The Land Speaks explores the intersection of two vibrant fields, oral history and environmental studies. Ranging across farm and forest, city and wilderness, river and desert, this collection of fourteen oral histories gives voice to nature and the stories it has to tell. These essays consider topics as diverse as environmental activism, wilderness management, public health, urban exploring, and smoke jumping. They raise questions about the roles of water, neglected urban spaces, land ownership concepts, protectionist activism, and climate change.Covering almost every region of the United States and part of the Caribbean, Lee and Newfont and their diverse collection of contributors address the particular contributions oral history can make toward understanding issues of public land and the environment. In the face of global warming and events like the Flint water crisis, environmental challenges are undoubtedly among the most pressing issues of our time. These essays suggest that oral history can serve both documentary and problem-solving functions as we grapple with these challenges.
Table of Contents
ContentsIntroduction Listening to the Land through Oral HistoryKathryn Newfont with Debbie LeePart I: Building FluencyChapter 1 Memories of Precipitation: Gathering and Assessing Ecological Oral Histories in an Era of Climate ChangePeter FriedericiChapter 2 Fostering Relationships with the Wild: Oral History's Role in Recreation ManagementAlison Steiner and Daniel R. WilliamsChapter 3 The Public Significance of the Private FarmNathaniel Van YperenPart II: Listening through PlaceChapter 4 Documenting Tension on Idaho's Public Lands: A Case Study from the Idaho Oral History Center CollectionsTroy J Reeves and Linda Morton-KeithleyChapter 5 Territorial: A Collective Oral History of Land and Indigeneity in the Carib Territory of DominicaEmma Gaalaas MullaneyPart III: Fostering Community through EnvironmentChapter 6 Resurrecting Dead Lands: Two Oral Histories of Urban ExplorersBen S. Bunting Jr.Chapter 7 When the Flood Came for Good: Personal Stories and Impersonal Change in the Savannah River ValleyRobert P. ShapardChapter 8 (Re)Constructing Community Commons and Traditions: Urban Gardening and Community Spaces in the Haddington Neighborhood of West PhiladelphiaPatrick Hurley, Shakiya Canty, and Walter GreasonPart IV: Attending to Public LandChapter 9 "Sky-Fighters of the Forest": Conscientious Objectors, African American Paratroopers, and the U.S. Forest Service Smokejumping Program in World War IIAnnie HanshewChapter 10 Filling the Gaps with Silence: Women's Stories and the Movement to Save the Indiana DunesBrittany Bayless FremionChapter 11 "A sense of comfort and belonging in the woods": The Narrative of Laurel Munson BoyersBrenna Lissoway and Lu Ann JonesPart V: Interviewing the EnvironmentChapter 12 Thinking Like a File Cabinet: Eco-Cruising in the BitterrootJames G. LewisChapter 13 Legend Days: Becoming Animal in the Selway Bitterroot WildernessDebbie LeeChapter 14 The Many Lives of Newtown Creek: A New York StoryBetsy McCullyFurther ReadingContributorsIndex