Dr. Kuhlken is an associate professor of geography at Central Washington University, Ellensburg, Washington 98926–7420.
SETTIN‘ THE WOODS ON FIRE: RURAL INCENDIARISM AS PROTEST
Article first published online: 21 APR 2010
1999 American Geographical Society
Volume 89, Issue 3, pages 343–363, July 1999
How to Cite
KUHLKEN, R. (1999), SETTIN‘ THE WOODS ON FIRE: RURAL INCENDIARISM AS PROTEST. Geographical Review, 89: 343–363. doi: 10.1111/j.1931-0846.1999.tb00223.x
- Issue published online: 21 APR 2010
- Article first published online: 21 APR 2010
- land tenure;
- peasant revolt;
- political ecology
ABSTRACT. Fire is a fundamental tool within a broad spectrum of vegetation-management strategies, from swidden agriculture to plantation forestry. Through the seemingly pyromanic activity of incendiarism, fire assumes additional significance in the human-environment relationship. Case studies from England, Algeria, and the southern United States serve to illustrate the circumstance of fire as an indication of agrarian discontent and a weapon of peasant resistance. Other documented cases of incendiarism reveal that use of fire in the landscape has expanded from a constructive ecosystem-manipulation technique to a destructive form of protest undertaken by the oppressed or disempowered.