An appraisal of how ethnobotanical classification works, addressing some of the problems associated with the received models
Leverhulme Trust Emeritus Fellowship, 2018-2020
Emeritus Professor Roy Ellen will complete a large monograph on the subject of ethnobotanical cognition, knowledge and practice among the Nuaulu of Seram, eastern Indonesia. This work – the culmination of Professor Ellen’s last 50 years of academic research – also endeavours to re-appraise how ethnobotanical classification works, addressing some of the problems associated with the received models by emphasising much more intra-cultural variation, the difficulties of simple claims for universality versus relativity, of cultural models versus individual contextual schemata, and of the two-dimensional taxonomic model.
Ellen, R. (2017). Contingency and adaptation over five decades in Nuaulu forest-based plant knowledge. In P. Sillitoe (Ed.), Indigenous knowledge: enhancing its contribution to natural resource management (pp. 28-39). Wallingford, Oxfordshire: CAB International.
Ellen, R. (2017). Categorizing natural objects: some issues arising from recent work in cognitive anthropology and ethnobiological classification. In T. Pommerening & Bisang, W. (Eds.), Classification from antiquity to modern times : sources, methods, and theories from an interdisciplinary perspective (pp. 263-277). Berlin: De Gruyter.
Ellen, R. (2017). Rethinking the relationship between studies of ethnobiological knowledge and the evolution of human cultural cognition. In C. Power, Finnegan, M., & Callan, H. (Eds.), Human origins: contributions from social anthropology (Vol. 30, pp. 59-83). Oxford, New York: Berghahn.
Ellen, R. (2011). ‘Indigenous knowledge’ and the understanding of cultural cognition: the contribution of studies of environmental knowledge systems. In D. B. Kronenfeld, Bennardo, G., De Munck, V. C., & Fischer, M. D. (Eds.), A companion to cognitive anthropology. Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell.
Ellen, R. (2009). Why aren’t the Nuaulu like the Matsigenka? Knowledge and categorization of forest diversity on Seram, eastern Indonesia. In L. M. Johnson & Hunn, E. S. (Eds.), Landscape ethnoecology: concepts of biotic and physical space (pp. 116-140). New York, Oxford: Berghahn.
Ellen, R. (2008). Ethnomycology among the Nuaulu of the Moluccas: Putting Berlin’s “General Principles” of Ethnobiological classification to the test. Economic Botany, 62(3), pp.483-496.
Ellen, R.F., (2006). The categorical impulse: essays in the anthropology of classifying behaviour. Berghahn books.
Ellen, R., (2006). The cultural relations of classification: an analysis of Nuaulu animal categories from central Seram (Vol. 91). Cambridge University Press.
Ellen, R.F. and Reason, D., (1979). Classifications in their Social Context.