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Slow seminar no. 44

Woodlands in the Anthropocene: Interdisciplinary Approaches to Altered Processes of Forest Change.

Info about event


Wednesday 6 June 2018,  at 17:00 - 19:30


Jens Christian Schous vej 3, 8000 Aarhus C (1451, 515).

Our next Slow seminar has the title:  Woodlands in the Anthropocene: Interdisciplinary Approaches to Altered Processes of Forest Change.

It will take place 6 June from 5 PM till 7.30 PM at Jens Christian Schous vej 3, 8000 Aarhus C (1451, 515) and will be held in conjunction with the Department of Anthropology at UCSC via video-link.


The upcoming Slow Seminar on 6 June will focus on texts and debates relevant to the AURA conference on “Woodlands in the Anthropocene” on 11 June (See attached poster for more on this event). Because it builds on recent AURA conversations, this Slow Seminar will also be of significant interest to those who cannot attend the conference. It dives into a broad set of issues of related to landscape change, political-economy, question of scale, and interdisciplinary methods/knowledge practices that are broadly relevant for scholars working on diverse Anthropocene topic, and we thus encourage all interested folks to join in this gathering.


Like many AURA activities, the Slow Seminar and conference aim to probe the possibilities of cross-disciplinary engagement between the natural and social sciences. Thus, the collection of articles is intentionally heterodox and guided in part by the suggestions of the conference speakers.


One of the goals of the conference is to develop a review article for publication in a natural science journal – a new audience for AURA’s collaborative efforts. While the conference speakers will write the article, we hope the interventions of conference and Slow Seminar participants (hopefully all of you!) will substantially contribute to its approaches and form.


At present, the guiding questions of the conference include:


- How have woodlands changed over time?

- How have processes of woodland change been altered in the Anthropocene?

- How do we understand woodland change as a complex social-natural process?

- As we seek to understand Anthropocene woodlands, how do we simultaneously attend to large-scale trends in forest structure, as well as to the profound differences in local and regional forest patches? What emerges at the intersection of these two approaches?

- What kinds of methodological experimentations and interdisciplinary collaborations might open up new questions about woodlands – and what kinds new lines of inquiry are needed?


While the number of readings appears large, many of the texts are short. We organize them below into categories that guide our engagement with them:


Large-scale changes, large-scale loss: A pair of big pictures


1. Watson, J.E., et al. 2018. The exceptional value of intact forest ecosystems. Nature ecology & evolution. 2018 Feb 26.


2. Svenning, J.C. and Sandel, B., 2013. Disequilibrium vegetation dynamics under future climate change. American Journal of Botany100(7), pp.1266-1286.


Contingent histories, patchy problems: The challenges of living with and managing forests in diverse places


3. Japan

Goto, Kokki. 2007. “Iriai Forests Have Sustained the Livelihood and Autonomy of Villagers”: Experience of Commons in Ishimushiro Hamlet in Northeastern Japan. Working Paper Series No.30 Afrasian Centre for Peace and Development Studies: Ryukoku University.


4. Ghana

Jasaw, Godfred Seidu, et al. "Ecosystem services trade-offs from high fuelwood use for traditional shea butter processing in semi-arid Ghana." Ecosystem Services 27 (2017): 127-138.


5. Europe

Schnitzler, Annik. "Towards a new European wilderness: Embracing unmanaged forest growth and the decolonisation of nature." Landscape and Urban Planning 126 (2014): 74-80.


6. North America

Ryan, Kevin C., et al. "Prescribed fire in North American forests and woodlands: history, current practice, and challenges." Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment 11.s1 (2013).


Methodological limitations and experimentations


7. Aleman, Julie C., Marta A. Jarzyna, and A. Carla Staver. "Forest extent and deforestation in tropical Africa since 1900." Nature ecology & evolution 2.1 (2018): 26.


8. Croucher, P. J., Mascheretti, S., & Garbelotto, M. (2013). Combining field epidemiological information and genetic data to comprehensively reconstruct the invasion history and the microevolution of the sudden oak death agent Phytophthora ramorum (Stramenopila: Oomycetes) in California. Biological invasions15(10), 2281-2297.


Please RSVP to Mia, who will both provide access to the readings and order food, coffee, and tea for the event.