A Country of Shepherds: Cultural Stories of a Changing Mediterranean Landscape - cover image


Kathleen Ann Myers

Published On





  • English

Print Length

258 pages (xix+239)


Paperback156 x 18 x 234 mm(6.14" x 0.71" x 9.21")
Hardback156 x 21 x 234 mm(6.14" x 0.83" x 9.21")


Paperback496g (17.50oz)
Hardback496g (17.50oz)



OCLC Number





  • NHD
  • JBCC4
  • RNK


  • KNAC
  • TV
  • RNK
  • HBJD


  • HIS045000
  • SOC055000
  • NAT011000


  • SF55.S718


  • Shepherds
  • Pastoralism
  • Sustainability
  • Ecology
  • Spain
  • Case studies

A Country of Shepherds

Cultural Stories of a Changing Mediterranean Landscape

  • Kathleen Ann Myers (author)
  • Grady C. Wray (translator)
This book draws on the life stories told by shepherds, farmers, and their families in the Andalusian region in Spain to sketch out the landscapes, actions, and challenges of people who work in pastoralism. Their narratives highlight how local practices interact with regional and European communities and policies, and they help us see a broader role for extensive grazing practices and sustainability.

A Country of Shepherds is timely, reflecting the growing interest in ecological farming methods as well as the Spanish government’s recent work with UNESCO to recognise the seasonal movement of herd animals in the Iberian Peninsula as an Intangible Cultural Heritage.

Demonstrating the critical role of tradition, cultural geographies, and sustainability in the Mediterranean, this book will appeal to academicians but also to general readers who seek to understand, in very human terms, the impact of the world-wide environmental crisis we are now experiencing.


The book is impressive, in that it brings a very human touch to a world that is too often either romanticized or mystified. The ‘living archive’ of life stories provides a brilliant and moving picture about the ways supposed traditions meet with supposed innovations, about the intimate relationships people can forge with animal and land, on how European techno-burocracies are brought to the ground and how policies are translated into practices, about the ways society evolves by reproducing old patterns in new styles. It also provides a brilliant insight into the Spanish pastoral society, which is quite vital and vocal, and which definitely contributes to reversing the typical "doom and gloom" narratives often associated with pastoralism (as also demonstrated through our PASTRES.org project). The pastoralists and shepherds depicted by Kathleen are not the "last ones", they are rather some amongst many, different and diverse, men and women, more or less young, coming from different backgrounds and pointing in different directions, but lit by the same stars that have been illuminating the Mediterranean across history.

Michele Nori

Research Fellow, European University Institute


Kathleen Ann Myers

Professor of Spanish and History at Indiana University

Kathleen Ann Myers is Professor of Spanish and History at Indiana University-Bloomington. She received her doctorate in Hispanic Studies from Brown University. She has published widely on a variety of topics, including books about women writers in colonial Mexico (Liverpool 1993, Indiana University Press 1999, Oxford 2003) and the Spanish conquest and colonization of the Americas (Texas University Press 2007). Her recent studies include books on cultural geographies and coloniality in contemporary Mexico (University of Arizona Press 2015, University of Toronto 2024). This research has been generously funded by a variety of organizations, including Indiana University, the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Fulbright Scholar Program, the Spanish Ministry for Education and Culture, the Centro de Estudios de Ciencias Sociales (Mexico), the American Philosophical Association, the Huntington Library, and the Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas of Spain (CSIC).

Grady C. Wray