About Engagement

Photo by Janelle Marie Baker. The image shows Fort McKay Elder, Howard Lacorde, displaying cranberries (Vaccinium vitis-idaea)

Engagement is the official blog of the Anthropology and Environment Society (AES), a section of the American Anthropological Association (AAA). It features first-hand accounts by anthropologists and other social scientists who bring an anthropological approach to understanding the pressing environmental issues of our time. The blog takes an expansive view of “engagement,” advancing discourse on topics including theory, ethnographic writing, activism, and collaboration. Engaging diverse publics, it aims to bring the latest scholarly research to audiences that might not otherwise read or access scholarly literature, including undergraduates, applied professionals, advocates, policy-makers, or others. Engagement seeks to create a space where scholars can publish provocative, serious, and experimental work without being burdened by jargon, conventional form and genre, or the excessive citation requirements of scientific journals.

We welcome submissions on a wide variety of environmental issues – please see our Submissions page for more details. The blog is currently co-edited by Colin Hoag and Jia Hui Lee. Learn more about our editorial team here.

More about the image, from Janelle Marie Baker:

“This photo shows Fort McKay Elder Howard Lacorde displaying cranberries (Vaccinium vitis-idaea) in his hand that he has just picked. My research as a PhD student in anthropology at McGill University is on Aboriginal peoples’ (Cree, Dene, and Metis) perspectives on wild food contamination in Alberta Canada’s oil sand region. People no longer eat the berries from this particular patch near the community of Fort McKay because of its close proximity to oil sands extraction sites and upgraders. Many of Fort McKay’s berry patches have been lost to mining and construction and people do not trust berries that are close to industrial activities, and so they travel a long distance by truck or float plane in order to gather berries and medicines that they trust. For example, people fly to Moose Lake, which is part of Fort McKay’s reserve lands and the final untouched area that they are currently fighting to have protected by a buffer zone. My research is supported by the Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarship program, McGill’s Institute for the Study of Canada Warren Fellowship, and the Canadian Federation of University Women CHEA Fellowship.”