[URBANTH-L]CFP, Society and Nature in South America (Mercosur conference, Uruguay)

drenfrew at binghamton.edu drenfrew at binghamton.edu
Wed Mar 23 17:15:42 EST 2005

Call for Papers

Working Group: Society and nature in South America: anthropological
theories, cultural practices and environmental conflicts.

This working group forms part of the VI Anthropology Meeting of the
Mercosur that will take place in Montevideo, Uruguay from November 16-18,
2005.  (See website: www.fhuce.edu.uy/antrop/congreso for details on the
meeting and guidelines on the “working group” structure, or email
organizers for questions)

Since the mid-1980’s, the academic world has perceived that the so-called
ecological crisis was not only sounding a new alarm about the development
of human society, but also that it would become one of the major
influences in the emergence of new questions, concepts, and categories of
analysis in both the natural and social sciences.  The anthropological
study of the relationship between society and nature has been revitalized,
recognizing the principle that cultural and natural domains are mutually
constitutive, and taking into account the economic and political
dimensions in the collective appropriation of nature.  The study of
biotechnologies and biodiversity has taken on special interest in recent
years, placing into question the borders between the natural and the
artificial or cultural.  Anthropology in all its sub-fields
(socio-cultural, linguistic, biological, archaeological, and applied)
enjoys strong theoretical and empirical antecedents to position it as a
discipline that may contribute to the sustainable transformation of the
environment, through both analysis and intervention.

Thematic areas:
The organizers of the working group call on colleagues from anthropology,
or other social and natural sciences, to present papers that take into
account fully or in part the following thematic areas.

a)	The society-nature relationship in South America, a region rich in
natural resources and with varied social forms of use, perception and
representation of the environment- including scientific theories

b)	Class and social group conflicts over the degradation, contamination,
and the recovery of resources, particularly at the urban level.  This
approach entails a critique of the contradiction “human species vs.
nature” that permeates dominant discourses on the environmental question.

c)	The ambiguities between ideologies and practices in processes and
projects seeking sustainability, beyond the apparent consensus of
sustainable development as a worthy and viable pursuit.

d)	The state of the art in anthropological studies of the environmental
question in each country and region; innovative and interdisciplinary
theoretical and methodological developments; and recent empirical work
that inspires an articulation of the ethnographic approach with a
discussion about ecological, social, and economic sustainability.

Dr. Carmen Alicia Ferradás, Department of Anthropology, Binghamton
University, State University of New York.  Email: ferrada at binghamton.edu

Dr. Javier Taks, Departamento de Antropología Social, FHUCE, Universidad
de la República, Uruguay.  Email: jtaks at fhuce.edu.uy

Ph.D. Candidate Daniel Renfrew, Department of Anthropology, Binghamton
University, State University of New York.  Email: drenfrew at binghamton.edu

Deadline for the submission of abstracts (maximum 250 words): May 31,
2005.  Please send copies to the three organizers for consideration.

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