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Sunday, March 29 • 9:00am - 10:30am
Session 4 Paper Stream 3: Trees and Plants

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Session 4 Paper Stream 3: Trees and Plants

Thomas Puleo: "Considering Plants as Persons"

In this paper, I discuss to what extent plants can and should be considered as persons, in philosophical as well as physiological terms. My aim is similar to that of animal activists who claim a parallel status for nonhuman creatures, particularly primates and other mammals. I first outline conceptual understandings and practiced engagements with personhood, as derived from work in the arts and humanities, and the social and natural sciences, as well as from pieces in popular, industrial and professional media publications. I then draw upon the research of plant scientists, scholars and advocates to assess and ultimately argue in favor of plants being granted a form of personhood. I conclude my intervention by raising a number of ethical and legal issues that such a radical shift in thinking and acting would elicit for members of modern industrialized societies, and provide some possible solutions that would necessarily be both metaphysical and practical in nature. My overall purpose is to present an enhanced understanding of place by blurring the line between the categories of habitant and habitat, and to highlight new insights into the nature of plants, the most populous and critical consumers of water on the planet, and the hardiest and most productive agents of climate, in an effort to view them less as resources to be exploited and more as fellow creatures to be understood, accommodated and respected.

Katherine Palmer: "Clarinets for Conservation: Reaching Our Roots and Creating Change Through Music"
Since 2010, the students of Korongoni Secondary School in Moshi, Tanzania have participated in an interdisciplinary summer program through the organization Clarinets for Conservation (C4C). The mission of Clarinets for Conservation is to use music instruction as a socially engaging tool for adolescent students and their communities in the United States and Tanzania. Students participating in Clarinets for Conservation spend part of each day learning the discipline of music performance on the clarinet and about the basic principles of sustainability and conservation of indigenous trees. The students learn how to identify and care for trees; afterwards, they take what they have learned about music and conservation to the community. 

During the 2010 pilot program, participants planted fifty African Blackwood trees at one school; in 2012, C4C planted three hundred eighty African Blackwood at twelve public schools and one orphanage; in 2013, the number increased to six hundred forty seven trees at sixteen different planting sites. The trees are owned and cared for by the students and staff at each school; schools will use the value of the harvest to improve infrastructure and the overall educational environment. 

The purpose of this presentation is to provide quantitative and qualitative data collected in 2010-2014 and to demonstrate that teaching clarinet serves as an effective tool to provide interdisciplinary arts education in a least-developed nation. During the course of this paper, C4C organizers will discuss the community need, Clarinet for Conservation’s missions and goals, and the impact that C4C has had on the community.  


Jennifer Post

Jennifer C. Post is an ethnomusicologist whose in-depth fieldwork includes research on music in Inner Asia, especially music among Kazakh mobile pastoralists in Mongolia, on North Indian musical traditions, and on rural Northern New England performance practice. Her current work includes... Read More →


Katherine Palmer

Dr. Katherine Palmer is currently the Museum Educator at the Musical Instrument Museum in Phoenix, Arizona, where she is in charge of developing and teaching educational programs. Katherine earned a Doctorate of Musical Arts (clarinet) and a Master of Arts (ethnomusicology) from Arizona... Read More →

Thomas Puleo

Thomas J Puleo is an assistant professor in the School of Politics and Global Studies at Arizona State University. A geographer by training, he studies the roles that landscapes play in the resilience of places at multiple scales (personal, municipal, national, global). Because landscapes... Read More →

Sunday March 29, 2015 9:00am - 10:30am MST
Art 246 900 S. Forest Mall Tempe, AZ 85281

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