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New & Notable
Reporter Oliver Steeds travels the globe to investigate the conservation movement and its major organisations. Steeds finds that the movement, far from stemming the tide of extinction that’s engulfing the planet, has got some of its conservation priorities wrong.
A new website created by a group of environmental anthropologists provides background and resources for the important documentary Green which critically explores the “green” palm oil industry and primates.
From Modern Production to Imagined Primitive:The Social World of Coffee from Papua New Guinea (Duke University Press).
In From Modern Production to Imagined Primitive, Paige West tracks coffee as it moves from producers in Papua New Guinea to consumers around the world. She illuminates the social lives of the people who produce coffee, and those who process, distribute, market, and consume it.
New findings in India’s Bt cotton controversy: good for the field, bad for the farm? Crop yields from India’s first genetically modified crop may have been overemphasized, as modest rises in crop yields may come at the expense of sustainable farm management, says a new study by a Washington University anthropologist.
Anne Rademacher. 2011. Reigning the River: Urban Ecologies and Political Transformation in Kathmandu. Duke University Press.
A major contribution to the nascent anthropology of urban environments, Reigning the River illuminates the complexities of river restoration in Kathmandu, Nepal’s capital and one of the fastest-growing cities in South Asia. In this rich ethnography, Anne M. Rademacher explores the ways that urban riverscape improvement involved multiple actors, each constructing ideals of restoration through contested histories and ideologies of belonging. She examines competing understandings of river restoration, particularly among bureaucrats in state and conservation-development agencies, cultural heritage activists, and advocates for the security of tens of thousands of rural-to-urban migrants settled along the exposed riverbed.