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Landscapes and Throughscapes in Italian Forest Worlds: Thinking Dramatically about the Anthropocene

By Andrew S. Mathews

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Cite As:
Mathews, Andrew. 2018. “Landscapes and Throughscapes in Italian Forest Worlds: Thinking Dramatically about the Anthropocene”. Cultural Anthropology 33 (3), 386-414. https://doi.org/10.14506/ca33.3.05.

Abstract

Phenomenological descriptions of landscapes, trees, and terraces, combined with oral history and historical ecology, find traces of industrialization, plant disease, and forest fires in central Italian forests. Plant form, landscape form, and forest structure can be described through drawings that give resolutely partial descriptions of more-than-human encounters. This kind of knowledge of the landscape is potentially unstable and remade by the details that it contains. By using multiple methods for attending to more-than-human landscapes, we can learn to notice multiple throughscapes, landscape patterns that overlap and lie through each other, but which are linked to different histories. Multiplying histories means that rather than being seen as a single era, the Anthropocene can be understood as having many beginnings and coexisting histories that give rise to multiple futures.

Keywords

forests; landscapes; pathogens; Anthropocene; Italy