Volume 4 of the Kinship series revolves around the question of interpersonal relations: Which experiences expand our understanding of being human in relation to other-than-human beings?
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. The 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.
Kinship spans the cosmos, but it is perhaps most life changing when experienced directly and personally. “Persons,” Volume 4 of the Kinship series, attends to the personal—our unique experiences with particular creatures and landscapes. This includes nonhuman kin that become our allies, familiars, and teachers as we navigate a “world as full of persons, human and otherwise, all more-or-less close kin, all deserving respect,” as religious studies scholar Graham Harvey puts it. The essayists and poets in the volume share a wide variety of kinship-based experiences—from Australian ecophilosopher Freya Mathews’s perspective on climate-related devastation on her country’s koalas, to English professor and forest therapy guide Kimberly Ruffin’s reclamation of her “inner animal,” to German biologist and philosopher Andreas Weber’s absorption with and by lichen. Our kinships are interpersonal, and being “pried open with curiosity,” as poet and hip-hop emcee Manon Voice notes in this volume, “Stir the first of many magicks.”
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.Paperback, 194 pages.