The Social Lives of ForestsPast, Present, and Future of Woodland Resurgence

The Social Lives of ForestsPast, Present, and Future of Woodland Resurgence

Susanna B. Hecht, Kathleen D. Morrison, and Christine Padoch

Print publication date: 2014

ISBN: 9780226322667

Publisher: University of Chicago Press


Deforestation was one of the defining features of the late 20th century, but forest recovery is one of the surprising dynamics of the 21st. New research in ecology, geography, anthropology, archaeology and history are recasting received ideas about the pasts of forests, how people used and shaped them, and the implications of this complex environmental history for understanding how forested landscapes unfold today. This innovative collection draws together distinguished analysts from all over the world, and from the natural and social sciences to reflect on forests past, present and future. The authors illuminate the interactions between humans and landscapes in the creation of forests as both human artifact and habitat -- and emphasize that forest landscapes incarnate social as well as biotic processes. They clarify the importance of ideologies and iconography of forests, imagined and actual histories, institutional arrangements, competing knowledge systems and economic structures in shaping how we understand the “natures” of forests and how these now inform our woodland practices and politics. Current trends reveal surprising new forest frontiers in urban and agricultural contexts, in deforested “sacrifice” zones like the Sahel and El Salvador. The forest landscapes we think of today as empty, wild, and “natural” often have humanized “pre-histories” that are often less far in the past than we imagine with political, institutional and violence shaping the transitions that underpin them. This collection provides an overview of the complexities, trajectories and surprising socio-natures of forested ecosystems.

Table of Contents

1 * From Fragmentation to Forest Resurgence

Susanna B. Hecht, Kathleen D. Morrison, and Christine Padoch

Part I Conceptual Frameworks

2 * False Forest History, Complicit Social Analysis

James Fairhead and Melissa Leach

4 * Adam Smith in the Forest

Fredrik Albritton Jonsson

5 * Jungles, Forests, and the Theatre of Wars

Nancy Lee Peluso and Peter Vandergeest

6 * Mutant Ecologies

Joseph Masco

9 * Paradigms Lost

John Vandermeer and Ivette Perfecto

10 * Effects of Human Activities on Successional Pathways

Robin L. Chazdon, Braulio Vilchez Alvarado, Susan G. Letcher, Amanda Wendt, and U. Uzay Sezen

Part II Historical Ecologies

11 * Constructing Nature

Kathleen D. Morrison and Mark T. Lycett

12 * Culturing the Rainforest

Monica Janowski, Huw Barton, and Samantha Jones

15 * Amazonia

Clark L. Erickson

Part III Market Dynamics

18 * Ancient Forest Tea

Nicholas K. Menzies

20 * From Swidden to Rubber

Yayqi Fujita Lagerqvist

Part IV Institutions


Susanna B. Hecht

22 * The Invisible Map

Deborah Barry and Ruth Meinzen-Dick

Part V The Urban Matrix

Urban Ecologies

Christine Padoch

24 * Amazonia 1492

Michael J. Heckenberger, Afukaka Kuikuro, Urissap’a Tabata Kuikuro, J. Christian Russell, Morgan Schmidt, Carlos Fausto, and Bruna Franchetto

25 * Urban Residence, Rural Employment, and the Future of Amazonian Forests

Christine Padoch, Angela Steward, Miguel Pinedo-Vasquez, Louis Putzel, and Medardo Miranda Ruiz

26 * From Fallow Timber to Urban Housing

Robin R. Sears and Miguel Pinedo-Vasquez

27 * Forest Resources, City Services

Eduardo S. Brondizio, Andrea D. Siqueira, and Nathan Yogt

28 * Chicago Wilderness

Peter Crane, Liam Heneghan, Francie Muraski-Stotz, Melinda Pruett-Jones, Laurel Ross, Alaka Wali, and Lynne Westphal