Title

Botanical memory: Exploring emotional recollections of native flora in the Southwest of Western Australia

Document Type

Journal Article

Faculty

Faculty of Education and Arts

School

School of Communications and Arts / Centre for Research in Entertainment, Arts, Technology, Education and Communications

RAS ID

14208

Comments

This article was originally published as: Ryan, J. C. (2012). Botanical memory: Exploring emotional recollections of native flora in the Southwest of Western Australia. Emotion, Space and Society, 8, 27-38.

Abstract

This paper examines the nexus of ecology, sensory experience, and emotion through the concept of botanical memory. Building upon theoretical precedents in environmental memory, collective memory, sensory memory, bodily memory, and emotional geography, I describe botanical memory as an important cultural convergence between plants and people. An ethnographic approach to the description of botanical memory draws from transcripts of interviews conducted with amateur botanists and tourists during the spring wildflower seasons of 2009-10 in the Southwest of Western Australia. Visitors from outside the region tend to communicate feelings of celebration and appreciation focused on memories of the beauty of wildflowers. In contrast, local residents engaged in conservation efforts tend to emphasize despair over species and habitat losses witnessed during their lifetimes. The paper concludes by stressing the heterogeneous character of botanical memory as a blend of emotionality, sensuousness, and embodiment. Research into botanical memory provides a promising wellspring for uncovering sense-rich emotional connections to flora.

DOI

10.1016/j.emospa.2012.09.001

Access Rights

Not open access

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