Moveable Gardens

Itineraries and Sanctuaries of Memory

Virginia D. Nazarea (Editor), Terese Gagnon (Editor)
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Moveable Gardens explores how biodiversity and food can counter the alienation caused by displacement. By offering in-depth studies on a variety of regions, this volume carefully considers various forms of sanctuary making within communities, and seeks to address how carrying seeds, plants, and other traveling companions is an ongoing response to the grave conditions of displacement in today’s world. The destruction of homelands, fragmentation of habitats, and post-capitalist conditions of modernity are countered by thoughtful remembrance of tradition and the migration of seeds, which are embodied in gardening, cooking, and community building.

Moveable Gardens highlights itineraries and sanctuaries in an era of massive dislocation, addressing concerns about finding comforting and familiar refuges in the Anthropocene. The worlds of marginalized individuals who live in impoverished rural communities, many Indigenous peoples, and refugees are constantly under threat of fracturing. Yet, in every case, there is resilience and regeneration as these individuals re-create their worlds through the foods, traditions, and plants they carry with them into their new realities.

This volume offers a new understanding of the performances and routines of sociality in the face of daunting market forces and perilous climate transformations. These traditions sustained our ancestors, and they may suffice to secure a more meaningful, diverse future. By delving into the nature of nostalgia, burrowing into memory and knowledge, and embracing the specific wonders of each deeply rooted or newly displaced community, endlessly valuable ways of being and understanding can be preserved.

Contributors: Guntra A. Aistara, Aida Curtis, Terese V. Gagnon, John Hartigan Jr., Tracey Heatherington, Taylor Hosmer, Hayden S. Kantor, Melanie Narciso, Virginia D. Nazarea, Emily F. Ramsey, Krishnendu Ray, David Sutton, James R. Veteto, Marc N. Williams

"Alongside food and memory studies, this book contributes to multispecies ethnography through highlighting food and plants not just as objects but as actors in embodied multispecies relations extending along temporal and spatial lines."—Noha Fikry, Gastronomica

“This carefully edited volume, well curated and well integrated, addresses a set of interrelated complexities critical to our current planetary era. United by two thematic threads, itineraries and sanctuaries, the chapters successfully illuminate and detail specific contexts while revealing commonalities across geographies.”—Ann Grodzins Gold, author of Shiptown: Between Rural and Urban North India

“This new collection of original essays by leading and younger anthropologists powerfully demonstrates that gardening and cooking are activities that produce longings without which no valued belonging can emerge or survive. Even under conditions of duress and displacement (or perhaps especially under such circumstances) longing sustains hope by triggering the possibility of belonging in the face of rupture.”—Laura Rival, author of Huaorani Transformations in Twenty-First-Century Ecuador: Treks into the Future of Time

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