Kinship: Belonging in a World of Relations
Co-edited by Gavin Van Horn, Robin Wall Kimmerer, and John Hausdoerffer
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 recognition of nonhumans as persons to the care of our kinfolk through language and action, Kinship: Belonging in a World of Relations is a guide and companion into the ways we can deepen our care and respect for the family of plants, rivers, mountains, animals, and others who live with us in this exuberant, life-generating, planetary tangle of relations.
The Kinship Book Series comprises five volumes (listed below, with a framing question that animates each respective volume).
Vol. 1. – Planet
Contributors: David Abram, Ginny Battson, Marcia Bjornerud, Brenda Cárdenas, Ceridwen Dovey, Marcelo Gleiser, Art Goodtimes, Sean Hill, Robin Wall Kimmerer, J. Drew Lanham, Manulani Aluli Meyer, Steve Paulson, Craig Santos Perez, Heather Swan, Bron Taylor, Andrew S. Yang
With every breath, every sip of water, every meal, we are reminded that our lives are inseparable from the life of the world—and the cosmos—in ways both material and spiritual. What are the sources of our deepest evolutionary and planetary connections, and of our profound longing for kinship?
Vol. 2 – Place
Contributors: Aaron Abeyta, Bethany Barratt, Elizabeth Bradfield, Art Goodtimes, John Hausdoerffer, Sean Hill, Lisa María Madera, Curt Meine, Gary Paul Nabhan, Melissa Nelson, Lillian Pearce, Devon G. Peña, Craig Santos Perez, Enrique Salmón, Gavin Van Horn, Diane Wilson
Given the place-based circumstances of human evolution and culture, global consciousness may be too broad a scale of care for us. To what extent does crafting a deeper connection with the Earth’s bioregions reinvigorate a sense of kinship with the place-based beings, systems, and communities that mutually shape one another?
Vol. 3 – Partners
Contributors: Sharon Blackie, Nickole Brown, Brenda Cárdenas, Ourania Emmanouil, Monica Gagliano, Anne Galloway, Sean Hill, Julian Hoffman, Tim Ingold, Toby McLeod, Martin Lee Mueller, Steve Paulson, Richard Powers, Merlin Sheldrake, Eleanor Sterling, Heather Swan, Manon Voice, Rowen White
How do cultural traditions, narratives, and mythologies shape the ways we relate, or not, to other beings as kin? How do relations between and among different species foster a sense of responsibility and belonging in us?
Vol. 4 – Persons
Contributors: Elizabeth Bradfield, Brian Calvert, Brenda Cárdenas, Shannon Gibney, Graham Harvey, Lyanda Fern Lynn Haupt, John Hausdoerffer, Brooke Hecht, Liam Heneghan, Andy Letcher, Freya Mathews, Daegan Miller, Susan Richardson, Kimberley Ruffin, David Taylor, Manon Voice, Andreas Weber, Brooke Williams, Orrin Williams
Kinship spans the cosmos, but it is perhaps most life changing when experienced directly and personally. Which experiences expand our understanding of being human in relation to other-than-human beings? How can we respectfully engage a world full of human and nonhuman persons?
Vol. 5 – Practice
Kinship Practices and Ethics
Contributors: Sharon Blackie, Nickole Brown, Sunil Chauhan, Alison Hawthorne Deming, Tom Fleischner, Tiokasin Ghosthorse, Matthew Hall, John Hausdoerffer, Trebbe Johnson, Robin Wall Kimmerer, María Isabel Morales, Ajay Rastogi, Jill Riddell, Enrique Salmón, Amba Sepie, Heather Swan, Maya Ward, Kyle Whyte, Orrin Williams, Anthony Zaragoza
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? What are the practical, everyday, and lifelong ways we become kin?
About the co-editors:
Gavin Van Horn is the Creative Director and Executive Editor for the Center for Humans and Nature. His writing is tangled up in the ongoing conversation between humans, our nonhuman kin, and the animate landscape. He is the co-editor (with John Hausdoerffer) of Wildness: Relations of People and Place, co-editor (with Dave Aftandilian) of City Creatures: Animal Encounters in the Chicago Wilderness, and the author of The Way of Coyote: Shared Journeys in the Urban Wilds.
Robin Wall Kimmerer is a mother, botanist, writer, and Distinguished Teaching Professor at the SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry in Syracuse, New York, and the founding Director of the Center for Native Peoples and the Environment. She is an enrolled member of the Citizen Potawatomi Nation and a student of the plant nations. Her writings include Gathering Moss and Braiding Sweetgrass: Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge and the Teachings of Plants. As a writer and a scientist, her interests include not only restoration of ecological communities, but restoration of our relationships to land. She lives on an old farm in upstate New York, tending gardens domestic and wild.
John Hausdoerffer, jhausdoerffer.com, is author of Catlin’s Lament: Indians, Manifest Destiny, and the Ethics of Nature as well as co-author and co-editor of Wildness: Relations of People and Place and What Kind of Ancestor Do You Want to Be? John is the Dean of the School of Environment & Sustainability at Western Colorado University and co-founder of Coldharbour Institute, the Center for Mountain Transitions, and the Resilience Studies Consortium. John serves as a Fellow and Senior Scholar for the Center for Humans and Nature.