Multispecies Thinking from Alexander von Humboldt to Leslie Marmon Silko: Intercultural Communication Toward Cosmopolitics

Persistent Link:
http://hdl.handle.net/10150/293607
Title:
Multispecies Thinking from Alexander von Humboldt to Leslie Marmon Silko: Intercultural Communication Toward Cosmopolitics
Author:
Gemein, Mascha Nicola
Issue Date:
2013
Publisher:
The University of Arizona.
Rights:
Copyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
Abstract:
The concept of cosmopolitics identifies a multispecies political practice within the framework of multinaturalism. The dissertation, "Multispecies Thinking from Alexander von Humboldt to Leslie Marmon Silko: Intercultural Communication Toward Cosmopolitics," is concerned with understandings of multispecies relationships, with the human intercultural communication that could prepare for a cosmopolitical practice, and with the ways Native American fiction supports this endeavor. This research draws from Native American literary studies and ecocritical scholarship to illustrate the potential of transdisciplinary thinking about multispecies ethnography, cosmopolitics, and Indigenous paradigms as providing a promising communication zone against the grain of scientific imperialism. It thus traces the development of pluralist and multispecies-oriented thought and its points of connection to Indigenous paradigms from Alexander von Humboldt's Cosmos Studies of the early 19th century to 21st century Indigenous cosmopolitics. First, this study discusses the insights and obstructions to Western pluralist and multispecies thinking in relation to Native American paradigms from Humboldt via 19th century nature writers-Henry David Thoreau, Margaret Fuller, and John Muir-to contemporary interdisciplinary research. Opening to wide potential with Humboldt's holistic Cosmos Studies, intercultural communication was tempered by the colonial enterprise in the 19th century United States, including a nature-culture dualism and the notion of degenerated, vanishing Indigenous peoples. The resulting conceptual understandings, terms, and attitudes have been influential until today and are what contemporary Native American authors and activists are confronted with when engaged in their work. Detailed textual analysis of exemplary Native American literature outlines how contemporary authors criticize, counter-narrate, and/or integrate Western intellectual traditions. Furthermore, this study outlines 20th and 21st century scientific concepts that refine much earlier ideas, provide helpful terminology regarding Western approaches to Indigenous ontologies and multispecies thinking, and facilitate a new, insightful reading of contemporary Native American fiction as cosmopolitical texts. The analyses of works by Louise Erdrich, Linda Hogan, Louis Owens, and Leslie Marmon Silko demonstrate the value of these works to enhance multispecies thinking and respective political practices. Therefore, Native American literature plays a major role worldwide as an educational and critical tool for an intercultural communication toward cosmopolitics.
Type:
text; Electronic Dissertation
Keywords:
Environmental literature; Indigenous paradigms; Multinaturalism; Multispecies relations; Native American Fiction; American Indian Studies; Cosmopolitics
Degree Name:
Ph.D.
Degree Level:
doctoral
Degree Program:
Graduate College; American Indian Studies
Degree Grantor:
University of Arizona
Advisor:
Evers, Larry

Full metadata record

DC FieldValue Language
dc.language.isoenen_US
dc.titleMultispecies Thinking from Alexander von Humboldt to Leslie Marmon Silko: Intercultural Communication Toward Cosmopoliticsen_US
dc.creatorGemein, Mascha Nicolaen_US
dc.contributor.authorGemein, Mascha Nicolaen_US
dc.date.issued2013-
dc.publisherThe University of Arizona.en_US
dc.rightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.en_US
dc.description.abstractThe concept of cosmopolitics identifies a multispecies political practice within the framework of multinaturalism. The dissertation, "Multispecies Thinking from Alexander von Humboldt to Leslie Marmon Silko: Intercultural Communication Toward Cosmopolitics," is concerned with understandings of multispecies relationships, with the human intercultural communication that could prepare for a cosmopolitical practice, and with the ways Native American fiction supports this endeavor. This research draws from Native American literary studies and ecocritical scholarship to illustrate the potential of transdisciplinary thinking about multispecies ethnography, cosmopolitics, and Indigenous paradigms as providing a promising communication zone against the grain of scientific imperialism. It thus traces the development of pluralist and multispecies-oriented thought and its points of connection to Indigenous paradigms from Alexander von Humboldt's Cosmos Studies of the early 19th century to 21st century Indigenous cosmopolitics. First, this study discusses the insights and obstructions to Western pluralist and multispecies thinking in relation to Native American paradigms from Humboldt via 19th century nature writers-Henry David Thoreau, Margaret Fuller, and John Muir-to contemporary interdisciplinary research. Opening to wide potential with Humboldt's holistic Cosmos Studies, intercultural communication was tempered by the colonial enterprise in the 19th century United States, including a nature-culture dualism and the notion of degenerated, vanishing Indigenous peoples. The resulting conceptual understandings, terms, and attitudes have been influential until today and are what contemporary Native American authors and activists are confronted with when engaged in their work. Detailed textual analysis of exemplary Native American literature outlines how contemporary authors criticize, counter-narrate, and/or integrate Western intellectual traditions. Furthermore, this study outlines 20th and 21st century scientific concepts that refine much earlier ideas, provide helpful terminology regarding Western approaches to Indigenous ontologies and multispecies thinking, and facilitate a new, insightful reading of contemporary Native American fiction as cosmopolitical texts. The analyses of works by Louise Erdrich, Linda Hogan, Louis Owens, and Leslie Marmon Silko demonstrate the value of these works to enhance multispecies thinking and respective political practices. Therefore, Native American literature plays a major role worldwide as an educational and critical tool for an intercultural communication toward cosmopolitics.en_US
dc.typetexten_US
dc.typeElectronic Dissertationen_US
dc.subjectEnvironmental literatureen_US
dc.subjectIndigenous paradigmsen_US
dc.subjectMultinaturalismen_US
dc.subjectMultispecies relationsen_US
dc.subjectNative American Fictionen_US
dc.subjectAmerican Indian Studiesen_US
dc.subjectCosmopoliticsen_US
thesis.degree.namePh.D.en_US
thesis.degree.leveldoctoralen_US
thesis.degree.disciplineGraduate Collegeen_US
thesis.degree.disciplineAmerican Indian Studiesen_US
thesis.degree.grantorUniversity of Arizonaen_US
dc.contributor.advisorEvers, Larryen_US
dc.contributor.committeememberFatzinger, Amyen_US
dc.contributor.committeememberWashburn, Francien_US
dc.contributor.committeememberAdamson, Jonien_US
dc.contributor.committeememberEvers, Larryen_US
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