But one kind of watery place that I’ve largely neglected here is the body.
And while this post will mostly be about human bodies, there’s no reason not to be inclusive of plant and animal bodies as well. Water and whatever may be suspended in it flows in and out of our bodies—whether human or non-human, animal or plant—with all sorts of consequences for both ecological health and the ways we understand our relationship to the environment. Re-imagining all of our bodies as watery landscapes can be revealing.
It’s been a horrendous winter as far as unusually extreme weather goes. The UK has been drowning for weeks and the Upper Midwest has been utterly frozen. Life in Madison this season has felt almost as if the mile-thick ice sheets of 20,000 years ago had stopped by to check on their old stomping grounds. California, meanwhile, has experienced its driest year in over a century, dramatically compounding an already unbearable drought.
2013 was mostly a pretty quiet year around Porous Places. Aside from a lone neurobiology post in February, things were pretty dead until I managed to commit to a twice-monthly (or so) schedule in August. Unlike my poor, neglected blog, however, my twitter and RSS feeds were full of remarkable stuff when it came to the porous and the waterlogged. For this final post of 2013, I present a roundup of the year in watery places. Continue reading →
Over the last few decades, scholars from across the social sciences and humanities have been hard at work building an interdisciplinary field around the study of memory. Historians, anthropologists, psychologists, and many, many more have produced some fascinating conversations about the ways people remember and forget, and all the consequences cascading from those two phenomena. It’s a fascinating body of work and includes research devoted to everything from the study of technology and emotion to the multi-generational impacts of trauma. Continue reading →
At the close of my last research trip to Louisiana, I had the pleasure of flying out of New Orleans in the late afternoon. Strapped to the window seat of a little regional jet, I got a chance to stare down over the soggy marshes around lakes Maurepas and Ponchartrain as we spun north of the Crescent City. The orange gleam of golden-hour light scattered across the wetlands below and, for a moment, a blazing hub-and-spoke pattern flashed through my window. I’d caught the sun’s reflection off of hundred-year-old canals radiating from the swamp’s interior.
Hub-and-spoke patterns in Manchac Swamp, Louisiana. Google Earth, retrieved November, 2013. Click to enlarge.