Laura Ogden's Swamplife Summary

705 Words3 Pages
Laura A. Ogden’s Swamplife, is an ethnographic work that examines the culture of Southern Florida and the people there called “Gladesmen”. An ethnographic work means, it examines the aspects of a place and informs of a different culture. The gladesmen are a culture of people whose ancestors settled in Southern Florida and survived and thrived off the flora and fauna in the Everglades. Ogden indicates in the first chapter that she wants know the gladesmen’s history and experience in order to understand how they are “marginalized, illegal and largely forgotten”. This is the point of her book, to look for understanding and to show that a place largely thought of as complete wilderness, is actually thriving with human activity, not just a superorganism devoid of human life.
Ogden begins exploring the people and how they interact with their environment in a particularly anthropological way called “landscape ethnography”. Ogden creates an emphasis on a spatial philosophy concept called the “rhizome” made known by two French philosophers, Deleuze and Guattari. The rhizome is responsible for the way Ogden approaches this research. The book emphasizes the importance of interactions between different variables like humans, non-humans, and
…show more content…
The Everglades is a much more complicated natural feature then known on the superficial level. When writing, Ogden breathes so much life into her pages with stories and facts that sometimes you can easily forget you are reading a work of nonfiction. If had not read this book, I would still be in the dark on this culture and the challenges they have faced and continue to. Not only did this book teach me about the culture but also allowed me to explore theories I had never interacted with, like the idea of rhizome. Now I see the Everglades for what it is, a superorganism with human and non-human activity giving life to its
Open Document