Tag Archive | Nature

Caroline: Nature in New Orleans

I arrived at my interviewee’s home mildly sick and bundled against the chill of this unusually cold New Orleans winter. I was welcomed in, preoccupied with how I would suppress my coughs for the sake of the audio recording, and was pleasantly surprised by a warm and welcoming tea spread in his living room. We chatted and the interview got started, taking a familiar trajectory right off the bat.

“Nature for me is something that I’m not connecting to in New Orleans and so I- when I think about it I almost feel lost […] Nature for me is- in this area is, the swamps and dangerous and kind of scary and uncomfortable.” We continued to talk, covering topics from the mostly invisible but groaning Mississippi to the museum-like Audubon Park, this feeling of disconnect following through. “You know, we’re sealed off from the river. We don’t- we have this big wall that goes down, so we can’t even really see it unless Read More…

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Caroline: Exploring how the people of New Orleans define and relate to nature

My name is Caroline and I am a senior studying Media and Anthropology with a focus on the environment. I am spending my last Field Work Term in New Orleans, my hometown, conducting interviews with locals about how they make sense of and interact with their environment. The specific question I am trying to address with my research is: Within the city of New Orleans, what are the different definitions of nature at play and how are they acted out in relation to each other and to the environment? This question is one in a web of others that this project will touch on tangentially, all of which are concerned in some way with how the physical environment of the city informs its personality, how this collective identity changes over time, and how nature facilitates this change. In an attempt at making this line of inquiry more manageable and meaningful, I’ve decided to try delineating between different types of people, namely: the state, general citizenry, and experts (i.e. environmentalists/scientists). I will be pairing my interview work with visual contextual information that will be provided by a fellow student. I am excited to use this opportunity to delve into the world of visual anthropology as well.

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