Forest Humanities JISCMail
On the basis of some correspondence with other researchers, I’ve started a JISCMail for forest research. Charles Watkins has observed, in European Woods and Forests: Studies in Cultural History (1998), that ‘the complexity of forest history has been disguised’ by its treatment within particular definitions and disciplines, and that broader work is needed on the cultural meanings of woods and forests. Sylvie Nail, in Forest Policies and Social Change in England (2008), observes that the rise of new academic disciplines such as landscape ecology and environmental psychology has added to the copious discourse around forests. This includes analysis of history, politics, aesthetics, cultural meanings, and social and economic power structures: ‘(m)ore often than not, however, such aspects are dealt with in isolation, cut off from one another’.
Many distinct groups exist which address such aspects of forest use – Forest Research stations such as Alice Holt, and research projects, such as Langton and Jones’ Forests and Chases of England and Wales – but there is little broadcasting of activities to each other, or to those working with other scholarly motives, technologies, or periods (such as medieval literature, or heritage studies). I’ve suggested a JISCMail as a starting point.
“This list is for sharing announcements of events, publications, and ongoing research in the culture of trees and forests. It brings together academics and researchers from different institutions and fields, including environmental history, anthropology, art history, law, literature, and geography. It aims to provide a communication network for the large breadth of research in forest humanities, history, politics, and culture.”
The mailing list is FOREST-HUMANITIES@JISCMAIL.AC.UK, and you can go to its web page and subscribe here, after which you can freely post. Please do cascade the message out to anyone else who might find it useful for keeping their ear to the ground (or trunk…).