Samuel F. Dennis, Jr. - »Naming is Taking: How People Invade the Woods«
Samuel F. Dennis, Jr., PhD, ASLA is a geographer and landscape architect whose research, teaching and practice focus on the social dimensions of environmental design at all scales. His previous work has explored the ways ideas about race, gender and nature have shaped the lowcountry landscape along the southeastern US coast. Sam teaches open space design studio and landscape theory seminar in the Department of Landscape Architecture, University of Wisconsin - Madison. He is affiliated with the Department of Urban and Regional Planning, the Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies at the UW and the Children, Youth and Environment Research Center at the University of Colorado.
"Naming is Taking" explores two episodes of woodland invasion set about 250 years apart. The first describes a group of Carolina rice planters aboard a ship with their surveyor and their slaves as they scout the Georgia sea islands in the mid 1700s. The second tells a story of a group of kids discovering the woods near their homes. One story features the Live Oak, quercus virginiana, and its connection to shipbuilding, slavery, sea island cotton, rice plantations and the ecologist, Eugene Odum. The other features the "fort tree" and its connection to discovery, trespassing, the demise of natural play and the landscape architect, Jens Jensen.