Immersion Lecture: Foundations of Environmental Anthropology

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Time of Event: 
Monday, February 29, 2016 - 10:30 to 11:15
In this lecture on the foundations of environmental anthropology, Dr. Eduardo Brondizio first highlights the modern era in world history as the great global acceleration, in which use of natural resources and economic development has increased exponentially.  He traces the history of ideas to study the relationship between human culture and environmental constraints, starting with cultural ecology and moving through ecological anthropology, political ecology, ethnobiology, and historical and symbolic ecologies. He notes that these and other related theories and approaches all deal with complexity and connectivity, and that the temporal and spatial scope of change requires new frameworks for understanding. He ends with questions about the Anthropocene, and how anthropology and related disciplines are dealing with the epistemological and moral tensions inherent in current challenges facing humans and the environment.

Reading List

Brondizio, E., Adams, R., and Fiorini, S. 2016. History and scope of environmental anthropology. In H. Kopnina and E. Shoreman-Ouimet (eds.), Routledge Handbook in Environmental Anthropology. New York: Routledge Publishers.

Presentation Slides

Click here to download the presentation slides. 

Eduardo S. Brondizio is Professor of Anthropology at Indiana University Bloomington, co-director of the Center for the Analysis of Social-Ecological Landscapes (CASEL), and faculty member of the Ostrom Workshop in Political Theory and Policy Analysis. Brondizio’s research combines field-based longitudinal studies of the transformation of rural and urban areas and populations in the Amazon with research on global change and sustainability. Brondizio has published extensively on human–environment interactions, small farmers’ livelihood and social identity, household socio-demography and mobility, landscape and land use change, agroforestry and commodity chains, and more broadly on integrating geospatial and social–ecological methods, development and poverty, ecosystem services, and institutional analysis and governance. His current research includes analysis of social–environmental vulnerabilities of the Amazon delta and application of complexity systems approaches to analyze the co-evolution of rural, urban, conservation and indigenous areas in the Amazon. Brondizio has been closely engaged with international global changed research programs and has contributed to several past and on-going global assessments. Brondizio is a member of the Science Committee of Future Earth and co-Editor-in-Chief of Current Opinions in Environmental Sustainability.

Event type: 
Immersion Speaker
Event Attendance: 
Private Working Group
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