Multispecies storytelling: more-than-human narratives about landscape

This network will examine what multispecies storytelling can contribute to participatory decision-making and landscape valuation in community settings.

Narratives of landscape mediate knowledge, inform public understanding, and contribute to the meanings and values assigned to place and space. The use of narrative to capture individual interactions and engagements with place is well established and storytelling practices have proved to be an effective method to elicit and explore the non-monetary values people attach to nature.

Principal Investigator Claire Parkinson introduces the project in this short video

Multispecies storytelling draws on narrative as a method but reorients the approach to look at nature through a more-than-human lens. Rethinking our relations with other species invites the production of new narratives through storytelling practices that can reshape understanding and knowledge of landscape value, heritage, and aesthetics. This project uses multispecies approaches to think about who speaks on behalf of nature, enlarge a group of stakeholders to include species other than humans, and use forms of storytelling to contribute to local participatory valuation and decision-making processes about land use.

The project is a collaboration between the Centre for Human Animal Studies, Edge Hill University and University of East Anglia which is home to the Nature Writing Archive at the British Archive for Contemporary Writing. The network brings together scholars working across creative and critical multispecies approaches to address the twin issues of landscape valuation and local empowerment. The project partner is Burscough Community Farm.