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Our Final Syllabus–after many iterations and class interest

Anthro 4020/007-Exploration in Anthropology:

People and the Environment

Fall 2011

 

Professor: Nancy M. Dammann

            Email: nancy.dammann@Colorado.edu (for all class business)

            Phone: (231) 675 8242 (call between 9:00 am and 8:00 pm unless it is life or death—in      which case you should probably call 911)

            Office: Hale 464

 

Class Meetings: Mon, Wed, Fri at 11:00 am, Hale 260

Office Hours: Mon & Wed & Fri 12:00-1:00 pm and by appt

 

Course Description:

 

There is neither a place on the globe nor a time in recent history in which humans did/do not interact with the environment. Understanding these complex relationships can help us to better understand both the modern and historical situation and can provide clues into many current issues of both scholarly debate and general concern.

 

This course will provide an interdisciplinary exploration of the complex and diverse interrelationships between humans and their environment.  We will explore fundamental questions regarding these relationships and their relevance to both historical and modern issues. Drawing on case studies and theoretical work, we will explore issues of duality/non-duality in how different cultures and scholars perceive(d) and communicate(d) about the environment, the role of resiliency and conversely what creates resiliency, what factors drive human interactions with their environments, how different values and factors affect the study of these relationships, and how these relationships affect issues of war and peace.

 

Readings will draw on theoretical work and case studies examining both historical and modern systems. Four geographic regions (the Western U.S., the Amazon (particularly the Peruvian and Colombian Amazon), Bhutan/Southern Asia, and Cyprus/the Mediterranean) will serve as focal points throughout the course.

 

We will devote significant time to developing practical familiarity with the relevant methods for these types of studies and ways to communicate about these issues. Assignments will include local field investigations and the development of a broader literature and theory-based project related to a topic of each student’s interest.

 

Class Goals:

1. In this course, I aim to foster a sense of fun, curiosity, and a willingness to explore, question, engage with, and attend to the world of which we are a part. We live in a rich and varied world. As students we learn important skills in critical thinking and communication. In this course, I hope to help you hone those skills and also to foster an appreciation of the world and its diversity. Often, as we study topics of people and the environment, we can become overwhelmed by the chaos, suffering, and destruction. In this course, we will explore the ways in which we as humans have and do interact with, shape, and are shaped by landscape and environment. This will both challenge our assumptions about these relationships as well as provide opportunity to appreciate the richness of these relationships.

 

2. This course will also deepen our understanding regarding the theories and fields of practice that are used to examine these relationships.

 

3. We will develop greater familiarity with methodologies available to help us explore these relationships.

 

Class Format

Assignments will be designed to encourage critical thinking and reflection as well as to build communication skills, particularly those in writing, conversation, and public speaking. Effective communication skills are essential, regardless of your career, and require attention and practice.

 

Classroom discussion will be an important component of this course and will require everyone’s participation and attention to rules of etiquette, courtesy, sensitivity, and decorum. Respect for our various backgrounds and beliefs is fundamental to allowing us to learn from each other. In addition, the classroom discussions will provide us with an example of conversations that could take place in a research setting, and thus, allow us opportunities to develop important communication skills necessary for this type of research.

 

In order to ensure a feeling or respect and mutual understanding, please, follow a few basic rules. 1. Do not interrupt. Rather than focusing on what you want to say, or worrying about whether you will be called on, practice listening to what the current speaker is saying. Really listen. Then allow a few seconds to digest before contributing to the conversation. 2. Think before you speak. Is what you want to say productive? Will it contribute to the conversation? As we will often be touching on potentially sensitive topics, consider your wording and the best way in which to communicate your thought. 3. Participate. Your voice will enrich the conversation. 4. Finally, if you have any concerns, at any time, please, bring them to me.

 

This course will place a heavy emphasis on writing. And there will be ample opportunity to get help and constructive reviews before any final grades are given on assignments. In addition, there will be in-class opportunities designed to allow you to learn from each other and to provide each other with constructive criticism and input on your papers; however, please, make sure that your final product is truly a reflection of your own work and not someone else’s. If you have any questions on this, please, feel free to talk with me.

 

Classroom time will be a combination of lecture, discussion, and practical exploration of methods. Most Mondays and Wednesdays will include lecture and discussion regarding both theoretical work and case studies. Most Fridays will focus on discussion and practical exploration of methods one might use in conducting a study related to people and the environment. Throughout the semester, I hope to have several guest speakers. As the timing of these guest lectures are still being worked out, the schedule of readings set out below remains tentative.

 

A note on the use of technology such as laptops, cell phones, etc.

Out of respect for both your fellow classmates and myself, please, turn off (or silence) all technology before class begins. Do not text, IM, facebook, tweet, etc during class. If you are engaging in these activities during class I will ask you once to stop. If it happens again, I will ask you to leave the room. If you have a personal situation, either permanently or temporarily (i.e. a disability which requires you to use a laptop to take notes, or an emergency situation for which you need to remain connected), please let me know in advance and we can work out a solution.

 

Required Materials:

 

All required readings will made available as PDF’s or as links, on-line, at least one week before the date for which they are assigned.

 

Assignments and Grading

 

Class Discussion Participation (10% of final grade)

Your critical thinking and participation are fundamental to this course. Every student is expected to make regular, positive contributions to discussion. Paying close attention to the content of the assigned papers is essential and attendance in the class is fundamental to creating engaging discussions. Although specific students will be assigned tasks such as creating a lead blog post or moderating class discussion for any given day, all students are expected to read all the assigned readings. Please be prepared to participate in discussion at every class meeting. If you know you must miss class, please let me know beforehand. After three absences, your participation grade will begin to drop by 3% per class missed. If there are extenuating circumstances, please discuss this with me and we can work something out.

 

Blog (20% of final grade—>10%=Posts + 10%=comments)

 

As part of the class, we will be creating a blog, “People and the Environment” (https://peopleandtheenvironment.wordpress.com). The blog will be an opportunity to engage in meaningful discussion and analysis of the readings, contribute your unique perspectives and insights, engage in ongoing discussion regarding the particular class themes that interest us, provide links to outside resources we would like to share, and much more.  This is a place where you can highlight recent news stories that relate to class discussion or the readings, direct our attention to various other media (artwork, advertising, music videos, you tube videos, etc.), be creative, and have fun. Make sure to give proper credit to all sources that are not your own work and to make sure that any links you provide do not contain any inappropriate content.

 

Blog Posts (250-500 words, 2 per semester)

Over the course of the semester each student will be assigned responsibility to create a lead posts for two class days’ reading(s). During the first week of class, you will be given the opportunity to sign up for the topic/readings of your choice. You will be expected to sign up for two slots. No later than 5:00 pm two days before the date of your chosen slot, you will need to post an analysis of your assigned readings (i.e. if you sign up for a slot on Monday the 12th of Sept, you will need to add your post by 5:00 pm on Saturday the 10th of Sept or earlier if you want; if you sign up for a slot on Wed the 2nd of Nov, your post would be due on Mon the 31st of October, 5:00 pm). 

 

Your post should include, a brief summary or outline of the reading(s), a critical analysis of this (these) reading(s) in light of other readings and discussions from the class, and two or three questions you would like to pose to the rest of the class regarding these readings. These questions should be meant to inspire discussion and be based on topics that genuinely interest you. This is your opportunity to get feedback on things that you don’t understand, that interest you or concern you, etc. They should not be questions of fact such as “Who wrote Dance of the Dolphins?” but rather focused on exploring and taking these themes further, for example “In the Dance of the Dolphins Slater writes about the importance of images and stories, particularly of dolphins, in Amazonia. To what extent are these images in Amazonia similar to those in found in the Mediterranean? Why would the Amazonian’s Slater interviews have many stories of dolphins as harmful and express fear of dolphins while Europeans generally see dolphins as playful and friendly? Is it fair to compare like this across regions?”  Finally, I also encourage you to include your own reflections and to link these readings to broader topics, current events, etc. Have fun and be creative. Grades will be based on content as well as structure and grammar. Please, proofread these posts before hand. If you would like, as with all written work, I am willing to work with you on your writing structure and grammar. So that we can figure out a workable schedule for us both, please, discuss this with me two weeks before your time slot.

 

Blog Comments (Substantive responses to at least 20 posts other than your own. You can earn an extra credit point added on to your final grade at the end of the semester if you respond to at least 22 posts)

Please, read and comment on your classmates’ posts. Your comments should be productive and thoughtful. They do not need to be long, but they do need to be substantive. They can include links to other articles, videos, etc. but these links and their relevance should be explained in your comment. For instance, responding to the example question above with, “No.”, or a link to an interview about dolphins without an explanation of why you think it is relevant, or “that is really cool,” or “Deep thought,” won’t count (though if you want to let a classmate know your appreciate their post, that is absolutely encouraged but won’t count towards participation). On the other hand, a response such as, “I really appreciated your post because it highlights how people in different areas can interact with seemingly similar elements of their landscape and environment in very different ways. In my family, for example, people love dolphins and often talk about them as if they may be their deceased ancestors. Everyone wants to go swimming with them. That is a strong contrast to the interview where the woman talks about being scared of being seduced and taken to live under the river by a dolphin.” Similarly, you might post a relevant image or video and give an explanation.

 

Again, the general rules are, be productive, substantive, and make sure your links are valid and do not take us to inappropriate content. For full credit, over the course of the semester, you should create substantive comments to at least twenty posts other than your own.

 

Friday Field Papers (20% = five 250-350 word essays, you can do an sixth for two extra credit points added onto your final grade)

 

At the beginning of the semester you will choose a field site. This site can either be a physical geographic location or a community and group of people. In either case, it should be a place/group you can visit for an hour at least once per week. Over the semester you will get to know this place/group. It will be your field site through which you gain practical experience exploring the relationships between people and the environment. Please, choose a place or group that is safe, in which you will enjoy spending time observing and participating (depending on the group), about which you are curious, and through which you can explore the human/environmental relationships. Approximately, every third week (dates are provided on the syllabus) you will be expected to bring a typed essay to turn in at the beginning of class. During some sessions we may discuss our sites in small groups and provide peer feedback on the essays to each other. Others you will simply be expected to hand in. Your grades will be based both on the content and extent to which you answer the question/explore the methodology and your writing grammar and structure. If you are unhappy with the portion or your grade related to your writing, you will have one week from when I return it to you, to provide me with a refined final essay. I do expect, however, that your initial attempt will be your best work. There will be an optional 6th essay. It will be extra credit, and depending on its grade, can raise your final grade by up to 2 points.

 

A note on format: please, print your essays with 12-point font and one inch margins. I welcome and encourage double sided printing and recycled paper. In addition to turning in a hard copy, please email a copy to me (by the due date).

 

Mid-Term (15% of final grade, 4-6 pages (a page=250 words))

For your mid-term, you will choose two works of popular literature, two movies, or a combination of a book and a movie about which to write a critical essay. Your analysis should explore these works in light of each other and the anthropological theories and literature with which we have worked. Choose primary sources (the popular literature or movies) in which you have an interest and with which you both can engage and have fun. The idea with this assignment is look at these popular works from an anthropological perspective as well as to examine, if and in what ways, anthropology and other academic work relating to people and the environment have influenced the general public. I would suggest either choosing works from the same geographic region or that will clearly allow you to discuss a similar topic related to our class. In addition to the two primary sources, your paper should interact with and reference at least five academic works (papers, books, talks) at least three of which should be material we have discussed in class. Appropriate citations must be included. Additional information and details will be provided closer to the time of the assignment. Your grades will be based both on the content (the strength of your argument etc) and your writing (grammar and structure). If you are unhappy with the portion of your grade related to your writing, you will have one week from when I return your paper to you, to provide me with a refined final essay. I do expect, however, that your initial attempt will be your best work. You are also welcome to approach me in advance to discuss your ideas, structure, and other issues to do with the assignment.

 

A note on format: please, print your essays with 12-point font and one inch margins. I welcome and encourage double sided printing and recycled paper. In addition to turning in a hard copy, please email a copy to me (by the due date).

 

Mid-Term Paper Presentation (5% of final grade)

As a part of your mid-term, you will make a short, timed, presentation to the class regarding your paper. This will give you practice presenting your ideas orally and allow for a wider class discussion regarding everyone’s findings. These presentations should be pithy, engaging, and present the class with the major points and questions you raise in your paper. The presentations will be timed, (the exact time allotment will be determined based on final number of students), and you will be cut off at the end of the time slot. The approximate time will be between three and five minutes. Again, an exact amount of time will be determined with plenty of time before the presentations. This is both so that everyone will have a fair chance to present, and so that you can get used to creating structured precise arguments. This is not meant to be intimidating and should be fun!!! Feel free to be creative. More information and details will be provided before the presentations will be made. There will be time for class discussion and questions after all presentations have been made.

 

Final Research Paper (25% of final grade. 10-12 pages (250 words/page). 22% final paper + 1% research proposal + 2% initial bibliography + 2% outline = 25% of final grade )

The final research paper assignment provides you with the opportunity to delve more deeply into a theme or topic that interests you. It can be based on original research you do (or have done), it can be a literature review regarding a specific theme, or some combination there-in. Regardless, you should include at least ten sources, at least eight of which should be academic sources. Non-academic sources should be primary sources (interviews, popular literature or movies, images, etc). Appropriate citations must be included. Bibliography will not count towards your page/word count. Additional information and details will be provided throughout the semester.

 

Your grades will be based both on the content (the strength of your argument etc) and your writing (grammar and structure). Please, note as this will be your final assignment, you will not be able to re-submit it for a better grade. You are, however, welcome to approach me for help along the way. If you would like me to comment on a draft, please, leave at least a week for turn-around time on my part. You are also welcome to approach me in advance to discuss your ideas, structure, and other issues to do with the assignment.

 

A note on format: please, print your essays with 12-point font and one inch margins. I welcome and encourage double sided printing and recycled paper. In addition to turning in a hard copy, please email a copy to me (by the due date).

 

You will have three mini-assignments throughout the semester designed to help you with this paper.

 

Research Proposal

Near the beginning of the semester, you will be required to hand in a research proposal. This proposal should be between 200 and 250 words in length and describe the research project that you would like to undertake for your final paper. It should include the question(s) you are interested in exploring, the methods you will use to explore these questions, and at least three sources/resources upon which you will draw. This should include at least one academic source. These should be emailed to me and turned in on Friday Sept 16, 2011.

 

Initial bibliography

Create a working bibliography of at least twenty sources you will/or are drawing from for your project. At least ten of these should be academic sources. For each source, please, provide a proper reference followed by one to two sentences (in italics or a different font) that gives an idea of what the source is, how you expect to use it, its major argument, etc.

These should be emailed to me and also brought to class in printed version on Nov 4th (a draft) and Nov 18th (final version).

 

Annotated Outline

The final mini-assignment will be to create an annotated outline of your paper. I will provide more information closer to the date.

These should be emailed to me and also brought to class in printed version on Dec 2, 2011.

 

 

Final Exam (5% of final grade—however you must show up or risk failing the class)

For your final exam, you will make a short, timed, presentation to the class regarding your final research paper. As with the mid-term presentation, this will give you practice presenting your ideas orally and allow for a wider class discussion regarding everyone’s research. I still remember various presentations made by my classmates (and even have drawn on some in later work) during similar courses. These presentations should be pithy, engaging, and present the class with the major points and questions you raise in your paper. The presentations will be timed, (the exact time allotment will be determined based on final number of students), and you will be cut off at the end of the time slot. The approximate time will be between three and five minutes. Again, an exact amount of time will be determined with plenty of time before the presentations. This is both so that everyone will have a fair chance to present, and so that you can get used to creating structured precise arguments. This is not meant to be intimidating and should be fun!!! Feel free to be creative. More information and details will be provided before the presentations will be made. There will be time for class discussion and questions after all presentations have been made.

Date and time of the final is Tuesday Dec 13, 2011 7:30 p.m. – 10:00 pm.

 

CU Boulder campus policies and procedures

Students with Disabilities:
If you qualify for accommodations because of a disability, please submit to me a letter from Disability Services in a timely manner so that your needs can be addressed. Disability Services determines accommodations based on documented disabilities. Contact: 303-492-8671, Center for Community N200, and http://www.colorado.edu/disabilityservices.

If you have a temporary medical condition or injury, please talk to me and see the guidelines at
http://www.colorado.edu/disabilityservices/go.cgi?select=temporary.html

Religious Observances:
Campus policy regarding religious observances requires that faculty make every effort to deal reasonably and fairly with all students who, because of religious obligations, have conflicts with scheduled exams, assignments or required attendance.  I take each invidual’s beliefs and practices seriously. If you have religious obligations which conflict with assignments or required attendance please, notify me as soon as possible, and definitely no later than September 7, 2011 so that we can meet and work out a mutually satisfactory agreement for the particular situation. For full details regarding CU Boulder policy, see http://www.colorado.edu/policies/fac_relig.html

Classroom Behavior:
 As students and faculty, we each have responsibility for maintaining an appropriate learning environment. Those who fail to adhere to such behavioral standards may be subject to discipline. I expect all participants in the class, myself included, to interact with professionalism and courtesy, always. Please, remember this in all discussions. In this course, topics of race, color, culture, religion, creed, politics, veteran’s status, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity and gender expression, age, disability, and nationalities, may arise. We must all be particularly sensitive to differing viewpoints regarding these topics.

 

I will be provided with a class roster with the students’ legal names. I will gladly honor your request to address you by an alternate name or gender pronoun. Please advise me of this preference early in
the semester so that I may make appropriate changes to my records.  See policies at
http://www.colorado.edu/policies/classbehavior.html and at
http://www.colorado.edu/studentaffairs/judicialaffairs/code.html#student_code

Discrimination and Harassment
The University of Colorado at Boulder Discrimination and Harassment Policy and Procedures, the University of Colorado Sexual Harassment Policy and Procedures, and the University of Colorado Conflict of Interest in Cases of Amorous Relationships policy apply to all students, staff, and faculty. Any student, staff, or faculty member who believes s/he has been the subject of sexual harassment or discrimination or harassment based upon race, color, national origin, sex, age, disability, creed, religion, sexual orientation, or veteran status should contact the Office of Discrimination and Harassment (ODH) at 303-492-2127 or the Office of Student Conduct (OSC) at 303-492-5550. Information about the ODH, the above referenced policies, and the campus resources available to assist individuals regarding discrimination or harassment can be obtained at http://www.colorado.edu/odh.

The Honor Code

All students of the University of Colorado at Boulder are responsible for knowing and adhering to the academic integrity policy of this institution. Violations of this policy may include: cheating, plagiarism, aid of academic dishonesty, fabrication, lying, bribery, and threatening behavior.  All incidents of academic misconduct shall be reported to the Honor Code Council (honor@colorado.edu; 303-735-2273). Students who are found to be in violation of the academic integrity policy will be subject to both academic sanctions from the faculty member and non-academic sanctions (including but not limited
to university probation, suspension, or expulsion). Other information on the Honor Code can be found at http://www.colorado.edu/policies/honor.html and at http://www.colorado.edu/academics/honorcode/

 

 

Plagiarism

According to the university: “Plagiarism is defined as the use of another’s ideas or words without appropriate acknowledgment. Examples of plagiarism include: failing to use quotation marks when directly quoting from a source; failing to document distinctive ideas from a source; fabricating or inventing sources; and copying information from computer-based sources, i.e., the Internet.”  If you are discovered to have plagiarized, you will automatically fail the class and be reported to the Honor Code Council.

 

 

 

DETAILED COURSE SCHEDULE

            Readings on this syllabus may be subject to modification during the semester; consider this a working document that will be shaped by our mutual input. All readings will be finalized and posted in the desire to learn website at least one week before they are due. If you need additional time, will be gone, or have other concerns contact me.

 

 

 

Introduction

Monday Aug 22, 2011

Subject: Introduction to the course, course outline

Readings: None

 

Wednesday Aug 24, 2011

Subject: Why study people and the environment?

Readings:

           

Please read this somewhat random selection of short news articles and consider them in light of the the following questions: 1. Why study people and the environment? 2. Is such study relevant to today’s world? How do people effect the environment? How does the environment effect people? What roles do religion, politics, trade, business, peace and war, play in these interactions? What role does science play in these articles? Think of other recent news that highlights or underlines your answers.

 

Baron, D. (Producer). (2011, July 28, 2011) The Cougar Behind Your Trash Can. The New York Times. retrieved from http://www.nytimes.com/2011/07/29/opinion/the-cougar-behind-your-trash-can.html

 

Ricard, M. (Producer). (2011, August 20, 2011) The Future Doesn’t Hurt. Yet. The New York Times. retrieved from http://www.nytimes.com/2011/06/24/opinion/global/24iht-june24-ihtmag-ricard-30.html?_r=1&sq=Bhutan&st=Search&scp=1&pagewanted=print

 

Article at this link:

http://www.bhutanobserver.bt/building-resilience-climate-change-technology/

 

BBC. (2011, August 20, 2011) Google begins Amazon river Street View Project. retrieved from http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-14592184?print=true

 

Zelman, J. (2011, Aug 20, 2011) Uncontacted Amazon Tribe Filmed, Governments Take Notice. retrieved from http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/02/04/uncontacted-amazon-tribe-video_n_818621.html

 

Wade, N. (2007, August 20, 2011) Study Traces Cat’s Ancestry to Middle East. The New York Times. retrieved fromhttp://www.nytimes.com/2007/06/29/science/29cat.html?adxnnl=1&ref=

cyprus&adxnnlx=1313885235-L5lpbb2CEXIs+fFVcjZuTA

 

Gorvett, J. (2006, August 20, 2011) A deep and abiding scar in Cyprus. Aljazeera. retrieved from http://english.aljazeera.net/archive/2006/06/20084109275964590.html

 

Please read the work below and then think about the questions Forsyth raises and how they would or would not change your interpretation of the articles and op-ed’s above.

 

Forsyth T. 2003. Critical political ecology: the politics of environmental science. London; New York: Routledge. (Ch 1)

 

 

Friday Aug 26, 2011

Subject: Field assignments, an introduction to methods: connections, introductions, and safety

Readings:

Grumbine ER. 2011. Notes towards a Natural History of Dams. In: Fleischner TL, editor. The Way of Natural History. San Antonio: Trinity University Press. Pp. 91-100.

Abu-Lughod L. 1986. Veiled Sentiments: Honor and Poetry in a Bedouin Society. Berkeley: University of California Press. Pp. 1-35 Ryan

 

Monday Aug 29, 2011

Subject: An intro to the study of Humans and the Environment

Readings:

Ellen RF, and Fukui K. 1996. Redefining nature: ecology, culture, and domestication. Oxford, UK; Washington, D.C.: Berg. Ch 1.

 

Arnold D. 1996. The problem of nature: environment, culture and European expansion. Oxford, [Eng.]; Cambridge, Mass.: Blackwell. Ch 1-2.

 

Wednesday Aug 31, 2011

Subject: Cultural Ecology, Human Ecology, Political Ecologyà some theory and methods

Readings:

 

Bates DG, and Tucker J. 2010. Introduction: Theory, Method, and Explanation in Human Ecology. In: Bates DG, and Tucker J, editors. Human Ecology: Contemporary Research and Practice. New York: Springer. p 1-9.

 

Walters, B. B., & Vayda, A. P. (2009). Event Ecology, Causal Historical Analysis, and Human-Environment Research. [Article]. Annals of the Association of American Geographers, 99(3), 534-553.

 

Friday Sept 2, 2011

Subject: observation—participant observation, mindfulness training, perspectives, and bias

Readings:

Sewall, L. (2011). Perceiving a World of Relations. In T. L. Fleischner (Ed.), The Way of Natural History (pp. 42-52). San Antonio: Trinity University Press.  

 

Stoller P. 1989. The Taste of Ethnographic Things: the Senses in Anthropology. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press. (Read chapter 1 and 2)

 

 

***Assignment: first Friday Field Paper due at the beginning of class. Bring a printed hard copy and email one to me as well***

 

Humans vs. Env, Env vs. Humans, Duality and Landscape

Monday Sept 5, 2011

No Class Labor Day

 

Wednesday Sept 7, 2011

Subject: Amazonia as a garden, urban forests and rural cities, transforming the waterways + a word about the final research project

Readings:

Mann CC. 2002. 1491. The Atlantic Monthly. p 41-53.

 

Padoch C, Brondizio E, Costa S, Pinedo-Vasquez M, Sears RR, and Siqueira A. 2008. Urban Forest and Rural Cities: Multi-sited Households, Consumption Patterns, and Forest Resources in Amazonia. Ecol Soc 13(2).

 

Raffles, H., & WinklerPrins, A. M. G. A. (2003). Further reflections on Amazonian environmental history: Transformations of rivers and streams. Latin American Research Review, 38(3), 165-187

             

Friday Sept 9, 2011

Subject: Participant observation, mindfulness, and working with experts and informants

Readings:

Slater C. 1994. Dance of the Dolphin: Transformation and Disenchantment in the Amazonian Imagination. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press. Intro and Ch 2

 

Pinedo-Vasquez M. 1996. Local Experts and Local Leaders: Lessons from Amazonia. PLEC News and Views 6 (March): 30-32.

           

 

Monday Sept 12, 2011

Subject: Steward and some of the roots in cultural ecology

Readings:

Steward JH. 1977. The Concept and Method of Cultural Ecology. In: Steward JC, and Murphy RF, editors. Evolution and Ecology. Urbana: University of Illinois Press. p 43-57.

 

Please, make sure you have caught up on any previous Monday or Wed readings you have skipped or skimmed. Discussion will call on specific aspects of several of these.

 

 

Wednesday Sept 14, 2011

Subject: Mother Nature and the balance of Nature

Readings:

Pimm SL. 1991. The Balance of Nature? Ecological Issues in the Conservation of Species and Communities. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. Chapter 1.

 

Jelinski DE. 2010. On the Notions of Mother Nature and the Balance of Nature and Their Implications for Conservation. In: Bates DG, and Tucker J, editors. Human Ecology: Contemporary Research and Practice. New York: Springer. p 37-50.

 

 

Friday Sept 16, 2011

Subject: Final project proposal discussion groups. Methodology—interviews and surveys, listening and talking

Readings:

            None

 

***Assignment: Final project proposal due at the beginning of class. Please bring a printed copy to class and email a copy to me as well***

 

Monday Sept 19, 2011

Subject: Images of separate and integrated and their effects

Readings:

Terborgh J. 1999. Requiem for Nature. Washington, D. C.: Island Press. Chapters 1, 2, and 12.

 

Steven R. Brechin, Peter Wilshusen, Crystal Fortwangler and Patrick West. 2002. Beyond the Square Wheel: Toward a More Comprehensive Understanding of Biodiversity Conservation as Social and Political Process. Society and Natural Resources, 15, pp.41-64.

           

 

Wednesday Sept 21, 2011

Subject: Landscape, taking an integrated view

Readings:

Terkenli, T. S. (2001). Towards a Theory of the Landscape: the Aegean Landscape as a Cultural

Image. Landscape and Urban Planning, 57, 197-208.

 

Tress, B., Gunther, T., Henri, D., & d’Hauteserre, A.-M. (2001). Bridging Human and Natural

Sciences in Landscape Research. Landscape and Urban Planning, 57, 137-141.

 

Knapp, B. A. (2003). Preface. In M. Given & B. A. Knapp (Eds.), The Sydney Cyprus Survey

Project: Social Approaches to Regional Archaeological Survey (Vol. Monumenta Archaeologica

21, pp. xv-xvi). Los Angeles, California: Cotsen Institute of Archaeology, University of

California.

 

 

Friday Sept 23, 2011

Subject: Interviews and surveys/listening and talking continued

Readings:

Rubin HJ, and Rubin I. 1995. Qualitative Interviewing: the Art of Hearing Data. Thousand Oaks: Sage Publications. Chapter 4.

 

Turner S, and Ehlers TB. 2003. Sugar’s Life in the Hood: the Story of a Former Welfare Mother. Austin: University of Texas Press. Preface, Shouts, Acknowledgments, and Intro.

 

 

Monday Sept 26, 2011

Subject: Global influences

Readings:

Namgyel U, Siebert SF, and Wang S. 2008. Shifting Cultivation and Biodiversity Conservation in Bhutan. Conservation Biology 22(5):1349-1351.

           

Sarkar S, and Montoya M. 2011. Beyond parks and reserves: The ethics and politics of conservation with a case study from Perú. Biological Conservation 144(3): 979-988.

 

West P, Igoe J, and Brockington D. 2006. Parks and Peoples: The Social Impact of Protected Areas. Annual Review of Anthropology 35(1): 251-277

***Assignment: second Field Paper due at the beginning of class. Bring a printed hard copy and email one to me as well***

 

The Role of Image and Narrative in Shaping Human/Environment Interactions

 

Wednesday Sept 28, 2011

Subject: Image and narrative

Readings:

Viveiros de Castro E. 1996. Images of Nature and Society in Amazonian Ethnology. Annual Review of Anthropology 25(1):179-200.

 

Cronon, William. 1992. A Place for Stories: Nature, History, and Narrative. The Journal of American History 78, no. 4: 1347-1376.

 

 

Friday Sept 30, 2011

Subject: Oral history, narrative and the power of memory

Readings:

Portelli A. 1990. The Death of Luigi Trastulli, and Other Stories: Form and Meaning in Oral History. Albany, N.Y.: State University of New York Press. (Chapter 1)

 

Anderson K, and Jack DC. 1991. Learning to Listen: Interview Techniques and Analyses. In: Gluck SB, and Patai D, editors. Women’s Words: the Feminist Practice of Oral History. New York: Routledge. p 11-26.

 

Monday Oct 3, 2011

Subject: Review, Discussion, and Skills for Studying Anthropology

Readings:

Read Viveiros de Castro and begin reading Slater and Arce-Nazario.

 

Wednesday Oct 5, 2011

Subject: Image and narrative continued

Readings:

Arce-Nazario JA. 2007. Landscape Images in Amazonian Narrative: The Role of Oral History in Environmental Research. Conservation and Society 5(1): 115-133.

 

Slater C. 2002. Entangled Edens: Visions of the Amazon. Berkeley: University of California Press. (Ch 1)

 

Friday Oct 7, 2011

Subject: Guest Lecture Prof Gaylon Ferguson (Naropa University/ Ph.D. Anthro Stanford University): observation, the other, and mindfulness

Readings:

Rosaldo R. 1989. Culture & Truth: the Remaking of Social Analysis. Boston: Beacon Press. (Read Introduction: Grief and a Headhunter’s Rage)

 

Stoller P. 1989. The Taste of Ethnographic Things: the Senses in Anthropology. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press. (Read as much as you can, at least one more full chapter, hopefully several)

 

Monday Oct 10, 2011

Subject: Image and Narrative continued—images of the American West

Readings:

Lefebvre M. 2011. On Landscape in Narrative Cinema. Canadian Journal of Film Studies-Revue Canadienne D Etudes Cinematographiques 20(1):61-78.

 

Giblett R. 2009. Wilderness to wasteland in the photography of the American west. Continuum-Journal of Media & Cultural Studies 23(1):43-52.

 

Schama S. 1995. Landscape and Memory. New York: Alfred A. Knopf. (Introduction and Ch 7)

 

***Assignment: third Field Paper due at the beginning of class. Bring a printed hard copy and email one to me as well***

 

Wednesday Oct 12, 2011

Subject: Trade in images and narratives, globalization, and indigenous media

Readings:

Escobar A. 2001. Culture sits in places: reflections on globalism and subaltern strategies of localization. Political Geography 20(2):139-174.

 

Mazzarella W. 2004. Culture, Globalization, Mediation. Annual Review of Anthropology 33:345-367.

 

Alia V. 2009. Outlaws and Citizens: Indigenous People and the “New Media Nation’. International Journal of Media and Cultural Politics 5(1&2):39-54.

 

Murillo MA. 2008. Weaving a Communication Quilt in Colombia: Civil Conflict, Indigenous Reistance, and Community Radio in Northern Cauca. In: Wilson P, and Stewart M, editors. Global Indigenous Media: Cultures, Poetics, and Politics. Durham, NC, USA: Duke University Press. p 145-170.

 

 

Friday Oct 14, 2011

Subject: Continuation of image and narrative discussion

Readings:

 

Prepare for your midterm       

Popular Images and the Landscape: Midterm Paper and Presentations

 

Monday Oct 17, 2011

Subject: Mid-term presentations

***Assignment: Midterm paper due at the beginning of class. Bring a printed hard copy and email one to me as well***

             

Wednesday Oct 19, 2011

Subject: Mid-term presentations and discussions

 

Friday Oct 21, 2011

Subject: Subject: Mid-term presentations and discussions

 

The Noble Savage, Biodiversity, and Biocultural Diversity

 

Monday Oct 24, 2011

Subject: Bio-cultural preservation

Readings:

            Please watch the following Ted talk and then read the blog response listed below.

 

 

http://zeroanthropology.net/2009/07/11/does-wade-davis-do-gaza/

 

Wednesday Oct 26, 2011

Subject: Bio-cultural preservation cont.

Readings:

Alcorn, J. B. (1994). Noble Savage or Noble State?: Northern Myths and Southern Realities in Biodiveristy Conservation. Etnoecológica, 11(3), 7-19.

           

Cocks M. 2010. What is Biocultural Diversity? A Theoretical Review. In: Bates DG, and Tucker J, editors. Human Ecology: Contemporary Research and Practice. New York: Springer. p 67-77.

 

Lu FE. 2010. The Conservation Catch-22: Indigenous Peoples and Cultural Change. In: Bates DG, and Tucker J, editors. Human Ecology: Contemporary Research and Practice. New York: Springer. p 79-82.

 

Friday Oct 28, 2011

Subject: Images, who gets to take them—community based photography and indigenous media

Readings:

**Please read one of these two**

Hubbard, J. (2007). Shooting Back: Photographic Empowerment and Participatory Photography 2007. Paper presented at Visible Rights: Photography by and for Youth. Retrieved from http://www.fas.harvard.edu/~cultagen/programs.htm?visible

 

Guran, M. (2007). The Concerned Eye: Visual Inclusion and Citizenship. Paper presented at the Paper presented at Visible Rights: Photography by and for Youth. Retrieved from http://www.fas.harvard.edu/~cultagen/programs.htm?visible

 

***And please read at least one of the two**

Alam, S. (2007). The Majority World Looks Back. Paper presented at Visible Rights: Photography by and for Youth. Retrieved from http://www.fas.harvard.edu/~cultagen/programs.htm?visible

 

Jirmanus, M. (2007). Communication for Societal Transformation. Paper presented at the Paper presented at Visible Rights: Photography by and for Youth. Retrieved from http://www.fas.harvard.edu/~cultagen/programs.htm?visible

 

Resilience and Complex Adaptive Systems

Monday Oct 31, 2011

Subject: Two definitions of resilience

Readings:

Holling, C. S. (1973). Resilience and Stability of Ecological Systems. Annual Reveiw of Ecology and Systematics, 4, 1-23.

 

Pimm, S. L. (1984). The Complexity and Stability of Ecosystems. Nature, 307 (5949), 321-326.

 

Wednesday Nov 2, 2011

Subject: Working with resilience theory and complex adaptive systems

Readings:

Folke C. 2006. Resilience: The Emergence of a Perspective for Social-Ecological Systems Analyses. Global Environmental Change 16(3): 253-267.

 

Berkes, F. (2007). Understanding uncertainty and reducing vulnerability: lessons from resilience thinking. Natural Hazards, 41(2), 283-295.

 

Friday Nov 4, 2011

Subject: Final paper discussion groups

Readings:

Given, M., & Seretis, K. (2003). Prologue: Strangers in the Landscape. In M. Given & B. A. Knapp (Eds.), The Sydney Cyprus Survey Project: Social Approaches to Regional Archaeological Survey (Vol. Monumenta Archaeologica 21, pp. xx-xxvii). Los Angeles, California: Cotsen Institute of Archaeology, University of California.

West, Paige. 2005. Holding the Story Forever: The Aesthetics of Ethnographic Labor. Anthropological Forum 15 (3): 267-275.

 

***Assignment: Draft of final paper bibliography due at the beginning of class. Bring a printed hard copy and email one to me as well ***

 

Monday Nov 7, 2011

Subject: Case studies on resilience (The Amazon)

Readings:

Coomes OT, Takasaki Y, Abizaid C, and Barham BL. 2010. Floodplain fisheries as natural insurance for the rural poor in tropical forest environments: evidence from Amazonia. Fisheries Management and Ecology 17(6): 513-521.

 

Smith RC. 2011. Introduction: Human Society in the Várzea: A History of Change and Adaptation to Contextual Uncertainties. In: Pinedo-Vasquez M, Ruffino ML, Padoch C, and Brondízio ES, editors. The Amazon Várzea: The Decade Past and the Decade Ahead: Springer Netherlands. p 3-10.

 

***Assignment: fourth Field Paper due at the beginning of class. Bring a printed hard copy and email one to me as well***

 

Wednesday Nov 9, 2011

Subject: Case studies on resilience cont. (The Mediterranean)

Readings:

Blondel J. 2006. The Design of Mediterranean Landscapes: A Millennial Story of Humans and Ecological Systems during the Historic Period. Human Ecology 34(5): 713-729.

Stiner MC, and Kuhn SL. 2010. Tracking the Carbon Footprint of Paleolithic Societies in Mediterranean Ecosystems. In: Bates DG, and Tucker J, editors. Human Ecology: Contemporary Research and Practice. New York: Springer. p 109-125.

           

Friday Nov 11, 2011

Subject: Resilience Case Studies from Bhutan

Readings:

Wangchuk S. 2007. Maintaining ecological resilience by linking protected areas through biological corridors in Bhutan. Tropical Ecology 48(2): 176-187.

 

Meenawat H, and Sovacool B. 2011. Improving adaptive capacity and resilience in Bhutan. Mitigation and Adaptation Strategies for Global Change 16(5): 515-533.

 

Monday Nov 14, 2011

Subject: Guest Lecture—Dr. Miranda Mockrin U.S. Forest Service, Fort Collins, CO

Readings:

           

Gill N, Klepeis P, and Chisholm L. 2010. Stewardship among Lifestyle Oriented Rural Landowners. Journal of Environmental Planning and Management 53(3): 317-334.

 

Pejchar L, Morgan PM, Caldwell MR, Palmer C, and Daily G. 2007. Evaluating the Potential for Conservation Development: Biophysical, Economic, and Institutional Perspectives. Conservation Biology 21(1): 69-78.

 

Gosnell H, and Abrams J. 2009. Amenity Migration: Diverse Conceptualizations of Drivers, Socioeconomic Dimensions, and Emerging Challenges. GeoJournal 8 July 2009.

 

McMahon E. 2010. Conservation Communities: Creating Value with Nature, Open Space, and Agriculture. Washington, D. C.: Urban Land Institute.

 

 

Wednesday Nov 16, 2011

Subject: Measuring and working with resilience

Readings:

Cumming G, Barnes G, Perz S, Schmink M, Sieving K, Southworth J, Binford M, Holt R, Stickler C, and Van Holt T. 2005. An Exploratory Framework for the Empirical Measurement of Resilience. Ecosystems 8(8):975-987.

 

Friday Nov 18, 2011

Subject: Confidence and humility; Final project discussions

Readings:

            None

***Assignment: Final bibliography for final project due at the beginning of class. Please bring a hard copy and email one to me as well***

 

Environmental Security, Peace, War, and ???

 

Monday Nov 28, 2011

Subject: Politics, Violence, and Environment—an intro

Readings:

Peluso NL, and Watts M. 2001. Violent Environments. In: Peluso NL, and Watts M, editors. Violent Environments. Ithaca, New York: Cornell University. p 3-38.

 

 

 

Wednesday Nov 30, 2011

Subject: War and Environment

Readings:

McCarthy J. 2001. States of Nature and Environmental Enclosures in the American West. In: Peluso NL, and Watts M, editors. Violent Environments. Ithaca, New York: Cornell University. p 117-145.

 

Masco J. 2010. Mutant ecologies: radioactive life in post-Cold War New Mexico. In: Peet R, Robbins P, and Watts M, editors. Global Political Ecology. London and New York: Routledge. p 285-303.

 

Kinga S. 2010. Sounds of Sokshing: Revisiting the Contested Provisions of the Land Act 2007. Journal of Bhutan Studies Winter: 1-26.

 

Messina JP, Walsh SJ, Mena CF, and Delamater PL. 2006. Land tenure and deforestation patterns in the Ecuadorian Amazon: Conflicts in land conservation in frontier settings. Applied Geography 26(2):113-128.

 

Friday Dec 2, 2011

Subject: Violence and Environment, Examples from a Tibetan Scholar Activist

Readings:

            Guest Speaker

http://lhakardiaries.com/about/

 

http://lhakardiaries.com/2011/11/16/tibetans-sometimes-the-noble-savage/

 

http://lhakardiaries.com/2011/10/26/the-grass-is-greener-on-the-other-side/

 

http://lhakardiaries.com/2011/10/26/walking-on-a-piece-of-home/

 

***Assignment: Annotated outline due at the beginning of class. Please bring a hard copy and email one to me as well***

 

 

Monday Dec 5, 2011

Subject: Liberation Ecology

Readings:

Peet R, and Watts M. 2002. Liberation Ecology: Development, Sustainability, and Environment in an Age of Market Triumphalism. In: Peet R, and Watts M, editors. LIberation Ecologies: Environment, Development, Social Movements. New York: Routledge. p 1-45.

 

 

Wednesday Dec 7, 2011

Subject: Political Ecology, Healing, and the West

Readings:

Cowell A, Collinge SK, and Limerick PN. 2009. Introduction: Healing the West. In: Limerick PN, Cowell A, and Collinge SK, editors. Remedies for a New West: Healing Landscapes, Histories, and Cultures. Tuscon: The University of Arizona Press. p 12-23.

 

Hvalkof S. 2006. Progress of the Victims: Political Ecology in the Peruvian Amazon. In: Biersack A, and Greenberg JB, editors. Reimagining Political Ecology. Durham, NC, USA: Duke University Press. p 196-232.  (Morgan S)

 

Gosnell H. 2009. Healing the with Howls: Rewilding the Souther Rockies. In: Limerick PN, Cowell A, and Collinge SK, editors. Remedies for a New West: Healing Landscapes, Histories, and Cultures. Tuscon: The University of Arizona Press. p 134-152.

 

Armstrong DM. 2009. Hope in a World of Wounds: Sustainable Stewardship in Colorado. In: Limerick PN, Cowell A, and Collinge SK, editors. Remedies for a New West: Healing Landscapes, Histories, and Cultures. Tuscon: The University of Arizona Press. p 230-247.

 

Ackland L. 2009. Open Wound from  a Tough Nuclear History. In: Limerick PN, Cowell A, and Collinge SK, editors. Remedies for a New West: Healing Landscapes, Histories, and Cultures. Tuscon: The University of Arizona Press. p 248-261.

 

 

Friday Dec 9, 2011

Subject: Activism and Anthropology; what is our role

Readings:

Djordjevic D. 2011. Mentoring and Moral Experience: On Learning How to Live. Harvard Magazine. Cambridge, Ma: Harvard University. p 63-65.

 

Smith L, and Kleinman A. 2010. Emotional Engagements: Acknowledgement, Advocacy, and Direct Action. In: Davies J, and Spencer D, editors. Emotions in the Field: The Psychology and Anthropology of Fieldwork Experience. Stanford, California: Stanford University Press. p 171-187.

***Assignment: optional sixth Friday Field Paper due at the beginning of class. Bring a printed hard copy and email one to me as well***

 

**** Tuesday Dec 13, 2011 7:30 p.m. – 10:00 pm****

Final Examà Final paper presentations

Attendance mandatory

 

 

 

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Mentoring and Moral Experience: On learning how to live by Darja Djordjevic

(just putting this title up for comments on the article)

Open Wound From a Tough Nuclear History- Hannah G

Rocky Flats was a plant located south of Boulder that created most of the United State’s nuclear weapons. It was dismantled in 1992 and the clean-up of the toxic waste started some years afterward. The land that made up Rocky Flats is now a national wildlife refuge, save some 1,300 acres that are still dangerous and thus, under the control of the Department of Energy (DOE). This area is called the “DOE blob.” The DOE say the land was kept only for the “management of ongoing remedies.” The author of this article, titled “Open Wound from a Tough Nuclear History,” Len Ackland doesn’t love this excuse but applauds it for conveying the uncertainties surrounding the plant and it’s clean-up.

The cleanup, however, is not the biggest problem surrounding Rocky Flats, says Ackland. Rather, the real problems reside in how we are still affected by the plant and our attitudes surrounding it. “The U.S. National Park Service added Rocky Flats to the National Register of Historic Places in 1998 for ‘making a significant contribution to the broad patterns of U.S. History” (249). The DOE is basically trying to save face and prevent the public from seeing the grave dangers that the plant produced. The DOE is turning Rocky Flats into a triumph instead of using it as a lesson.

The lessons that need to be taken from Rocky Flats are “physical and perceptual” according to Ackland. There are many accounts of deadly diseases, including cancer, that have afflicted the workers of Rocky Flats, as well as the residents that lived near the plant. However, the DOE doesn’t recognize these casualties as a result of the plant because it is very difficult to prove that the plant is the direct cause.

The span of destruction is not only on the local level, Ackland adds. Rocky Flats is responsible for an huge amount of the United State’s arsenal of weapons of mass destruction. Ackland scolds the United States for unwisely using their power after the Cold War. “And the United States, the world’s sole superpower, rather than taking the lead in outlawing nuclear weapons, again started producing plutonium bombs at the Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico in 2003 and has plans for a new version of Rocky Flats on one of five DOE sites” (250-1). Ackland wonders, “Do nuclear weapons ensure US National security or pose an unacceptable risk to humanity. If humans are so smart, why have we built huge arsenals of weapons capable of destroying ourselves?” (250).

I believe that having weapons that are capable of such atrocities should be illegal and I am ashamed that America has so many of them. That said, there is nothing we can do about the past, and I think at the very least our government can be honest with the public about the dangers that are present. The government tries to save face and keep people from panicking but when there is imminent danger I think we have the right to know exactly where there is radiation or toxic waste.

What are your opinions on world policy concerning weapons of mass destruction? Should they be outlawed so that no nations have them? Should we give them to everyone to even the playing field? Should there be only certain countries that have them?

I would also like to know how many of you knew about Rocky Flats and the controversial cleanup that took (and is still taking) place just a few minutes down highway 93?

Looking at the social relations of fieldwork..

At the beginning of the semester, our class briefly discussed this concept of “us” versus “they” and what that means.  If I remember correctly, the class decided “us” is when we act/do according to the benefits of ourselves in our culture and “they” referring to the other person, the other culture.   In an anthropological setting, these two concepts combined, along with other methodologies, fit the mold of an ethnographic study.  In the article Holding the Story Forever: The Aesthetics of Ethnographic Labour by Paige West, she argues that ethnographic work is constrained by institutional demands and leaves out crucial information for the reader.  That crucial information is the social relationship between the anthropologist and informant.  The day-to-day interactions, until recently, have been left out.  West suggest “they fail to examine the ways in which anthropologists themselves experience the practice of ethnography and the ways in which ‘the field’ transcends space and time as we carry it with us in our-social and academic lives”(268).  In this article, West looks at the “social relations of fieldwork, the bodily experiences of being ‘in the field’ and the ways in which our fieldwork experiences are tied to the ‘shadow dialogues’ in which we participate” calling it ‘ethnographic sociality’ (268).

West provides an example of her ‘in the field’ in Papua New Guinea through a card game she played with a couple of the villagers.  She describes the setting and the creation of space that she provides as an outsider and a space that she enters.  Within those spaces, “a third subjectivity and a kind of intersubjectivity that is separate from the subjectivity,” begin to unfold (273).  This becomes a ‘third time space’ that West thinks needs to be acknowledged and analyzed.  By incorporating the ‘third time space,’ a more interconnected story unfolds.  This ‘third time space’ adds a truth to the story that last forever.

This viewpoint, along with many we have discussed in class, suggest a new way of thinking different from out western standards that “the past, present, and future are fixed in time and space” (274).  Perhaps we should be incorporating different viewpoints toward culture and nature.

This article seems like an example of the Peets and Watts article on Liberation Ecology…, Peets and Watts are suggesting we must free our western views on society and culture that are fixed in time and space and instead, study other methodologies.

Now that we have reached the end of the semester, do you view ethnographic work differently?  Do you think ethnographies should incorporate a more personal side or should that be left out?  If you were in the field right now, do you think you would altar anything about yourself to ‘fit’ into that culture better?

Progress of the Victims: Political Ecology in the Peruvian Amazon written by Soren Hvalkof

This article is discussing the political ecology of the indigenous people, the Asheninka, and their relationship with the more modern colonists of the area of Peru called the Gran Pajonal.  The author, Soren Hvalkof, defines political ecology as, “the study of manifold constructions of nature in contexts of power aiming at understanding and participating in the ensemble of forces linking social change, environment, and development” (197).

The specific area at hand is the Gran Pajonal, which means the “great grassland.”  The local indigenous populations created the pajonal landscape and have intentionally formed and taken care of it through the practice of controlled fire management in the open grass areas.  It is created by man.  The Asheninka strongly identify with the grasslands.  They burn the grass for: pest control, killing or scaring off snakes, maintaining open spaces for security reasons, customs, and fun or simply for the aesthetic value of the open savannas.  To the colonists, the term is emblematic of modern progress, the cattle and the land is the reason they are associated and have a presence in the isolated forest area.  The grassland means pasture which is the basis of their cattle-ranching venture.  For the Asheninka, the landscape is a model alluding to their cosmology, whereas the colonists abolish the forest with expanding cattle pastures.  This issue was causing social conflict within the Peruvian state.

Hvalkof states that the process of increasing global integration has produced an international discourse favoring indigenous self-development in the Amazon (225).  By constituting new “fractal” amalgamations with international organizations, the Asheninka have now been able to change and consolidate their position in both the local and national contexts.  The author quotes American-Brazilian anthropologist Paul E. Little:

These connections are rarely neatly organized and mechanically mobilized but rather are highly volatile and irregular and vary according to the historical moment, the strength and density of the cross-scale contacts, and the specific issues at hand…I call these fractal power relationships since they are, on one hand, highly irregular and unpredictable, yet on the other, they seek and partially achieve the furthering of common interests of the social groups operating at different social scales.

“It seems that when the Asheninka engage in political power strategies related to the non-Asheninka world, they connect, enter into, manipulate, and articulate with already existing discourses, rather than aiming for something constituted solely from within their own cognized system” (227).

Hvalkof states that the Asheninka have multi-centered, particularistic worldviews, which leaves them with no ideological, ethical, or moral preferences as to whom or which world they want to cooperate with as the symbolic and moral values pertaining to them apply only to themselves.  The colonists’ twofold model does not address any ultimate spiritual invitations but rather their specific goal is the collection of material goods.  The colonists’ example “has to be ever expanding, ever civilizing and never structurally changing” (227).

This model of two unlikely and unequal partners (World Bank and the Asheninka) seems to be ideal.  There are other factors that have resulted in this final (at least for the time being) outcome, do you think that this is a viable option for other virtually unrecognized indigenous people, or is this such a large combination of factors that it would be nearly impossible to re-create the same situation?

Also, do you view the Asheninka as, for lack of a better term, “selling out”?  If so, do you think that it is necessarily a negative thing?

The idea of grasslands, pastures and cattle-ranching is the motivation behind colonizing the area.  The government has reinforced the idea of wealth and success to the colonists, feeding them hope that they could have a life of abundance and greatness.  Do you view the colonists as the “bad guys”?  Can you blame them if they don’t want to pack up easily and find new land?

Remedies for a New West. Healing Landscapes, Histories, and Cultures. Limerick Cowell Collinge.

What sounds like the main argument that is trying to be made is that Colorado still needs more protection of  lands and what resides in it. He starts by talking about extinction, our knowledge of how many species are on the planet and how often a species will go extinct. Such as saying that the number of biota or the organisms alive in the present time “is no more than about 1 percent”, of what has existed over the lifetime of the planet (231-232). The extinction rate today is higher than what it should be. The rate has increased by “fortyfold”. According to what he says, extinction is considered to be a natural process, and that there has been five major mass extinction events. He says that the increased rate of extinction going on today is another mass extinction that has started, and that it is a choice, a first for this as well as being cultural instead of cosmic or geological. Saying that us Humans do have a part to play in this event, he goes on to talk about conservation on a global level. The Americas, mostly South and Central America, has the most protected areas on the planet, with tropical rain forests and islands ranking as the most protected and areas like temperate grasslands and lakes being the least protected. This is most likely due to their importance, and as he calls them, “breakbasket”, areas. Many groups both local and international, such as nongovernmental organizations, or NGOs have been drastically increasing in number and have established protected areas across the globe. All of this leads to his main point, the state of protected lands in Colorado.

The second part starts out by saying that Colorado is a small area of the planet and the U.S as well, only making up 2.7% of the land in the U.S. and .2% of the the Earth’s land. Despite this, he says that it is still important to protect Colorado. An example is that he says that five major rivers, the Colorado, Arkansas, North and South Platte, and the Rio Grande originate in Colorado which influences much of the West of the U.S. The diversity of land scape, like the mountains, and organisms living in said landscapes need protection as well. Though as time goes on, he keeps giving stats on how much land is being protected every year, and it is growing. Even organizations like the one to protect ranchers, the TNC, made other groups to protect areas that the ranchers need and continue to grow in numbers and support. He concludes by saying that he himself is a member of the TNC Colorado Board of Trustees and that the total amount of protected land in Colorado is about 10%. But is that enough? He wonders how much needs to be protected, how much land people need, he says that we just do not now enough.

1. So do you think that we need to protect more than that what is already under protection?

2. Do you agree with what he says in this article? Does he make his point of protecting Colorado and other places clear to you?

3. He mentions a lot of statistics, groups, and even throws in two charts. Do you think that these groups are important and how do you think that we could do a better job at helping these organizations?

Liberation Ecology: Development, Sustainability, and environment in an age of market triumphism

Chapter one of Liberation Ecologies, edited by Richard Peet and Michael Watts, begins by discussing the history and philosophy of political ecology and makes apparent the role of discourse, especially the western discourse of development, in our world. The authors agree that, “no discussion of ‘environment’ or ‘development’ can begin without interrogating the meanings of these key words and the various discourses and practices in which they are situated” (p. xi); they stress that the reformation of political ecology focuses on large-scale examination and cross-references with information from several fields of academia. The topic of environmental degradation is at center stage due to the current severe level of ecological destruction and environmentalism (truly a global issue) cannot be separated from politics or economics. The authors argue that western discursive regimes fuel poverty and environmental destruction. They state that in order for the environment to be protected, it is imperative that there be a new form of political philosophy, a bottom-up approach which incorporates the mobilization of “regular people” (p.27, which does not stem from discursive control.

Political ecology was a movement born in the 1960’s and has continued to be reformed throughout the decades. A Marxist-influenced field of study, political ecology was born from ecological anthropology and cultural ecology. Understanding people’s relationship to limited resources and obtaining traditional knowledge which existed in “closed-system” living studies was the focus of the field. This information, the authors argue, was based on an overly simplistic model. It was not recognized that these cultures were part of larger, more complicated political spheres.
The world today (vs. the 1960’s through the 1980’s) is fundamentally different. There are more destructive technologies, increased globalization, deregulation, and privatized economies. There is increased industrial growth in areas such as Brazil, Korea, and Taiwan and there is knowledge of global warming, ozone depletion, and biogenic hazards (p.4). Therefore, modern political ecology is fundamentally different. It’s now a combination of post-Marxist, neo-liberal, and post-structuralist fields that challenges notions of governance and discourse because it includes policy at its center. It also focuses on practical applications rather than simplistic ecological theory on its own. Additionally, this “action-research-oriented” (p.2) form of political ecology covers far more than social movements, it includes a discussion of the agendas of large organizations such as the World Bank and also covers small resistance conflicts that aren’t yet considered social movements.

The authors discuss some of the more influential texts in political ecology and discuss the “tension of heterogeneities” within the field simply because it’s so broad and includes work by a huge range of scholars, each with their own ideas. Collectively, these texts point toward the issue of poverty as a major cause of ecological degradation (p.5). The authors argue that poverty is no more of a cause of degradation than affluence/capital. Poverty is only part of the story and is a consequence of marginalization, absence of public control over resource and politics, and state-centralization (p.7). Certain top-down process that occur and discourses that are propagated aid the spread and reproduction of poverty. It needs to be known not only which political steps lead to both poverty and environmental catastrophe but why and how they transpire.

Before discourse is addressed, I’d like to mention an important fact that the authors brought up: political ecology doesn’t contain much in terms of actual politics (p.10). Personally, I think that this is a problem for the field as it seems to be mostly theory and very little action. However, a suggested political solution would be very hard for any government or persons in positions of power to swallow because the solution may have other negative implications such as the prevention of economic development, wealth obtainment (by the wealthy, of course), and prevent those who have power from retaining it. Actually, the solution may be ideological itself. Honestly, I believe that the implications of coming up with a bottom-up solution are so severe that it’s almost impossible for people in political ecology academia to present them because they would be challenging even the most libertarian governments, shareholders, and people who quite literally control the world. A social movement based on the findings of political ecology would be the most radical of all social movements because it would challenge the notion of development discourse—historically the most successful regime for obtaining power to ever exist.

This leads me to the final discussion of discourse. The authors state that political ecology must study not only how local environmental movements develop and what we can learn from locals about their environments, but what discourse does to a group and how scientific regimes of truth (the philosophy of truth must also be addressed first) and mythological discourses influence people. The most important discourse in political ecology is that of the western world: the discourse of development. This refers to things always getting “better”, forward movement, and economic expansion. Post-structuralists take a radical look at this discourse and explain that western governments, by spreading this discourse, ensure that not only are their own people are psychologically enslaved, but make certain that aspiring first world nations are conforming to the ideal (p.17). The authors see the solution to the environmental destruction caused by this discourse as being one that is bottom-up and incudes the public in its design and implementation (p.27). Instead, it seems that third-world countries have attempted to mimic or copy rather than adapt the western discourse and do so with top-down policies which demotivate ordinary people rather than make room for grassroots movements of positive, true “development” (p.17), which automatically incorporate more knowledge of local ecosystems.

Questions:
1. The authors also mentions that political ecology does not contain much in terms of actual politics in it, and therefore, it doesn’t seem to have many large-scale solutions. Do you think that this is strength or a weakness of the field?
2. How far off do you think we are from suggesting ideological political solutions? Do you think that more significant research needs to be done in the field of political ecology for truly large-scale government-reformation style solutions to be suggested?
3. Is development a good thing? Is it sometimes good and sometimes bad? Can you think of examples or ways in which our current discourse should be tweaked and not completely replaced?
4. Do you think that, as the field of political ecology grows, it will create its own reformation movement? Would if it became widespread or die out? Could it even start with the way politics are currently? Why or why not?