Guest Lecture by Professor Yih-Ren Lin

Indigenous Studies at the University of Helsinki will host a guest lecture by Prof. Yih-Ren Lin on Friday 1 September.


Taking Care of the Earth through Indigenous People’s Traditional Ecological Knowledge

Friday 1st September

10–11 o’clock

Metsätalo (Unioninkatu 40), B312 (lecture hall 9), 3rd fl.

This presentation addresses the action research to highlight the contemporary value of Taiwan Tayal people’s Traditional Ecological Knowledge (TEK) in terms of its resilience to the impacts of climate change. It presents the Millet Ark Initiative, which  is composed by researchers and Tayal local farmers, a team, which puts the knowledge into practice and employs a walking methodology to the university courses and cultural eco-tourism activities, in the area of millet growing and natural farming. The presentation has four parts: 1) a general background of indigenous people’s history in the colonial context of Taiwan, 2) the third largest Taiwanese Indigenous people, Tayal’s autonomous construction of their traditional ecological knowledge in the history of Taiwan, 3) “Thinking like a Refrigerator” action of Millet Ark team responding to the crisis of global climate change, and 4) Concluding by reversing the famous slogan “Think Globally, Act locally” of the Earth Day, and to justify it in terms of Millet Ark team’s action for the past 8 years.

Yih-Ren Lin is  a professor in the Graduate Institute of Museum Studies, Taipei National University of the Arts. He has served as the director of Graduate Institute of Humanities in Medicine at Taipei Medical University and taught there for the past ten years. Before that, he taught at the Department of Ecological Humanities of Providence University and served as the directors of General Education Center and Austronesian Research Center. He received his Ph.D. at University College London’s Department of Geography. His main research interests are socio-cultural analysis on nature, cultural geography, political ecology, action research, TEK, and ecological medicine. He has been engaged in numerous Indigenous community projects and is currently working with the Millet Ark team to promote self-sufficient management of agricultural and natural resources within local communities. He is also a Houston Film Festival Remi Awards prize-winning film maker. Besides academic writing, he also writes popular column articles for the magazines and social media in terms of policy critique for the land issues of Indigenous peoples and environment.