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Engaged with Ecology

Joe Culhane

Engaged With Ecology: A podcast, process and journey of inquiry into Phenomenology and Herbalism and their potential as accessible pathways to better relationships with the more than human world. Hosted by Joe Culhane, this is his major project for the culmination of the MA in Engaged Ecology at Schumacher College (via the University of Plymouth) in Devon, England. It will focus on phenomenology, herbalism (specifically intuitive and sensory), our relationships with the more-than-human world, and whether philosophy like phenomenology should be more accessible. Also whether it is or could be a good tool/resource for building these better relationships with the world of nature we are intrinsically connected to and a part of, why this is so important to me, and what I believe is at stake.This is a scholarly personal narrative with elements of scholarly activism and (post) qualitative research methodology. The key questions explored are: How does (or can) the practice or process of phenomenology facilitate and deepen a relationship with the more-than-human world for those in Western Civilization? A secondary question: Is intuitive and sensory herbalism a form of phenomenology? And if so, are these perhaps more accessible pathways for folks to connect with the more-than-human world and develop better relationships? A third question that has come out of these inquiries, and will be explored throughout is ethical: what role do the more-than-humans have in these relationships and what responsibility do I have in acknowledging their contributions? And a fourth question that will be woven through this project is: Could this inquiry potentially help shift our settler-colonial and capitalist - perpetual growth on a finite planet - mindset, which drives the Western Civilization story that is at the heart of our current dominant global narrative?