Kinship: Belonging in a World of Relations, Vol. 5 – Practice

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*Part of the 5-Volume Set 2022 Nautilus Book Award Gold Medal Winner: Ecology & Environment and Special Honors as Best of Anthology

Volume 5 of the Kinship series revolves around the question of practice: What are the practical, everyday, and lifelong ways we become kin?

We live in an astounding world of relations. We share these ties that bind with our fellow humans—and we share these relations with nonhuman beings as well. From the bacterium swimming in your belly to the trees exhaling the breath you breathe, this community of life is our kin—and, for many cultures around the world, being human is based upon this extended sense of kinship.

Kinship: Belonging in a World of Relations is a lively series that explores our deep interconnections with the living world. These five Kinship volumes—Planet, Place, Partners, Persons, Practice—offer essays, interviews, poetry, and stories of solidarity, highlighting the interdependence that exists between humans and nonhuman beings. More than 70 contributors—including Robin Wall Kimmerer, Richard Powers, David Abram, J. Drew Lanham, and Sharon Blackie—invite readers into cosmologies, narratives, and everyday interactions that embrace a more-than-human world as worthy of our response and responsibility. These diverse voices render a wide range of possibilities for becoming better kin.

From the perspective of kinship as a recognition of nonhuman personhood, of kincentric ethics, and of kinship as a verb involving active and ongoing participation, how are we to live? “Practice,” Volume 5 of the Kinship series, turns to the relations that we nurture and cultivate as part of our lived ethics. The essayists and poets in this volume explore how we make kin and strengthen kin relationships through respectful participation—from creative writer and dance teacher Maya Ward’s weave of landscape, story, song, and body, to Lakota peace activist Tiokasin Ghosthorse’s reflections on language as a key way of knowing and practicing kinship, to cultural geographer Amba Sepie’s wrestling with how to become kin when ancestral connections have frayed. The volume concludes with an amazing and spirited conversation between John Hausdoerffer, Robin Wall Kimmerer, Sharon Blackie, Enrique Salmon, Orrin Williams, and Maria Isabel Morales on the breadth and qualities of kinship practices.

Proceeds from sales of Kinship benefit the nonprofit, non-partisan Center for Humans and Nature, which partners with some of the brightest minds to explore human responsibilities to each other and the more-than-human world. The Center brings together philosophers, ecologists, artists, political scientists, anthropologists, poets and economists, among others, to think creatively about a resilient future for the whole community of life.

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Center for Humans and Nature
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