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ENGAGEMENT BLOGEngagement Blog
- An Anthropology of the Uncontainable
- Leslie Sponsel on Spiritual Ecology, Connection, and Environmental Change
- Designing Sacred Lands
- O-yama: Mountain Faith and Uncertainty in Late Capitalist Japan
- Making Peace with Nature: The Greening of the Korean Demilitarized Zone
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- Environmental Anthropology Engaging Ecotopia: Bioregionalism, Permaculture, And Ecovillages
- Spiritual Ecology: A Quiet Revolution
- How Will New Models Shape Our Research?
- Bring heritage breeds to holiday table
- Forest and Labor in Madagascar: From Colonial Concession to Global Biosphere
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Author Archives: danieltubb
The Anthropology & Environment Society has put together a PDF of events and meetings at the 2013 American Anthropological Association Annual Meeting. Read the attached PDF or continuing reading for descriptions of the different sessions by theme.
Edited by Joshua Lockyer and James R. Veteto
In order to move global society towards a sustainable “ecotopia,” solutions must be engaged in specific places and communities, and the authors here argue for re-orienting environmental anthropology from a problem-oriented towards a solutions-focused endeavor. Using case studies from around the world, the contributors—scholar-activists and activist-practitioners— examine the interrelationships between three prominent environmental social movements: bioregionalism, a worldview and political ecology that grounds environmental action and experience; permaculture, a design science for putting the bioregional vision into action; and ecovillages, the ever-dynamic settings for creating sustainable local cultures. Continue reading
As part of an ongoing series profiling finalists for the 2012 Anthropology and the Environment Junior Scholar Award, Jim Igoe interviews Veronica Davidov about her research and writing on the eco-tourism-extraction nexus.
Muehlmann, Shaylih. 2012. Rhizomes and other uncountables: The malaise of enumeration in Mexico’s Colorado River Delta. American Ethnologist 39(2): 339-353.
Dr. Muehlmann’s article is a wonderful and compelling account of how three distinct processes of enumeration interact to create a crisis narrative regarding the people, language, and ecology of the lower Colorado River Delta of northern Mexico. I have to admit that I was rather skeptical from the outset. I know a lot about the area and have personally interacted with many of the researchers who work in the region. I initially thought to myself, “C’mon now! How could counting residents, birds, fish and native language speakers really have negative consequences for people struggling to assert local control over natural resources?” As I read the paper, I got sucked into the story by Muehlmann’s clear prose and vivid imagery. Like all really good ethnographies, I felt like I was there. I felt like I was talking with Don Madeleno, catching birds in nets with Christian, or listening to the radio with Cruz’s family. So, my skepticism faded away and I became convinced that counting does matter. Continue reading
Jerry Jacka from UT San Antonio interviewing Jen Shaffer from the University of Maryland, about her article:
2010. Shaffer, L. J. Indigenous fire use to manage savanna landscapes in southern Mozambique. Fire Ecology 6(2): 43-59.
I guess one of my concerns is what the future of environmental anthropology should look like. I too often worry that people haven’t taken Vayda and Walters’ critique of the lack of ecology in political ecology/environmental anthropology seriously enough. How do you feel about this critique and how do you think your work fits into it? Continue reading
by Pamela McElwee, Rutgers University
The Junior Scholar Award of the Anthropology and Environment Section of the American Anthropological Association for 2012 had seven nominations. The award is for scholars beginning their careers, and is based on a nominated article that was published or in press in the award year. This year the judges for that award are highlighting the work of the nominated scholars.
Eugene N. Anderson reviews Sponsel’s Spiritual Ecology: A Quiet Revolution:
Leslie Sponsel has defined a new field of inquiry: spiritual ecology. He traces spiritual views on the environment from early roots to modern advocates for religious, spiritual, or mystical approaches to environment. The first three chapters concern traditional societies. The first examines animism, a concept being rehabilitated after some years of relative eclipse. Sponsel then surveys the better-known studies of traditional societies and their views of their environments. The third chapter covers the “ecologically noble vs. ignoble savage” controversy. Sponsel dissects the popular culture views of the former and the various protests, ranging from politically conservative to academically searching. He compares these with the actual record, which reveals a tremendous variety and a lack of any “savages” or other stereotypic beings.
Laurie: I really appreciated the way this article captured and clearly conveyed broad historical trends and patterns that crossed space, at the same time that it attended to variations within these patterns. Both the arguments and the language in which they were presented were refreshingly clear! Continue reading
The Junior Scholar Prize Winner Shaylih Muehlmann interviews the 2012 Rappaport Prize Winner, Sarah R. Osterhoudt
The 2012 winner of the Rappaport Student Paper Prize from the Anthropology and the Environment section is Sarah R. Osterhoudt who is a student in the combined doctoral program in Anthropology and Environmental Studies at Yale University. Her winning paper is entitled “Clear Souls | Clean Fields: Environmental Imaginations and Christian Conversions in Northeastern Madagascar.” In this lucidly written essay Osterhoudt analyzes the experiences of rural Malagasy farmers who are in the process of converting to Christian religions from prior systems of ancestor belief. She argues, compellingly, that in this process, shifts in religious ideologies are profoundly connected to shifts in environmental imaginations and practice. Drawing on long-term fieldwork in the village of Imorona in Northeastern Madagascar Osterhoudt argues that ideas of what it means to be a good farmer and what it means to be a good Christian have become intertwined in local experiences of religious conversion which reconfigure understandings of the role of central environmental elements such as stones, rice fields, and forests. By considering local experiences of religious conversions jointly with changing understanding of environmental meanings, the paper offers a unique perspective on the interconnections between environmental and religious ideologies.
Press Release: 14 December 2012
The Anthropology & Environment Society has awarded its Junior Scholar Prize to Univ. of British Columbia anthropologist Shaylih Muehlman. The prize is given annually to an early‐career scholar for an exemplary article in the area of environmental anthropology.
Muehlman won for her 2012 article Rhizomes and Other Uncountables: The Malaise of Enumeration in Mexico’s Colorado River Delta, in American Ethnologist 39(2): 339‐353.