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Reflection on the discussion seminar with Jane Carruthers, 20th of May
The discussion with Jane Carruthers was to me the most engaging one so far in the course. With her convincing, assertive, yet very engaging manner of presenting the institution of national parks in the global context, Jane roused my interest in a topic that is typically very far removed from my field of interest (and also my knowledge scope). So far, I have never questioned the origin and all the implications hidden in a phenomenon so widespread and common; probably, it is precisely this wide dissemination and occurrence of national parks that make them seem self-evident and self-justifying. The fact that we lack a standardization of criteria of what constitutes and counts as a national park, made it that much easier for the phenomenon to pass unnoticed, so to speak, but in a way it also enables us to follow the flow and transformations of the idea of a national park in a global context, without those ideas being obscured in legal and conservationist jargon. This demands attention; which ideas and purposes of national parks were disseminated and how were they consolidated if we lack a supranational institution that would enforce these ideas?
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