Socio-cultural Analysis on Nature
Socio-cultural analysis on nature, is my academic main theme since my PhD studies. Like the literary critic Prof. Raymond Williams indicates in his book “Kaywords”, nature perhaps is one of the few complex English vocabularies. My study starts from relighous peoples’ environmental values, and gradually extends to issues related to indigenous hunting culture and ethics, ecological pioneers’ nature thoughts, animal liberation movement, and forest conservation. My interest falls upon their socio-cultural meanings. In these research, I often consult viewpoints from social constructivism and realism without being caught in a too simplistic use of them.
Traditional Ecological Knowledge
My research about traditional ecological knowledge has developed from the study of socio-cultural analysis on nature. In addition to religious peoples’ ecological thinking, I am concentrated on the subject of indigenous peoples’ traditional ecological knowledge. In a series of studies, I ask ecology as a science, how is it different from indigenous peoples’ environmental knowledge derived from their historical and cultural context? To what extent, they are in common. More importantly, what is the importance of traditional ecological knowledge? I am influenced deeply by the Canadian anthropologist Prof. Fikret Berkes. According to his study, he indicates four different levels of traditional ecological knowledge, including: naming system, resource use techniques, social organization and division, and cosmologies. Based on this framework, I study Tayal people’s place naming system, rituals, traditional territory, and natural resource use.
- Kevan J. Berg, Lahuy Icyeh, Yih-Ren Lin, Arnold Janz, Steven G. Newmaster (2016, Jun). Multiple-factor classification of a human-modified forest landscape in the Hsuehshan Mountain Range, Taiwan. Ambio: A Journal of Human Environment, 46, 1-14. (SCI).
- Lin, Yih-Ren and Hsin-Han, Wang（2014, Dec）. Natural Resources Management: An Exploration of the Tayal Model. Journal of the Taiwan Indigenous Studies, 4(4), 139-172. (in Chinese)
- Lin, Yih-Ren（2011, Nov）. Christian Ecological Belief and Indigenous Ecological Knowledge: Holmes Rolston Ⅲ's Ecological Philosophy on Wilderness. Taiwan Journal of Religious Studies，10, 3-26. (in Chinese) (THCI）
- Yih-Ren Lin. Indigenous People’s Hunting Issues and Environmental Ethics: A Contextual Observation in Taiwan. Sustainability and Quality of Life (ISBN: ISBN-13: 978-0-9743472-1-9). USA: Ria University Press. Aug, 2010: 255-294.
- Yih-Ren Lin. Cypress Forest Conservation on Taiwan: A Question of Value. Principles of Conservation Biology (ISBN：978-0-8789351-8-5). Sunderland, Massachusetts : Sinauer Associates. Dec, 2005: 131-135.
- Lin, Yih-Ren（2004, Sep）. The Dialectical Relationship between "Global" and "Local" Environmental Practices: A Case Study of Dharma Drum Mountain's "Huan-Bao" Discourse. Taiwan: A Radical Quarterly in Social Studies，55, 1-46. (in Chinese) (TSSCI)
- Lin, Yih-Ren（2004, Jul）. The Geographical Imagination of Ecological Thought: A Case Study on Introducing and Translating Rachael Carson and Aldo Leopold’s Nature Writing in Taiwan. Studies on Humanity and Ecology in Taiwan, 6(2), 41-68. (in Chinese)
- Lin, Yih-Ren（2004, Apr）. Cultural Construction of Natures: Contesting “Forest” Metaphors of Proposed Maqaw National Park. Museology Quarterly 18(2), 25-38. (in Chinese)
- Lin, Yih-Ren（2003, Mar）. Can Indigenous Hunting Culture and Animal Liberation Movement Be Allied? A Viewpoint from the Land Ethic. Chung Wai Literary Quarterly，32(2)，73-102. (in Chinese)（THCI）
- Lin, Yih-Ren（2001, May）. Environmental Philosophy and Social Practice. Contemporary, 165，26-39. (in Chinese)
My research related to political ecology has developed from my previous academic experiences from ecological science, environmental philosophy, social development theories (especially political economy) and cultural geography. In addition, my social engagement with the policy about indigenous natural resources governance and the state plays a key role in forming my political ecology thinking. Political ecology emphasizes an ethnographic contextualized understanding about the local and with critical political economic analysis so as to point out some crossing possibility of social justice and sustainability. I mainly work with Tayal people in Taiwan. The research topics cover Maqaw national park controversies, traditional territory, the fallen beech incident of Smangus, and river basin governance. Basically, these papers constitute a perspective to discuss Tayal’s political ecology with the state power.
- Kevan James Berg, Yih-Ren Lin, Lahuy Icyeh . Ecological and Ethnoecological Classification of a Forest Landscape near Smangus Village in the Tayal Mrqwang Territories, Taiwan . Ethnos, Geography and Development: An Interdisciplinary Approach to Human-Environment Relations. Taipei: Academia Sinica & Shung Ye Museum. Feb, 2017: 163-191.
- Lin, Yih-Ren（2015, Sep）. Lessons from the Tayal's Traditional Territory and Their River Basin Governance. Taiwan: A Radical Quarterly in Social Studies 100, 291-310. (in Chinese)（TSSCI）
- Lin, Yih-Ren（2015, Jan）. The Ecological Knowledge of Tayal People’s Migration and Distribution. Hsin-Chu Archive，60, 44-51. (in Chinese)
- Lin, Yih-Ren （2012, May）. Indigenous Ecological Knowledge. The Yi-Lan Journal of History, 93: 63-91. (in Chinese)
- Lin, Yih-Ren（2008, Dec）. Exploring Professor Holmes Rolston, III: A Perspective from Traditional Ecological Knowledge. Solitudo，16，77-128. (in Chinese)
- Lin, Yih-Ren（2007, Sep）. The Chief Seattlization of Nature Conservation in Taiwan: A Radical Perspective on Indigenous Traditional Ecological Knowledge. Chung Wai Literary Quarterly，36(3), 15-62. (in Chinese)（THCI）
Participatory action research is my academic approach to integrate my ecological teaching with my social engagement. As a university teacher, I believe research, teaching and social participation are three of my main duties. This methodology facilitates and integrates three of my main tasks. In exploring the question about “what is local knowledge?”, I found “learning by doing” is a key principle. My research problematic develops and modifies through continually interacting with the actors in the local people. Listen to them and work with them. In comparison with other research, this approach demands more time and efforts but however it reaches the understandings more in depth and not just confined to the researchers themselves. It also has stronger policy advocacy capacity. In the following papers and book chapters, I try to cover some topics related to Tayal people’s social development, community mapping, and ecological pedagogy.
- Lin, Yih-Ren（2018, Dec）. Thinking Like a Mountain: Reflections from Maqaw, Beech and Cypress. The Yi-Lan Journal of History, 43: 9~36. (in Chinese)
- Lin, Yih-Ren（2018, Jan）. Eating: An Intersection between Ecology and Indigenous Local Knowledge. Science, Technology, People 3: New Interdisciplinary Translating Route（ISBN：978-986-94772-6-0）（138-149）. Hsin-Chu：National Chao-Tung University Press. (in Chinese)
- Lin, Yih-Ren（2015, Mar）. Ecological Governance of Indigenous Peoples’ Land: The Case Study of Nan-shan Event. Journal of the Taiwan Indigenous Studies 5(1): 59-70. (in Chinese)
- Lin, Yih-Ren (2011, Jun). Politicizing Nature: The Maqaw National Park Controversy in Taiwan. Capitalism Nature Socialism, 22(2), 88-103.
- Kuan, Ta-Wei*, Yih-Ren Lin（2008, Dec）. What Tradition? Whose Territory? A Critical Review to the Indigenous Traditional Territory Survey and the Translation of Spatial Knowledge in Marqwang Case, Taiwan. Journal of Archaeology and Anthropology 69, 109 -141. (in Chinese) (TSSCI)
- Lin, Yih-Ren（2002, May）. A New National Park Movement: The Development and Discourse of Launching Maqaw National Park. The Yi-Lan Journal of History，57, 80-105. (in Chinese)
- Lin, Yih-Ren（2001, Nov）.The Social Meaning of Community Mapping. Bring People Back: Local Participation of Natural Resources Management（ISBN：957-02997-7-0）( 85-100). Hualien: Toroko National Park. (in Chinese)
- Lin, Yih-Ren*, Lahwy Icyeh and Da-Wei Kuan (Daya). (2007, Dec). Chapter 8. Indigenous Language–informed Participatory Policy in Taiwan: A Socio-political Perspective. Documenting and Revitalizing Austronesian Languages. (134-161). Honolulu: University of Hawaii Press.
- Lin, Yih-Ren*, Chun-Ming, Lai and Hui-Chung, Hsiao（2006, Feb）. The Understanding from Actions: The Study and Reflection of the Development and Ecology of Pyanan, a Tayal Community in Yi-Lan. The Yi-Lan Journal of History，27:191–242. (in Chinese)
- Lin, Yih-Ren（2001, Feb）. A Study on Community Mapping and Indigenous Social Development. Taipei County Culture，72: 68-81. (in Chinese)
- Lin, Yih-Ren（2014, Feb）. Ecological Teaching in the Action: An Interdisciplinary Knowledge Practice about Nature, Humanity and Society. Curriculum Reflection（ISBN：978-986-04-0304-6）（176-186）. Tainan: Research Center for Medicine, Science and Society, Cheng-Kung University. (in Chinese)
- Lin, Yih-Ren*, Chi-Chung, Tsai, Chuan-Cheng, Shu, Ching-Shu, Wu, Hsin-Han Wu, and Ching-Yi, Tsai.（2013, Mar）. Chapter 13 : The Ecological Home Imagination of Tatu Mountain. Future Education Imagination in Taiwan（ISBN：978-986-03-6414-9）（178-190）. Taipei：Ministry of Education. (in Chinese)