Flash Presentation Session
Reviewed by: Anthropology and Environment Society
Of interest to: Practicing and Applied Anthropologists, Students
Primary Theme: Environment and Environmental Inequality
This session features exciting new research on anthropology and the environment, presented through short, five-minute “flash” presentations. Our presenters will combine spoken and visual content in creative ways, distilling their most important ideas and insights in an engaging performance. We seek to experiment with alternatives to the standard conference presentation format and develop new, effective approaches to communicating our research. At the same time, we hope to stimulate conversations and collaborations that move our field forward. We showcase a wide range of theory and practice and highlight new ethnographic work that reflects some of the most pressing concerns in environmental anthropology. Our presentations contribute to the large body of research on conservation and natural resource management, featuring case studies of environmental governance and marine protected areas in French Polynesia, indigenous fishing reserves in New Zealand, community-driven conservation movements in Kenya, and efforts to cope with water scarcity amid rapid industrialization and political instability in the Middle East. These concerns for the social and political dimensions of environmental problems are examined further in the context of a variety of social movements, with presentations that link environmental justice and energy extraction to legacies of settler colonialism in ongoing tar sands oil extraction in Canada and a proposed natural gas terminal in the Pacific Northwest. Our session also contributes to growing interest in the intersections of infrastructure, technology, and the environment. In this area, we feature research from the Bolivian Altiplano that examines the politics of lightning exposure, electrical infrastructure, and climate change, a new project examining the ways robotic technologies are transforming human environments and creating human-robot workspaces, and a study of the combined effects of entertainment technology and mineral extraction on intergenerational knowledge transmission patterns in Arctic Inuit communities. Our session also includes research on human-animal interactions, with a presentation using multi-species ethnography to explore links between entomological knowledge and entomophagical cuisine in the Ecuadorian Amazon and a presentation examining discursive shifts from conflict to coexistence in conservation practice in China. Other presentations seek to develop new theoretical and methodological approaches to understanding the social and environmental dimensions of landscapes, whether by linking topographic and conceptual perspectives with rural livelihoods in Japan, examining the ways landmined landscapes in Colombia combine guerrilla warfare tactics with intimate understanding of environmental conditions, or using rock paintings to capture singular viewpoints and memories of changing landscapes in British Columbia. Finally, our session reflects the long tradition of anthropological engagement with contemporary social issues in the United states, including presentations on food sovereignty and GMO-free movements in Oregon and efforts to address asthma and chronic illnesses among homeless people in Texas. As a whole, the presentations in this session should provide a compelling and creative picture of ongoing and cutting-edge research in environmental anthropology.