Paperback / softback
March 28, 2000
1.15 Pounds (US)
$25.95 USD, £16.50 GBP
v2.1 Reference

Earth, Air, Fire, Water

Humanistic Studies of the Environment

Edited by Jill Ker Conway
Written in a clear, accessible style with a general audience in mind, the essays in this volume offer fresh approaches to thinking about environmental issues. When we consider the forms of environmental decline most urgently in need of attention—eroding soils, shrinking forests, expanding deserts, acid rain, ozone depletion, air pollution, poisoned water supplies, the loss of biological diversity—it may seem logical that scientists should be the people mobilized to tackle these problems. Yet to devise effective solutions for today's environmental threats, we must situate them within their larger historical, societal, and cultural settings. Amelioration does not require exclusively scientific knowledge, but also changes based upon law and public policy, on institutional structures and practices, on habits of consumption, and on countless other facets of daily life. Earth, Air, Fire, Water seeks to redirect our thinking about environmental issues by locating them in the behavior of human beings—in the institutions, beliefs, and practices that mediate between people and that obscure but beautiful nonhuman world we refer to as "nature." The book opens with a section on the elements and the ways humans have understood them in the past. There follows a section devoted to social institutions and the ways in which we can learn from current and past efforts to study the interaction between people and nature. The concluding section analyzes the culture of modernity and the ways in which the human imagination has changed in response to the arrival of modern technology. In addition to the editors, contributors include Gregory Nagy, Donald Worster, Stephen J. Pyne, John F. Richards, Richard White, Terence Turner, Barbara Epstein, Oleg N. Yanitsky, Bina Agarwal, Anton Struchkov, Yaakov Garb, and Louis Menand.

About the Author

Jill Ker Conway is a visiting scholar and professor at MIT. She was president of Smith College for ten years. Her latest book is When Memory Speaks. Kenneth Keniston is Andrew Mellon Professor of Human Development at MIT. His most recent book is The Fragile Contract. Leo Marx is the William R. Kenan Jr. Professor of American Cultural History (emeritus) at MIT. His most recent book, edited with Bruce Mazlish, is Progress: Fact or Illusion?
University of Massachusetts Press

9781558492219 : earth-air-fire-water-conway
Paperback / softback
368 Pages
$25.95 USD

Other Titles by Jill Ker Conway

Women on Power

edited by Sue J.M. Freeman, Susan C. Bourque, Christine M. Shelton, OtherJill Ker Conway
Jun 2001 - Northeastern University Press
$29.95 USD - Paperback / softback
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Other Titles in SCIENCE / Environmental Science

Cultivating Environmental Justice

Robert S. Emmett
Feb 2020 - University of Massachusetts Press
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Across This Land, second edition

John C. Hudson
Feb 2020 - Johns Hopkins University Press
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International Wildlife Management

edited by John L. Koprowski and Paul R. Krausman
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$74.95 USD - Electronic book text
$74.95 USD - Hardback