Linguistic Political Ecology

Authors: Ginés Sánchez Arias*, Louisiana State University
Topics: Cultural and Political Ecology, Geographic Theory, Field Methods
Keywords: political, ecology, linguistics, anthropology, geography, emancipatory
Session Type: Paper
Day: 4/13/2018
Start / End Time: 1:20 PM / 3:00 PM
Room: Galvez, , Marriott, 5th Floor
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


I show how political ecologists can employ linguistic anthropology to simultaneously aid indigenous struggle in defending their home and advance geography's epistemic horizon. A "linguistic political ecology" would, therefore, blend orthographies, grammars, and pedagogies with the politics of a place's environment. In relating the subtleties of text and discourse with the plight itself, we may address the intellectual capacities apart from the environmental records. The nexus of these two becomes the creative work of locals. The linguistic political ecologist is an active participant. We have the responsibility to make ourselves useful in gratitude for the knowledge, hospitality, and time shared together. While immersed in the frustration of the constant return to injustice in such troubled colonial landscapes overflowing with racism, paternalism, capitalist exploitation, and even the overt corruption of technocratic acts, I started to experiment with methods seeking to alter the creative work of my indigenous friends to engage pluralities with the public at large. Mirroring the spirit of indigenous education in the midst of their crisis, I found that a linguistic political ecology approach could help stimulate new encounters between actors with similar concerns across cultural landscapes using the artistic devices common to contemporary urban societies. I have since developed a set of tools in my quest to better transmit a sense of empathy about indigenous people's politics. I call it toolkit for a masochist earth.

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