Author Archives: danieltubb

Alex Nading, nominee for 2012 Junior Scholar Award

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.
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Spiritual Ecology: A Quiet Revolution

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.

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Q and A on Courtney Carothers and Catherine Chambers

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

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The Junior Scholar Prize Winner Shaylih Muehlmann interviews the 2012 Rappaport Prize Winner, Sarah R. Osterhoudt

By Shaylih Muehlmann, Junior Scholar Prize Winner, University of British Columbia

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.

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Univ. of British Columbia anthropologist Shaylih Muehlman Awarded Junior Scholar Prize for 2012

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.

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Bring heritage breeds to holiday table

Peggy F. Barlett’s Op-Ed on genetic diversity in our food system on CNN:

Last week, I sat down with colleagues and students to an early Thanksgiving meal prepared by my university’s cafeteria. Along with our winter greens, butternut squash, brussels sprouts with apples and bacon, and pumpkin grits, we ate a roasted “heritage breed turkey.”

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AAA 2012 – Anthropology and Environment Society Invited Sessions & Events

WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 14, 2012

12:15 PM-1:30 PM
ANTHROPOLOGY AND ENVIRONMENT SOCIETY (A&E) DISSERTATION WORKSHOP (2-0250)
Sarah A Besky and Andrew S Mathews

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Forest and Labor in Madagascar: From Colonial Concession to Global Biosphere

Marie Sodikoff new book comes out October 17:

Protecting the unique plants and animals that live onMadagascar while fueling economic growth has been a priority for the Malagasy state, international donors, and conservation NGOs since the late 1980s. Forest and Labor in Madagascar shows how poor rural workers who must make a living from the forest balance their needs with the desire of the state to earn foreign revenue from ecotourism and forest-based enterprises. Genese Marie Sodikoff examines how the appreciation and protection of Madagascar’s biodiversity depend on manual labor. She exposes the moral dilemmas workers face as both conservation representatives and peasant farmers by pointing to the hidden costs of ecological conservation.

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A Glimpse of Africa’s future?

A recent article in the Sunday Standard, by William G. Moseley, discusses the food crisis in Africa:

You wouldn’t know there’s a food crisis in Botswana, one of Africa’s wealthiest and most stable countries, because it’s a silent one. This is not the doom and gloom Africa that we often hear sensationalised in the media as a place of coups, famines and corruption.

No, Botswana is a model African state which has lived carefully within its means, had democratically elected governments since independence, and is the world’s leading exporter of precious diamonds.

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Anthropology on Blair Mountain

I find it somewhat difficult to think and write about central Appalachia without falling into the use of essentialisms and stereotypes. Even though I am from West Virginia it is hard to escape the traditional narratives, the mountain-folksy caricatures, the one-dimensional portrayals of Appalachian culture. Those essentialisms are not really the Appalachia that I know, in fact I continue to have serious doubts whether ‘Appalachia’ is a real thing or not. Continue reading

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