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Walking stories: doing and making out and about 
Elizabeth Rahman (University of Oxford)
Shonil Bhagwat (The Open University)
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Jan Masschelein (KU Leuven Belgium)
Shonil Bhagwat (The Open University)
Thursday 17 September, 14:30-16:00, 16:30-18:00

Short Abstract:

The panel scrutinises how the land and outdoor pursuits evoke conversations, reflections, narrations and instructions that help us 'notice' features salient to our engagements. We interrogate'walking ethnography' and explore practices aimed at knowing and respecting the places in which we dwell.

Long Abstract

This panel focuses on stories told when out and about. It explores how the land evokes conversations, reflections and narrations and how these take place when walking, climbing, boating, sliding, jumping, running or otherwise moving through the landscape. This includes oral histories, biographies, mythologies or anecdotes and instructions for engagement and practice. Stories may be moralising, involve environmental education and include compound knowledge sets, integrating ecology, with climate and the social and physical sciences. Stories may be related to the sourcing of foods, fruit, fish or game or materials for artisanal work. Our focus extends to the making of things in situ, such as vegetable fibre bags for transporting gathered fruits. Instructions may be related to recreational or sports activities, including those considered 'traditional'.

In this panel, we are particularly interested in making the link between heritage and intangible heritage - techniques and practices of engagement, perception and 'noticing'. Such 'noticing' might occur when instructors, educationalists, or others well-versed in a particular landscape, direct the attention of those less well-versed towards environmental features and discrepancies. For example, in directing young people to notice features of water movement when canoeing, or palpating the aptness of fibres sourced for artistic work. Stories may also be folktales or legends describing geomorphorming or land genesis. This panel seeks to interrogate the 'walking ethnography', to explore how both formal and casual practices attempt to meaningfully engage children, youth, peers and the 3rd age in knowing and respecting the places in which we dwell.

Accepted papers: