Donna L. Seamone
Associate Professor of Comparative Religion, Acadia University, Nova Scotia, Canada
About Donna L. Seamone
Donna L. Seamone, (Ph.D. Graduate Theological Union, Berkeley 2000) is Associate Professor of Comparative Religion Classics at Acadia University in Wolfville, Nova Scotia, where she also holds the Lumsden Chair in Religious Studies
She teaches religious studies, and has twice received teaching awards at Acadia.
Core faculty member:
- Environmental and Sustainability Studies Program
- Women's and Gender Studies Program
- Interdisciplinary M.A. Program in Social and Political Thought.
Summary of individual project in REDO
Farmers and Pilgrims: Ritualizing New Relationships, Negotiating Cultural and Natural Pluralism
Across the globe economic realities threaten the sustainability of traditions of rural life, especially small scale intimate relations with land, food and locales. Simultaneously, the ecological crisis awakens an awareness of the need for new ways of relating to “more-than-human-nature” (Abrams, 1996).
One response to these crises has been the emergence of agri-tourism, a particular kind of sustainable, rural eco-tourism (Honey 2008). I propose ethnographic research of a these global phenomena in a particular locale investigating eco/agri-tourist ventures in in eastern Canada, I will focus on ritualized events including: farm vacations, farm markets (with extended activities), farm festivals, slow-food activities and permaculture.
Approaching rural ecotourism with a performance approach to ritual (Goffman, 1967), as ritualizing (Grimes, 1990) with a repertoire of staple acts (Seamone, 2012), I will show how agri-tourism is a creative manifestation of ritual pluralization by which persons come into possession of reality and come to be possessed by that reality (Delattre, 1978).
Farmers will be shown inventing new forms of ritualized sociality, centered on celebration of food and place mingled with commerce, through performative acts of engagement and self-display. Urban dwellers will be shown as pilgrims/tourists (Badone &Roseman, 2004), seeking out rural experience of life-ways and food-ways with those who live a daily precarious inter-dependency.
I will interrogate how ritualized intersections create new modes of sociality amongst humans and with the more than human (nature/place) (LeVasseu, 2011) and how these experiments in sustainability foster new modes of negotiating cultural and natural pluralism creating new cultural conditions for identity, habitation and community building.