Special Issue "Peoples, Nature and Environments: Shaping Landscapes"

A special issue of Humanities (ISSN 2076-0787). This special issue belongs to the section "Transdisciplinary Humanities".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 June 2020).

Special Issue Editors

Dr. Ana Cristina Roque
Website
Guest Editor
Center for History—School of Arts and Humanities, University of Lisbon, 1600-214 Lisbon, Portugal
Interests: history of Africa and Indian ocean; environmental history
Dr. Cristina Brito
Website
Guest Editor
CHAM—Centre for the Humanities, NOVA University Lisbon, 1096-061 Lisbon, Portugal
Interests: marine environmental history; atlantic history; blue humanities
Dr. Cecilia Veracini
Website
Guest Editor
CAPP—Centre for Public Administration and Public Policies-ISCSP, University of Lisbon, 1300-663 Lisbon, Portugal
Interests: primatology & anthropology
Ms. Nina Vieira
Website
Guest Editor
CHAM—Centre for the Humanities, NOVA University Lisbon, 1096-061 Lisbon, Portugal
Interests: marine environmental history; history of the Portuguese discoveries
Dr. Joana Gaspar de Freitas
Website
Guest Editor
Center for History—School of Arts and Humanities, University of Lisbon, 1600-214 Lisbon, Portugal
Interests: environmental history; ocean and coastal history

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Over the centuries, different aspects of the human-natural world relationships have shaped a wide range of environments and landscapes. In the broad sense, landscapes mirror the synthesis of interactions between peoples and places, reflect circulation of knowledge and technology and materialize the development, transformation and adaptation of humans’ societies across time and space, in different geographic and cultural contexts. The result of these complex and multifaceted interconnections is the recognition of different environments and landscapes as a structural component of natural, historical, cultural and scientific heritage and a vital element in the creation of each community's identity. As such, this special issue aims to address the interaction between humans and the non-human world by bringing the broad concept of landscape into the discussion, considering that this concept also serves as a historical testimony and a fundamental source for the study of the past. This discussion can shed a light in this long-term relationship and interconnection essential in the current challenging contexts of environmental changes.

We are accepting Research Papers and Reviews in the suggested but non-exclusive main topics:

  • Animals and landscapes
  • Environmental and climate change and human impacts
  • Landscape as a living archive
  • Literary landscapes and soundscapes
  • Natural and cultural landscapes
  • Natural history and science
  • Society and environment
  • Waterscapes and littoral changes

Dr. Ana Cristina Roque
Dr. Cristina Brito
Dr. Cecilia Veracini
Ms. Nina Vieira
Dr. Joana Gaspar de Freitas
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a double-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Humanities is an international peer-reviewed open access quarterly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1400 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • Environmental History
  • Environmental Humanities
  • Nature
  • Culture
  • Animal Studies
  • Multispecies ethnography
  • Biodiversity and Conservation
  • Multidisciplinary and cross-comparative approaches
  • Nature Agency

Published Papers (9 papers)

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Research

Open AccessArticle
The Winds and the Waves That Carved Out Today’s Coastal Landscape of Sines (Portugal)
Humanities 2020, 9(4), 120; https://doi.org/10.3390/h9040120 - 15 Oct 2020
Abstract
The Atlantic maritime winds and waves, as natural forces, shaped the physiography of Sines, a peculiar rocky cliff cape at the western Portuguese coast, as well as cultural processes have shaped its spatial arrangement since ancient times. Despite its small size, Sines port [...] Read more.
The Atlantic maritime winds and waves, as natural forces, shaped the physiography of Sines, a peculiar rocky cliff cape at the western Portuguese coast, as well as cultural processes have shaped its spatial arrangement since ancient times. Despite its small size, Sines port has always been an important maritime trade corner. In the 1970s, winds and waves of modernity reached the Sines coast with an imposing industrial-port complex. We present the history of Sines cape focusing on its landscape dynamics. The patch-corridor-matrix model allowed us to describe the mosaic transformation of such a unique landscape. Spatial information was gathered mostly from historical maps processed with digital tools. A time series of thematic maps (landscape mosaic pattern) was obtained, covering more than 120 years. Current results emphasize that this landscape underwent relevant transformations related to human activities since former times, although disturbance and fragmentation of the landscape were strongly intensified after the arrival of the post-modern wave of the industrial culture. The present study provides a contribution to the history of the Portuguese and Mediterranean coastal landscapes; and results could be used to support decision making in sustainable management of this territory. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Peoples, Nature and Environments: Shaping Landscapes)
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Open AccessArticle
The Historical Landscape: Evoking the Past in a Landscape for the Future in the Cheonggyecheon Reconstruction in South Korea
Humanities 2020, 9(3), 113; https://doi.org/10.3390/h9030113 - 16 Sep 2020
Abstract
As cities become increasingly de-industrialized and emphasize building a sustainable future, we have seen an increase in the design of large-scale landscapes being incorporated into the urban fabric. The reconstruction of the Cheonggyecheon stream and park in Seoul, South Korea, is an example [...] Read more.
As cities become increasingly de-industrialized and emphasize building a sustainable future, we have seen an increase in the design of large-scale landscapes being incorporated into the urban fabric. The reconstruction of the Cheonggyecheon stream and park in Seoul, South Korea, is an example of this phenomenon. Since its completion in 2005, the city of Seoul has promoted the project as a restoration of its history and recreation of a collective memory of the site and historic stream from its geographic origins. However, this narrative of historic rebirth of a stream raises questions of authenticity, the selective emphasis of one history over another, and how this transformation of Seoul’s built environment may change the identity of the city’s culture and society. Using a mixture of direct observations of the park design, activities, and events held at the site, and interviews with project designers and former Seoul Metropolitan Government staff who worked on the project and Cheonggyecheon park visitors, this research examines the reconstruction of the Cheonggyecheon as simultaneously a recovery of and break with the past, and the representation of Seoul’s history, memory, and culture as performative functions of the design of the landscape and its activities. In the process, this new landscape offers a rewriting of the past and memory of the city as it redefines the identity of the city for its present and future. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Peoples, Nature and Environments: Shaping Landscapes)
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Open AccessArticle
A Landscape without Nonhuman Primates? The Case of the Barbary Macaque, Macaca sylvanus, (Linnaeus, 1758) and Its Interaction with Humans throughout Recorded Time
Humanities 2020, 9(3), 92; https://doi.org/10.3390/h9030092 - 25 Aug 2020
Abstract
Cultural and physical landscapes can be regarded as a result of the interaction among humans, nonhumans and a vast array of ecological factors. Nonhuman primates are our closest relatives and play a role in many cultural manifestations of mankind. Therefore interface between humans [...] Read more.
Cultural and physical landscapes can be regarded as a result of the interaction among humans, nonhumans and a vast array of ecological factors. Nonhuman primates are our closest relatives and play a role in many cultural manifestations of mankind. Therefore interface between humans and other primates can create complex social and ecological spaces, new physical and cultural landscapes. This work, based on historical, artistic, archaeozoological, anthropological and biological data aims to review the history of the interactions between humans and the Barbary macaque since Antiquity. Adopting a cross-disciplinary approach, it will explore the Barbary macaque/human interface across history, with special emphasis on the cultural impact and influence this species has had on the different Mediterranean civilizations. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Peoples, Nature and Environments: Shaping Landscapes)
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Open AccessArticle
The Whale in the Cape Verde Islands: Seascapes as a Cultural Construction from the Viewpoint of History, Literature, Local Art and Heritage
Humanities 2020, 9(3), 90; https://doi.org/10.3390/h9030090 - 24 Aug 2020
Abstract
Cultural constructions of landscapes, space and environments, and of people’s relationship with nature, have in the Cape Verde Islands a perspective of their own and might have been mediated by the whale. To address perceptions about these marine mammals, historical sources, literature, art, [...] Read more.
Cultural constructions of landscapes, space and environments, and of people’s relationship with nature, have in the Cape Verde Islands a perspective of their own and might have been mediated by the whale. To address perceptions about these marine mammals, historical sources, literature, art, memory and heritage were considered. Whaling influenced history and diaspora and is reflected in literary productions. Remains of whales are found in museums and used as decorative pieces and local art. We found the Cape Verdean seascapes as being culturally and naturally constructed and the whale occupies a true ‘place’ of convergence. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Peoples, Nature and Environments: Shaping Landscapes)
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Open AccessArticle
The Natural Frontiers of a Global Empire: The Pineapple—Ananas comosus—In Portuguese Sources of the 16th Century
Humanities 2020, 9(3), 89; https://doi.org/10.3390/h9030089 - 24 Aug 2020
Abstract
The great oceanic voyages had unexpected consequences on the pace with which plants moved between the most far-removed corners of the globe. From the mid-sixteenth century onwards, the huge distances covered led to an unprecedented change in the distribution of vegetable species. Settlers [...] Read more.
The great oceanic voyages had unexpected consequences on the pace with which plants moved between the most far-removed corners of the globe. From the mid-sixteenth century onwards, the huge distances covered led to an unprecedented change in the distribution of vegetable species. Settlers and voyagers took European plants with them and introduced them into the Americas, Africa, and Asia. African plants were transferred to America and Asia, and Asian species were dispersed across all continents. These biological transferences led to global changes in people’s dietary habits and therapeutic practices, as well as giving rise to new business opportunities and previously untested ways of exploiting the land. Originally from Brazil, the pineapple—Ananas comosus—made a great impression on those who came across it. Refusing to take root in the cold European latitudes, the fruit crossed the Atlantic Ocean aboard Portuguese ships in search of other territories with an adequate climate. In this essay, I will analyze the references to pineapple in the chronicles, botanical texts, and missionaries’ letters in circulation in the 1500s. I will examine the cultural context that permitted the diffusion of this botanical species and follow the oceanic routes traced by this exotic plant that allowed the wide dissemination of the fruit throughout the Portuguese empire. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Peoples, Nature and Environments: Shaping Landscapes)
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Open AccessArticle
An Early Bioinvasion in the Azores. Global Circulation and Local Dynamics (1840s–1860s) in Response to the Brown Soft-Scale Coccus hesperidum
Humanities 2020, 9(3), 78; https://doi.org/10.3390/h9030078 - 06 Aug 2020
Abstract
Bioinvasions occurred in the past as they do in the present, raising a set of ecological, economic, cultural and scientific changes. This paper focuses on how people dealt with and overcame the introduction and spread of the brown soft scale (Coccus hesperidum [...] Read more.
Bioinvasions occurred in the past as they do in the present, raising a set of ecological, economic, cultural and scientific changes. This paper focuses on how people dealt with and overcame the introduction and spread of the brown soft scale (Coccus hesperidum) in the Azorean orange groves in the 1840s–1860s. It describes the difficulties in the detection and the identification of the causal agent, the underestimation of the impacts in the early moments, the slow response and the limitations on methods of control. This is the earliest historical case of a plant pest documented in the Azores archipelago and the first that led to regulations concerning preventive measures and control. Research results are discussed in the framework of the global transfer of living organisms, rethinking Crosby’s original model of “Europeanizing” the colonial and overseas territories in the context of the nineteenth century empires. They highlight the relevance of understanding local dynamics, which reconsider the relationship between the center and the periphery. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Peoples, Nature and Environments: Shaping Landscapes)
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Open AccessArticle
J.M. Coetzee and Elizabeth Costello: Landscapes and Animals
Humanities 2020, 9(3), 74; https://doi.org/10.3390/h9030074 - 04 Aug 2020
Abstract
The South African writer John Maxwell Coetzee is well-known for references to animals in his fiction, also given the fact that he and one of his well-known characters, Elizabeth Costello, raise awareness of the cruelty enacted on animals. Many studies have been conducted [...] Read more.
The South African writer John Maxwell Coetzee is well-known for references to animals in his fiction, also given the fact that he and one of his well-known characters, Elizabeth Costello, raise awareness of the cruelty enacted on animals. Many studies have been conducted on Coetzee’s animals, but less attention has been placed on the settings and landscapes in which the animals are situated. Hence, this study aims at understanding the role of the landscapes surrounding the animals via an ecocritical approach. The paper focuses on Coetzee’s fiction featuring Elizabeth Costello, namely, The Lives of Animals (1999), Elizabeth Costello: Eight Lessons (2003), Slow Man (2005), and Moral Tales (2017) by identifying the animals and by discussing the related settings and landscapes. The research concludes that, despite the presence of several animals, there are almost no references to animals in pristine habitats, that most of the animals are in anthropized settings, and that animals’ and humans’ suffering are hidden in a shared landscape. This understanding is discussed as an ecological message about the interlinkages between the human and nonhuman worlds and between animals’ and humans’ wellbeing, also referring to the animal/human interconnectedness within the COVID-19 pandemic. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Peoples, Nature and Environments: Shaping Landscapes)
Open AccessArticle
Lead Mining, Conservation and Heritage: Shaping a Mountain in Northeast Wales
Humanities 2020, 9(3), 70; https://doi.org/10.3390/h9030070 - 31 Jul 2020
Abstract
This article discusses the shaping of Halkyn Mountain, an upland common in the county of Flintshire in northeast Wales. Extractive industry has had a dramatic impact on the area, and it was one of Britain’s major lead mining regions in the nineteenth and [...] Read more.
This article discusses the shaping of Halkyn Mountain, an upland common in the county of Flintshire in northeast Wales. Extractive industry has had a dramatic impact on the area, and it was one of Britain’s major lead mining regions in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. This extractive history is essential for understanding its contemporary character and is a key element of community identity and local heritage production. The mountain is a multilayered landscape that has been made and transformed by geomorphological and human action, by subterranean water flow, digging, burrowing and extraction, by internal rupture and the upheaval and movement of earth and rock, and by grazing, burning, clearing and churning up the surface. It continues to be shaped by management and conservation, by the lifeworlds of plants and animals, and by perspectives on what constitutes a landscape. Drawing from current anthropological research in Flintshire on the making and shaping of place, the article explores how Halkyn Mountain exemplifies the contested nature—and the contradictions and provocations—of landscape and the difficulties inherent in using, living on, defining and managing a place that has been reshaped by industry, but one that is continually coming into being. It does so through a consideration of the area as a landscape shaped and given form by lead mining, by multispecies encounters, by land management and conservation initiatives, and by how notions of heritage inform local identity and regional preservation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Peoples, Nature and Environments: Shaping Landscapes)
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Open AccessArticle
Where Humans and the Planetary Conflate—An Introduction to Environing Media
Humanities 2020, 9(3), 65; https://doi.org/10.3390/h9030065 - 17 Jul 2020
Abstract
In this essay, we provide an outline of historical and contemporary examples to illustrate the theoretical concept of environing media. We first discuss how humans have environed their surroundings long before the advent of scientific modernity and the rapid evolution of media technologies [...] Read more.
In this essay, we provide an outline of historical and contemporary examples to illustrate the theoretical concept of environing media. We first discuss how humans have environed their surroundings long before the advent of scientific modernity and the rapid evolution of media technologies that helped in making the planet governable. Against this background, we argue that a fundamental shift in the human–Earth relation happened after 1500 and that this shift is attributable to the development of environing media employed in the process of terrestrial globalisation. We see the present profound renegotiation of the human–Earth relation as a continuity, albeit with a different intensity as exemplified by the work in Earth system science. Finally, we invert Mike Hulme’s call for scientists to meet the humanities into an appeal to humanists to embrace the environmental sciences and pursue more integrative research. Recent developments in environmental history have seen an increased interest in the shaping of environments by means of technology. To this end, scholars have developed theoretical concepts like “environing technologies”, which are based on the premise that the environment is a historical formation by people and societies who form their surroundings as well as their sense of place. In the same vein, historical ecology has shown that premodern peoples also shaped the natural world to their purposes far more than what has generally been understood. The central premise is that what is understood as the environment is the result of human intervention and that environing technologies structure the way that it is used, perceived, and understood. These insights resonate with core notions in media theory, but they have never before been brought together. Given that all of our understanding of the environment today is the product of several processes of mediation, the theory of environing technology would benefit from stronger theorisation of the role of media. While the scale and intensity of information storage, processing, and transmission by media today are unprecedented, the logic of mediated data processing essentially remains the same as five centuries ago when agents of the Spanish Empire took part in shaping the understanding of the environment of the Americas and the globe. For these purposes, we propose the concept of environing media, as a means of both joining intellectual forces and pushing theoretical analysis of both branches further. The paper outlines the theory of environing media using examples from the Global South, in particular the shaping and sensing of landscapes in and around the Philippines. From early modern to late modern times, this region of the world has been influenced by environing media, most importantly circumnavigating ships and orbiting sensing satellites. The result is landscapes made and remade according to colonial and later capitalist priorities operating on a global, and eventually a planetary, scale. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Peoples, Nature and Environments: Shaping Landscapes)
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