Beth Conklin: Constricting the "Lungs of the World"
2/11/2013, 4:10 pm - 5:10 pm
Constricting the "Lungs of the World": Water, Energy and Climate Change in the Brazilian Amazon
Beth Conklin, Ph.D., Chair, Department of Anthropology, Vanderbilt University
The Amazonian rainforest has tremendous effects on the worldís carbon cycles, sequestering more carbon than the annual global emissions from burning fossil fuels. In recent years, mega-droughts that may be the leading edge of climate change have intersected with ambitious mega-dam projects driven by energy aspirations in Brazilís booming economy. This talk outlines how social, political and policy forces are radically altering Amazonian forest and water systems, with major implications for global climate. It presents background context for the upcoming public lecture by geographer Brent Millikan, Amazon Program Director for International Rivers, on March 12th at 4 p.m.
Professor Conklin is a cultural and medical anthropologist specializing in the ethnography of indigenous peoples of lowland South America (Amazonia). Her research focuses on the anthropology of the body, religion and ritual, health and healing, death and mourning, the politics of indigenous rights, and ecology, environmentalism, and cultural and religious responses to climate change. She teaches courses on anthropological theory, medicine and healing, indigenous peoples, and environmental issues. Her publications include Consuming Grief: Compassionate Cannibalism in an Amazonian Society, "Body Paint, Feathers, and VCRs: Aesthetics and Authenticity in Amazonian Activism," "The Shifting Middle Ground: Brazilian Indians and Eco-Politics" (with Laura Graham), "Ski Masks, Nose Rings, Veils and Feathers: Body Arts on the Front Lines of Identity Politics," and "Environmentalism, Global Community, and the New Indigenism. She earned her Ph.D. in 1989 from the Univ. of California at San Francisco and Berkeley.