlight three common criticisms. Any call for a long-term vision for social change begs the response: Impending climate disruption is a ticking time-bomb.
Every year we delay will make the future worse. And as a global phenomenon, it takes immediate global action. For many, the problem of climate change can only be addressed with big stuff: This kind of response is understandable, but puts the cart before the horse.
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Without a coherent counter-power to corporate control over government, we have no chance of forcing policy into accordance with the public good. A systemic restructuring the economy is necessary to stop the ecological crisis. What is clear is that those in power—the CEOs, the shareholders, the bankers, and the politicians that implement their laws—would suffer greatly from necessary action on climate change.
Government debts would need to be cancelled, the most powerful industries would need to be phased out. Production would need to be reordered along democratic lines, putting people and planet before profit. This kind of people power needs to be organized neighborhood by neighborhood, workplace by workplace. Every step we take towards dual power and democracy from below puts us in a better position to force the hands of government. The fight for the right to the city is the fight for climate justice.
Making the center of the city accessible for everyone to live in and building social and cooperative housing reduces carbon impact. Urban social issues like transit justice are key components of moving beyond fossil fuels. They organize people power and show how things could be done otherwise.
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In other words, radical municipalism is the best investment against climate change: Often, these same people argue that, to break out of this pattern, we need to engage with the big players. So they form think tanks, lobby groups, NGOs, and new media platforms, showing up to climate negotiations year after year and putting pressure on politicians through endless petitions. For them, the most important agents of change are well-worded policy briefs, expensive conferences, powerpoint presentations, and page reports.
This kind of critique often forgets the fact that all successful international movements of the past were also intensely local. It was only by broadening their reach to every aspect of life that unions were able to become indispensable to working class communities. This made it possible for them to organise effective strikes and, eventually, mount a significant challenge to their bosses and the state. Keep in mind that capitalism works at scale. Stop one development in your neighbourhood, and investors just move their money elsewhere. So, in that sense, we agree that local action, on its own, will always fail.
This is why, for radical municipalism to be successful, it requires collaboration at higher level. In the short term, these kinds of movements are already proving to be a challenge to big corporations.
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In Barcelona, the city is turning AirBnB apartments into social housing. Only local, democratic, and people-based movements can force politicians to bring transnational corporations to task. In the long term, a system of dual power would transform into what we call communalism or democratic confederalism: On the local level, the neighbourhood assembly makes the decisions and decides the course of action. On a bigger level, these organisations band together in what is called a confederation: This body would allow communes to exchange resources, support each other, and make democratic decisions.
Without this kind of networking, collaboration, and interdependence across borders, local movements are just that: But through international confederation, we can pose a real threat to global capitalism and the ruling class. For many, the state is the best vehicle for action to fight the major systemic problems of climate chaos, finance capital running amok, and global inequality. Further, with the growing popularity of Bernie Sanders and Jeremy Corbyn, now seems like a bad time to redirect energy away from national politics. After all, conservative movements thrive off of voter apathy. If you ignore elections, then you cede the ground to the welfare-bashing, poor-blaming, and racist right.
How should radical municipalist movements engage with the state? These will inevitably exist within the current statist system and leverage available state institutions and resources toward that goal. Eventually, these new institutions will form an ecosystem of dual power that can force a crisis within the state and dissolve its powers into confederal direct democracy. This process would amount to a fundamental restructuring of the public sphere, from a state—instruments of coercive violence under the control of a ruling class—into a democratic commons, a government from below.
In the meantime, however, we can grow our movement through struggle for important expansions of the public sphere social spending, halting carbon emissions, public transit and drawdowns on the most socially and ecologically destructive features of the state the police, the military, prisons, border security, surveillance.
As we gain greater power to extract concessions from the state through new institutions of communal democratic life, we can use strategic policy changes to improve our position. Non-reformist reforms like nationalized healthcare, job guarantee programs, and public childcare can enable more working-class people to participate in neighborhood organizing and movement work.
Putting public funds into cooperative development, social housing, public banking, and participatory budgeting can speed along our transition to a democratic economy. With the support of municipal governments, solidarity economy initiatives developed in our communities can be dramatically expanded. Most importantly, we can secure radical changes to city charters that restructure political authority into direct rule by citizens through confederated community councils and assemblies. At a structural level, the state exists to enforce the will of a ruling elite, who make decisions on our behalf.
Empowering ordinary people to have control over our collective future requires fundamentally transforming the way governance works. This is why building power from below outside of the state is so essential. The mass organization of community councils, assemblies, tenant unions, labor unions, and cooperatives is what can through its own growth force governing elites to make the reforms we need right now, while creating the conditions for a more revolutionary restructuring of society.
Elections are an important platform to spread ideas and implement our program, but only vibrant social movements can actually hold elected representatives accountable. What kinds of policies would a radical municipalist movement put on their electoral platform, if they had one? In each case, it helps to ask: What institutions can we strengthen through public policy to better hold the state accountable? Building these kinds of institutions is the antidote to apathy and encourages civic engagement.
Through this broader strategy of dual power from the neighborhood on up, we can effectively challenge the state and, at the same time, rewire its institutions—already running through every aspect of our lives—into something new. Organising in your own neighbourhood can sometimes feel distant from the important stuff happening around the world. Fighting for affordable housing means fighting climate change.
Taking on AirBnB or Amazon in your city means struggling against corporate control over politics. How can we solidify these distant, local actions into an intentional power that can take on state, corporate, and global powers? Through learning from each other, networking, forming alliances, and, eventually, confederating. We are fighting for a better world by creating institutions of participatory democracy and the solidarity economy through community organizing, neighborhood by neighborhood, city by city.
But the fall promises some exciting new initiatives, so stay in the loop. We received some feedback that our list just has too much good stuff. How to read it all? Skip all the rest if you must, these are worth reading surreptitiously at the office. This month, we invited Anthony Galluzzo to offer some of his favorite readings. He is an adjunct professor at New York University, specializing in 19th century literature and the history of utopia. The editors at Uneven Earth asked me to collect those readings that stood out from August Both my recent work and political convictions focus on potential intersections between Marxism and the degrowth movement in the service of a decelerationist program.
Against this dangerous whiggery, I say: Major plan to deal with climate change by geoengineering the Earth would not work, scientists reveal and Rain dancing 2. Also see the enduring nuclear boondoggle, even as various ecomodernist voices on the left are pushing it as THE solution to the energy crisis, once again: Scientists assessed the options for growing nuclear power. They are grim ; and an older, but still relevant, piece on this matter: Socialists debate nuclear, 4: A green syndicalist view. But what if veganism, with its reliance on industrial farmed monocrops, such as soy, is part of the problem, as organic farmer Isabella Tree argues?
The belly of the revolution: Agriculture, energy, and the future of communism and Logistics, counterlogistics and the communist prospect. Losing Earth , Capitalism killed our climate momentum , and How not to talk about climate change. Plastic straws and the coming collapse.
In the same way that magical techno-solutions to the ecological crisis are a morbid symptom—weaponized wishful thinking—so too is the ethical consumerism most recently exemplified by the campaign against plastic straws, as Rhyd Wildermuth demonstrates in her piece. Pulling the magical lever Link A critical analysis of techno-utopian imaginaries.
The social ideology of the motorcar Link This essay on how cars have taken over our cities remains as relevant as ever. Engineering the climate could cost us the earth , by Gareth Dale. The father of modern ecology. The flood in Kerala is only a gentle warning. It will not be enough for us to rue the past, writes Arundhati Roy. What happened in the dark: Innovative municipal projects are tackling local housing problems worldwide. Samir Amin has died. New report warns dire climate warnings not dire enough. Land grabbing companies becoming more powerful than countries. There is no trash collection there and so through the Coptic Church these people get organized and want to start a platform where people can order trash pick-ups from them, and they would get paid for them.
A tiny town in Ecuador battles a palm oil giant. What has caused the number of US worker co-ops to nearly double? Should rivers have rights? What is democratic confederalism? My generation is radically remaking climate activism. Will it be enough? How a Detroit community overcomes a lack of city services.
A range of neighbor-to-neighbor efforts address basic needs, from healthcare to food access, that are going unmet by local government agencies. How do you build a new society, from local places, in the shadow of the old? Symbiosis Collective shows one way. How marginalized communities are getting control over development. Tenant organizing is picking up steam in Rochester. Public land is a feminist issue. Community housing groups across London are putting women and non-binary people at the forefront of their plans for building affordable housing.
Four reasons to consider co-housing and housing cooperatives for alternative living. Small and shared vs McMansions and slums? Degrowth housing experiments demonstrate a different future. A call for socialists to connect the dots between housing, racial, migrant justice, and climate change. The lure of elections: From political power to popular power.
Ecomodernism and nuclear power: No solution for climate change. How green groups became so white and what to do about it. Exiting the anthropocene and entering the symbiocene. Who really pulls the strings? The director of Global Witness asks who really is responsible for corruption and extractive industry crimes. The problem is neoliberal economics. A sufficiency vision for an ecologically constrained world. Human waste is a terrible thing to waste. If major global cities repurposed human waste as crop fertilizer, it could slash fertilizer imports in some countries by more than half.
Almost everything you know about e-waste is wrong. The ugly truth of ugly produce by Phat Beets collective. A call for public discussion of the role of deindustrialization in building an alternative to the catastrophic course of 21st century capitalism. There is nothing green or sustainable about mega-dams like the Belo Monte. On the labor of animals. The place of animals in relation to left movements. Bitcoin shows the scale of change needed to stop the climate crisis. The cryptocurrency produces as much CO2 a year as a million transatlantic flights — and that number is set to grow.
Why all fiction should be climate fiction: A conversation with Lauren Groff. By preserving top predators to control populations of herbivores, we can limit grazing, which reduces CO2 absorbed by ecosystems. Even the smallest urban green spaces can have a big impact on mental health. The Pueblo Revolt is about Native Resistance. As Pueblo People, how do we develop a common political consciousness around our unique history and present situation? Meet the companies that are trying to profit from global warming.
People have to do that. Imagining a world with no bullshit jobs. Seaside reads to change the world. Wayne Yang is now available to read for free online. For July, political ecologist Salvatore De Rosa is joining us. Check out his list below, and scroll a bit further to find other worthwhile articles selected by us Uneven Earth editors! Oh, and follow our brand new Instagram account. I was asked by Uneven Earth to put together a list of my favorite readings in recent years, during which I deep-dove in Political Ecology and related fields and animated, with the fantastic ENTITLE Collective , a blog of collaborative writing around scholarly and academic takes and issues in Political Ecology.
Admittedly, this list does not follow a structure or predetermined path, rather reflecting my idiosyncrasies, the mutating focus of my interests and the associative links nurtured by a broadly defined interest in human-environment relations and in the eco-political performances of grassroots environmental activism.
Amazing exception, this piece of Donna Haraway that opens up the Anthropocene narrative and goes forward in thinking its implications towards politically enabling, culturally decentering and vertiginously uplifting connections. David Rumsey map collection. Are you in search of maps to study, revisit, deconstruct or add to your presentation on spatial imaginaries? Nothing better than the David Rumsey map collection: The next wave of extremists will be green. A theme that has always interested me is the relation between grassroots environmental activism and repressive and delegitimizing techniques implemented by governments against it around the world.
Climate depression is for real. Just ask a scientist. If you were wondering why a feeling of looming desperation settled in your thoughts when you have just been reading the news, the answer may be that you suffer from climate depression. An interview with Richard Powers. To recover and to fight back, maybe it is time to turn upside down some deep seated assumptions about nature.
Maybe it is time to recognize that the gap between humans and all other living things is made and remade by our drive of dominion and destruction. Wise words can be heard on this from Richard Powers. We are now on Instagram! Rising temperatures linked to increased suicide rates. As Indigenous peoples wait decades for land titles, companies are acquiring their territories.
Investing in Indigenous communities is most efficient way to protect forests, report finds. Deadliest year on record for environmental land defenders: A report by Global Witness. Also covered in The Intercept here. Meet the anarchists making their own medicine. Standing Rock medic bus is now a traveling decolonized pharmacy.
An Imprint of the Policy Studies Organization
Women Who Dig takes a global look at food, feminism and the struggle to make a future. The teenagers fighting for climate justice. This land was liberated from Bashar Al-Assad and Isis. Now we need help to keep it alive. How to build a culture of good health. How do we break the cycle? A dialogue between Katrina Forrester and Jedediah Purdy. Now Seattle is trying to build a whole safety net for workers—and triggering a war with its biggest companies.
How community land trusts create affordable housing. Visions of a new economy from Detroit: A conversation with Malik Yakini. The question of access to land is critical… The other flaw—which can exist in socialism, also—is the idea that the earth is a commodity, and what we need is more production, more extraction. I think a new way of looking at our relationship to the earth is required. Most public engagement is worse than worthless. Seattle and the Socialist: The battle raging between Amazon and the far left. A world class divide: Vancouver on the housing crisis. A nationwide campaign to take back cities from the corporations that rule them.
The next political revolution? And an important response by Naomi Klein: The aesthetics of decentralisation. Wildfires in Greece—the price of austerity. Science denialism is dangerous. But so is science imperialism. Calls for strict science-based decision making on complex issues like GMOs and geoengineering can shortchange consideration of ethics and social impacts.
The limits of green energy under capitalism. What are human rights good for? Review of The Progress of This Storm: The cashless society is a con — and big finance is behind it. As the democratic Left spirals ever downwards, the worrying forces of populism and neoliberalism seem to be emerging from the ashes. Could the visionary thinking of economic historian Karl Polanyi provide a feasible fix in the 21st Century?
Growth for the sake of growth. The time is ripe, he argues, not only for a scientific degrowth research agenda, but also for a political one. How effective is individual action when it is systemic social change that is needed? Is the global era of massive infrastructure projects coming to an end? The dispossession of Maya weaving. What is metabolic rift?
Think everyone died young in ancient societies? Conflict reigns over the history and origins of money. Thousands of years ago, money was a means of debt payment, archaeologists and anthropologists say. In praise of doing nothing. So how can we do that? How can we make it okay to prioritize social connections over money and choice hoarding? Cesspools, sewage, and social murder.
A riveting history of early environmentalism in 19th-Century London. These eight graphs show why. The free speech panic: The best books on Radical Environmentalism. After 30 years, Science for the People has relaunched! Science for the People engages in research, activism, and science communications for the betterment of society, ecological improvement, environmental protection, and to serve human needs.
Members of Science for the People consist of STEM workers, educators, and activists who are socially and ethically focused, and believe that science should be a positive force for humanity and the planet. Want to receive this as a newsletter? In June, we read stories about new political strategies, decolonial re-imaginings, community resilience, and revolutionary ideas around the world. We also included articles about the escalating climate crisis and the root causes of climate and environmental injustice. Anna Biren , who has been working on these newsletters for the past 6 months, is now on board as a new editor at Uneven Earth!
The promise of radical municipalism today Link Politics is about bringing people together and taking control of the spaces where we live. Science fiction between utopia and critique Link On different perspectives used in science fiction narratives, situated knowledge, and how discontent is useful. Advances in clean energy expected to cause a sudden drop in demand for fossil fuels, leaving companies with trillions in stranded assets. San Francisco residents were sure nearby industry was harming their health. Rural poor squeezed by land concessions in Mekong region: India faces worst long term water crisis in its history.
Trees that have lived for millennia are suddenly dying. That is simply not true. Why grandmothers may hold the key to human evolution. How our colonial past altered the ecobalance of an entire planet. Researchers suggest effects of the colonial era can be detected in rocks or even air. Tracking the battles for environmental justice: How the environmental justice movement transforms our world.
The town that refused to let austerity kill its buses. A sense of place. Mel Evans and Kevin Smith interview US-based organiser and author Jonathan Smucker, whose new book Hegemony How-To offers a practical guide to political struggle for a generation that is still ambivalent about questions of power, leadership and strategy. Building autonomy through ecology in Rojava.
A socialist Southern strategy in Jackson. How Jackson, Mississippi is making the economy work for people. This land is our land: The Native American occupation of Alcatraz. How a group of Red Power activists seized the abandoned prison island and their own destinies. The environment as freedom: Decolonization towards a well-being vision with Pablo Solon. A world more beautiful and alive: A review of The Extractive Zone. An Interview with Silvia Federici. What would we eat if food and health were commons?
Seeding new ideas in the neoliberal city. Worker-owned co-ops are coming for the digital gig economy. Letter to America , by Rebecca Altman. Everything is going to have to be put back. Our plastic pollution crisis is too big for recycling to fix. Corporations are safe when they can tell us to simply recycle away their pollution.
The remaking of class. It is living downhill of the pond where fracking fluids are stored. How the Enlightenment created modern race thinking, and why we should confront it. And a brief history of race in Western thought. The enlightenment of Steven Pinker: Eco-modernism as rationalizing the arrogance and violence of empire. While healthcare, the public school system and infrastructure in Puerto Rico are flailing nine months after Hurricane Maria ravaged the island, wealthy investors have descended on the island to turn a profit.
How climate change ignites wildfires from California to South Africa. The left in Syria: From democratic national change to devastation. A new era of uranium mining near the Grand Canyon? Rent strikes grow in popularity among tenants as gentrification drives up rents in cities like D. Increased deaths and illnesses from inhaling airborne dust: An understudied impact of climate change. An Indigenous feminist analysis of the connections between industrial capitalism and colonialism, imperialism, and the pollution and destruction of human and nonhuman worlds.
Moore on the human impact on the world ecology. Vollmann on the hot dark future. A review of William T. Commons in the pluriverse. An essay by Arturo Escobar. The mask it wears. Pankaj Mishra reviews and compares the propositions about how to work for equality in The People v. Laziness does not exist, but unseen barriers do. The Transition Towns movement… going where? The dark side of nature writing. The recent renaissance in nature writing also revives an overlooked connection with fascism.
It takes a village, not a European, to raise a child. White people, through systematic oppression, actively create, profit from and maintain a market that institutionalizes children throughout Africa. The unbearable awkwardness of automation. The power of giving homeless people a place to belong. Anthony Galluzzo — Utopia as method, social science fiction, and the flight from reality Review of Frase, Four Futures.
The community resilience reader. Essential resources for an era of upheaval, available for free. Visualizing the prolific plastic problem in our oceans. Save Save Save Save. I scanned the horizon—the faint outlines of hills in the dusk, above the rising waters—trying to focus, to concentrate. I fixed my gaze on a point in the near distance: It had become black, full of silt and debris from the land and buildings slowly subsiding into it.
The swelling waters had easily shot over the Thames Barrier, and it still grew and sank with the tides, sometimes revealing the wrecks of car frames, broken fences and scattered bricks at its lowest levels. Previously, we were hyperconnected—the flicker of screens waking up, eyes re-adjusting, then scrolling through information, piecing together what was happening to my family in different time zones of Beirut, Cairo, and friends in Athens. The background murmur of news from the wider world was reassuring, but it also made me keenly aware of being hyper-localised—stuck in one place, wedged in behind the computer desk, simmering in anxiety.
Until I panic-bought a flight to go over and try to do something , however small. I wanted to reach into the simulacra of high-definition images of people herded behind militarised borders; I wanted to be a counter-response to the states that were withdrawing and tightening, shrinking-themselves-small in defence. Did we, or did we not, gain any kind of knowledge by the loss in these islands of 42, lives [in ].
The ingested saline treatment of Dr. Stevens has usually been a failure, probably because the victim is too weak to absorb the solution when administered—which has led to the injected saline treatment, normally considered effective in the short run but did not halt the diarrhea or touch the essence of the disease.
Call for a Professional Congress to scrutinize all prior and new methods of treatment, and then give a full accounting. Offers statistics of numbers of cholera cases to deaths that suggest "the metropolis, with its numerous charitable institutions, and with the advantages of the best professional skill, was the seat of an amount of mortality only a little inferior to that of other localities, where the disease appears to have run its course unchecked" Hector Gavin's pamphlet on "Unhealthiness of London, and the Necessity of Remedial Measures" and prints extensive extracts from it.
Emphasis on higher mortality in towns than country, and thinks deaths in towns are under-reported. Suggests a "rough plan of the metropolitan districts, shaded according to the intensity of the mortality" , and also feature Gavin's "graphic description of this disease-mist" that hangs over London Journal clearly aligned with Health of Towns party, and pushing for sanitary legislation as an antidote to cholera mortality.
Cites statistics, which for London shows no improvement in health. Then quotes from the Report Farr: After certain intervals of time, in which they are fatal to a smaller or greater number of persons in different places and seasons, great multitudes are suddenly attached and destroyed in a given locality; the disease in this intense form involves the neighbouring population, spreads around the whole region, and sometimes travels over the tracks of human intercourse through the world.
Little is known of the immediate chemical or vital causes of epidemics; but in given circumstances, where many are immersed in an atmosphere of decaying organic matter, some zymotic disease is invariably produced; where there is starvation, it is most frequently typhus; cold, influenza; heat, it is cholera, yellow fever, plague. A city breathing an atmosphere perfectly pure may not be exempt from every epidemic; but observation has shown that such irruptions are infrequent, and fatal to few persons of strength or stamina.
Internal sanatory arrangements, and not quarantine or sanatory lines, are the safeguards of nations. A salubrious city in an epidemic. On the Mode and Effects of the Inhalation of Ether. Snow and others, in many persons a state of insensibility to pain precedes the loss of consciousness,—that the faculty of perception remains after that of tactile sensibility is lost. Snow seems to have combined all the advantages an apparatus can afford, but still, I think, as a simple, portable, and effective means of rapidly inducing insensibility, the sponge must be preferred by the practical surgeon.
Ineluctable Progress of the Cholera. Yet, "we sit still with shut eyes and folded hands. Chloroform , or Perchloride of Formyte. The operation, as it is at present practised, must be admitted to be uncertain and not devoid of danger. The source of this uncertainty and danger is the difficulty of determining the exact quantity of ethereal vapour which is inhaled, and the proportion of air which is mingled with it" Then proceeds to discuss a new inhaler he's constructed; don't find mention of JS.
Advantages over ether—less needed to produce effect; more rapid and complete action; more agreeable to inhale; less expensive; odor is not unpleasant; more portable; no special inhaler required. Then describes its use in surgical operations 4 cases and obstetric practice 3 cases. Outlines the conditions for successful etherization in surgery, and notes that chloroform is advantageous in each. Recommends administration by handkerchief. Sic transit gloria " Then refers to letter from Simpson in this issue, and notes that the same letter has already been published elsewhere and chloroform already tried in London by Liston, among others.
Reminds readers that "Chloric Ether" has "for some time" been used as a local application in London. In footnote, cites Liebig on how to prepare the liquid. Cautions about becoming overly enthusiastic again. Sanitary Reform and the Medical Profession. Also prints copy of circular sent by Metropolitan Sanitary Commission to Poor Law Union medical officers, asking "what provisions are made in your district for the prompt removal of filth and refuse, and the due supply of water, and the condition as to cleanliness of the interior of the houses in which you have found sickness to be most prevalent" Glover, Newcastle Med School.
Acknowledges Simpson's preeminence in proposing chloroform as substitute for ether, but points out that he had published his findings in on the agent's physiological properties after a series of experiments on animals introduced into carotid, jugular, stomach, and peritoneum. Found extensive congestion of lungs in a number of cases, so he cautions against assuming it is safe when inhaled by humans unless alcohol consumption has protective properties. To add to the difficulty of accounting for the origin of these epidemics by medical theories, we may mention a curious fact that may throw some light upon the diffusion of cholera, by shewing that an epidemic and a quasi-contagious character may be observed in one and the same disease" Gives example of a steamer that regularly moves between Marseilles and Alexandria.
Crew became ill with influenza on board—although unclear if they spread to inhabitants of Alexandria. That the poison of cholera is spread in some way or other cannot admit of dispute. One class of observers content themselves by saying that cholera is not infectious, adducing cases apparently irreconcileable with this hypothesis.
Admitting the validity of these objections, it still remains to be proved that the cholera is a pure epidemic. Let any one examine the recent progress of the cholera northward and westward through the Russian empire, and say whether it is in the nature of an epidemic to creep slowly from place to place, to follow the banks of great rivers, to prevail on one bank and not on the other, to spread along one side of a street in a populous city and not on the other, to set at defiance in its progressive diffusion, the influence of winds, temperature, seasons, and all those atmospheric changes included under the head of climate.
It chiefly manifested itself in villages immediately after the arrival of travellers labouring under it. Its diffusion through the atmosphere is all but disproved, since. But such a mode of diffusion has not been observed. This has been adduced as a triumphant instance of its non-propagation by human intercourse, or of the total absence of infection.
The argument is ingenious, but unsound, because it proves too much: If the disease were really epidemic, and the atmosphere had any influence in its diffusion, it would be utterly impossible that the intermediate town or village should escape the aeiral poison. We think, however, the geographical progression of this malady must be taken as fatal to this view. Quarantine laws are pointless, however. Reviewer notes to contents of twenty chapters, including "Molecular Attraction," "the production of heat, light, and electricity in animals, the physiological action of Gravity, Light, Caloric, and Electricity," and Animal Mechanics.
Stokes, a surgeon in London. Method of Preparing Chloroform. Death of Robert Liston, Esq. Government Precautions against the Cholera. It was at present under consideration whether the form of proclamation which had been used on the former occasion should be modified or not. Asphyxia and Convulsions under the Influence of Chloroform. Not all unsuccessful, however. Experiments on the Action of Chloroform Vapour. Gruby's experiments on dogs and rabbits, comparing effects produced by ether and chloroform.
Of the natural-pain school, Barnes concludes: Copland and some others are firm believers in the doctrine of contagion. On the contrary, "the majority of medical men attribute the production and propagation of this terrible disease to certain conditions of the atmosphere acting upon individuals previously disposed to disease by some peculiar state of the constitution" [rather more Sydenhamian than usually found; no hint of environmental contingency or predisposing social cause].
Quotes Milroy with approval, as well as a surgeon, Mr. Consequently, quarantine does little good. Comprehensive; may be an orientation to range of views before the second epidemic began] "British Medical Journals. Applauds Lambeth Water Works decision to move its source to Ditton, and urges Parliament to require other companies to do likewise; pre act] Bristol General Hospital.
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Application of Chloroform in Typhus Fever. The letter is an argument in favor of admin via apparatus and with trustworthy preparations of chloroform] "Fatal Application of Chloroform. Simpson writes, "The unfortunate patient certainly died when under the influence of chloroform, not, however, as I believe, from its effects, but from the effects of the means used to revive her" Besides, the dose of chloroform exhibited by Mr.
Meggison was so small as to render it exceedingly improbable that it could have been the essential cause of the death of the patient. Meggison's patient could be the consequence of the use of chloroform, and entirely due to it, the conditions in which the patient was placed were such as would almost inevitably have produced death by asphyxia" Issue of 12 February. Let to ed from a rural practitioner in Goucestershire. Westminster Medical Society—no date given. Webster characterized the current epidemic of influenza, noting, "The general type of complaint was asthenic, as exhaustion, debility, and depression of the system, were the marked features of this malady throughout all its stages" Also Sydenham's epidemic constitution.
Then reminds readers of journal's position that "public health is a department of the profession of medicine, and that State Medicine can never be efficiently administered unless a large share of its control be placed in the hands of responsible medical men. And shall we hand over the sanitary control of the sewers, and the water courses, to those who have brought tem into their present infamous condition? Ogier Ward reading paper, "Contagion of Cholera.
Ogier Ward accuses the commissioners of stacking the case for anticontagionism by virtue of the witnesses they chose and the questioning. Then he goes through all the arguments for contagion by persons, fomites, and infectious via "contagious miasmata. In damp, foggy weather. Hancock counters with own experiences sitting in a cholera hospital overnight and dissecting bodies of cholera victims showing that it's non-contagious; Lankester rejoinder is that just one certain instance of contagion should settle the dispute; others contribute, but no mention of JS] Westminster Medical Society—25 March, 1 and 8 April.
Its diffusion by contagion. Watson ] "The Chemistry of Pathology and Therapeutics. Garrod; sample] Review of T. Starr, A Discourse on the Asiatic Cholera. Hence, fungi and infusoria cannot be causes of a process that they are subject to. Although these organisms accompany putrefactive process of other organisms, they are not its cause; instead, as sources of pure oxygen, they are "the true enemies and destroyers of all contagions and miasms.
Stedman, from Isle of Ely; issue of 26 August] "On the treatment of spasmodic cholera by chloroform. Suggests origin of the premonitory diarrhea hypothesis—observations by Russian practitioners. Offers suggestions for the premonitory stage, but emphasizing that since opium is both "useful and popular" medical men should be consulted—then follow several bedside medicine assumptions age and other circumstances in determining dosages, role of diet, keep warm, avoid wet or damp.
Then how to respond to attacks: In the first stage of the disease, medical treatment is frequently successful: Lists various preservatives, including "Be very careful that the water used as drink is of good quality. Similar preventative measures as suggested by BoH, but cannot agree on a "uniform plan of treatment. Follow-up on BoH] "Asiatic Cholera. First cases were in Hull, where sailors died within hours. Beer and plums taken in immoderate quantities by individuals exposed to atmospherical vicissitudes, and called to undergo a considerable amount of bodily fatigue, will at any time set up a gastric irritation not easily allayed; and it would be an insult to science to assert that these cases were produced by contagion or infection" Then, "the facts connected with the history of Asiatic cholera.
We have here all the analogies of an epidemic, —originating in the East, extending from one country to another, till people of almost every language have felt its power" In short, the Board of Health is confirmed in "its non-contagiousness" and the recommendations of the Central Board of Health in Dublin are similar and partly reprinted, including recommended medical actions.
Brady, surgeon in Harrow. Believes he's the first to employ chloroform in the treatment of cholera. Gives recommendations for use in all stages: Surgeon to the Western City Dispensary. Reiterates a number of the central arguments of the general epidemic cohort, but without clarity or specificity. Part III, on diffusion and rivers: The majority of opinion is. There are, however, many well-authenticated observations that seem to prove the reverse;—these are exceptions;. Some surgeons are advocates of conditional contagion; that is, contagion dependent upon the intensity of the disease, and the degree of impregnation of the atmosphere by the morbific matter; for this word "contagion" has been understood to comprise communication by inspiration as well as by touch.
This is very unphilosophic [opinion founded upon partial observations] Has an interesting comparison of districts on the banks of the Thames, including Southwark and Lambeth In treatment section, uses tables of treatments from Vienna and Paris to conclude that stimulants including venous injection are highly dangerous, opiates less so but harmful. Bloodletting better than stimulants, but inferior to saline treatment. Greenhow, of Newcastle" who considers that "the influence of cholera, like the carbonic acid of the Grotto del Cane, gravitates to the lowest situations'; states that lesson from is that cholera isn't contagious; danger is from the localities, usually low places—a certain line of altitude "beneath which disease will certainly take place, in degrees proportioned to the predisposition or susceptibility of the inhabitants.
Clutterbuck informed of a case of cholera at the London Hosp. Not inclined to consider cholera contagious. Asks for info on treatment used by fellows. Chowne is recorded as saying he considers cholera contagious, "but not very contagious. Hill's letter to ed. The Cholera—Results of Treatment by Chloroform. Finds too many analogies between results from administration of chloroform and cholera to consider the former "a specific" remedy.
Looks at patient responses and post mortem examination, esp the transaction of the Acad. In short, Lamprey advises against its use in most cases—and there is now a dispute that might have hooked JS to intervene as the acknowledged expert on admin and research in chloroform. James, surgeon to the Devon and Exeter Hospital.
I shall not dispute about terms: If it is communicable, this question is answered. In this discussion, however, I shall use the terms infectious or contagious as meaning communicable, the least objectionable one, but less commonly in use" Although his conclusion, based on evidence from the Edinburgh Journal for February and "Dr. Copland's celebrated Dictionary" —HB, take note—is that "the evidence for its being infectious [is] in many instances remarkably strong," he spends much of his paper countering classic anti-contagionist arguments.
Has a contingent contagionist dimension: In these respects it agrees with influenza" Believes that there are two "classes" of "infectious and pestilential diseases": They slumber for a time, then break out with violence, sweep in a particular direction, ravage a large portion of the earth's surface, and subside again for a while" After an assertion that "the Supreme Being" indulges in multiple creations, including "new forms of disease," James notes that "when the seminum has once been produced on the surface of the earth, we must admit that, under certain conditions, it may be preserved indefinitely, and after long intervals renew its work of destruction" ; cites "virus of the vaccine or small-pox," scarlatina, and thinks that "the semina [of such diseases] can operate at large distances" On the latter point, he prophetically points to the infant at 40 Broad Street.
Closing reference to "the inspissated state of the blood. This has been regarded as a cause of the deficient circulation and of the asphyxia [recall JS's remarks at WMS], and it has been attributed to the large separation of the fluid parts of the blood from the alimentary canal. James thinks it possible for cholera to present without diarrhea, but recommends animal experimentation to resolve this.
In the meantime, James asserts: George's Hospital, February ," Lance t 1 Chambers, physician to the Queen; has section on contagion vs. Believes it's done out of "social expediency"—a well-intentioned concern that the victims will be abandoned and population exodus occur. Cites report of House Assembly of NY on quarantine laws, in which there is reference to Rush's views of yellow fever. Then editorial makes case for fomites as potential for transference of "noxious effluvia," regardless of whether there is any odor attached.
Also usual suspects "low situations," poor ventilation, etc. Fourcault describes contagion at the Isle of France in , brought there by a British frigate. Since the "consecutive fever was of the typhoid type," Fourcault distinguished this form of typhoid cholera from Asiatic cholera, which is normally non-contagious. He argues "that cholera is never contagious except when combined with typhus,—a law which, he states, obtains also with regard to yellow fever and plague" Waddington, that cholera is not contagious; "it is impossible any epidemic disease should ever depend on contagion"] "On the Intestinal Discharges in Cholera.
Greenhow, "On the Treatment of Cholera. Internal use, mixed with "mucilage. Brady of Harrow, and others, were generally known to have "used the same remedy successfully in the course of the last winter. Webster delivered a paper, "Observations of the Health of the Metropolis during the last six months, more especially in reference to the recent epidemic of cholera. Comment by Lankester; none by JS.
John Grove] Editorial on need for pure water, etc. Tucker, 17 Nov] "Cholera Contagious. Med in Paris that a M. Pellarin presented a case of transmission via clothing, esp a mattress on which an infected person had slept] "On the fungoid and animalcular theories of epidemic diseases. Brodie on 12 March Buchanan , which appears analogous to common laxity of the bowels, depending probably on the transference of diffusion of water from the blood to the mucous membrane of the intestinal canal.
Buchanan, second or advanced stage of Annesley, collapse stage of others , characterized by rice-water dejections, the composition of which more nearly resembles the lymphatic fluids secreted in many diseases into serous cavities than any other animale fluids with which we are acquainted. Buchanan; stage of reaction of others , characterized by the return of bile to the intestinal canal, and the setting in generally [sic] of smart febrile symptoms" After presenting results of various chemical tests on blood, lymphatic fluid, stool, the conclusions follow: That in the second stage of cholera, a lymphatic fluid is diffused from the blood into the intestinal canal, corresponding exactly in chemical composition with that secreted or diffused through the serous membranes in hydrocele and hydrocephalus, and other forms of dropsy.
Compared with healthy blood, it appears, that the salt which has diffused most largely into the intestines, is common salt, while the albumen of the blood possesses this power of transference generally in a very limited degree. The facts seem to show, that in this stage, instead of as in the natural state, the diffusive power of the mucous membrane being exerted from the intestines towards the blood, the reverse action occurs; thus pointing to a parallelism with purely physical phenomena.
Conjoined with other characters, they supply an argument for the inquiry,—May not cholera be an epidemic intestinal catarrh , influenza being an epidemic respiratory catarrh? In the third stage the lymphatic fluid ceases to be poured out from the blood. The bile is excreted, and the normal diffusion from the intestines to the blood resumes its action. There is no evidence of the existence of any organic body in the atmosphere during the prevalence of cholera, and hence the inquiry is suggested,—May not this and parallel diseases which are not contagious, such as ague, be principally due to meteorological and physical influences, acting on debilitated habits [predisposing causes], and thus a distinction be established between them and contagious affections produced by morbid poisons, as typified by small-pox?
Giles's in and King] "The Epidemic of illustrated by St. Giles's, and suggestive of the gaseous origin of cholera. Milroy at meeting of the Epidemiological Society, 1 December] "Lateral depression of the left thoracic wall. King; contains mapping of occurrences] Epidemiological Society. Bryson] "Deaths in the Metropolis. Grainger at meeting of the Epidemiology Society in Feb. Directions and Regulations of the General Board of Health.
Parkes] "Medical Officers of Health. The Laws of Cholera. Mac again and also printing "Extracts from Mr. Pearse and Jeffery A. Snow thinks, that the introduction of some of the excretions into the system may propagate the disorder; hence we may here incidentally mention, that one of the dispensers drank by mistake some rice-water evacuations, without any injurious effects whatever" Baly's Report on Cholera , stating that evidence on contagiousness of cholera remains inconclusive] "Gay versus Wakley.
Gay from the Royal Free Hospital, allegedly because he wrote for a rival journal. JS had endorsed this scheme at the meeting of the Epi Soc, esp.