Conference Keynote: “Dark Ecology, The Bear Mother and Other Ecological Teachers and Guides”

Cristina Eisenberg

Cristina Eisenberg

Dr. Cristina Eisenberg will present the Saturday keynote for our 2016 conference.  This cutting-edge presentation will weave a web of connections among animals, humans, myths and foremothers.

Dark Ecology is a post-modern philosophy based on the premise that there is no division between the human and the non-human. For millennia, animals and humans shared ecosystems, moving together in a trophic, spiral dance, celebrating life across the ebb and flow of the seasons through birth and death, great migrations, the sanctity of the hunt. Modern humans imposed a mechanistic, anthropocentric, masculine view of the world, one based on human dominion over nature. Today we know that such beliefs are completely untenable and have led to the ecological wreckage we see worldwide. As we strive to mend the tangled web of life and repair the damage we’ve wrought to whole ecosystems and all the beings that inhabit them, the animals, particularly animal mothers, are functioning as guides as they always have. These animals are teaching us profound lessons in dark ecology: what it means to be human and nonhuman and how there really is no dividing line, how we are but part of the same continuum. Their lessons will enable us to live more rightly on the earth and restore the planet and our human spirits. Cristina Eisenberg will share some of the lessons she’s received from animal mothers she’s known and others that have shaped her work as a scientist. She will discuss the bright chimeric hope these animal teachers have to offer to humanity.

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