Thematic Series

Engagement publishes periodic thematic series that feature posts by scholars, activists, and others on topics of relevance to the Anthropology and Environment Society community. Find links to these series below.


Photo by Colin Hoag. A donkey in the Lesotho highlands.
Photo by Colin Hoag. A donkey in the Lesotho highlands.

Multi-Species Anthropology: Becoming Human with Others

The Western notion of “the human” as we know it is unraveling. From fields as diverse as developmental biology, epigenetics, environmental history, science and technology studies, and anthropology, we are learning new ways that the histories and trajectories of humans are bound up with those of other species…[read more]


thischangeseverything
Naomi Klein

Anthropology and Climate Change: Intersections of Teaching, Interdisciplinarity, and Activism

The recent conversation on the EANTH listserv surrounding Naomi Klein’s book, This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs. the Climate brought to light important differences regarding how anthropologists engage with and teach the subject of climate change…[read more]


Museums and Ecology

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Inside the Smithsonian Natural History Museum. Photo by Theresa L. Miller.

Museums are important spaces where scholarly research has the opportunity to reach broader audiences beyond academia. These spaces can be especially significant in communicating research on pressing ecological issues to the public. In this thematic series, we ask, what can museums, including their exhibitions and collections, tell us about human-environment engagements? Additionally, how do studies on museums…[read more]


The Nature of Infrastructure

Watering hole in Lesotho highlands. Photo by Colin Hoag.
Watering hole in Lesotho highlands. Photo by Colin Hoag.

The concept of infrastructure draws attention to as-yet-unseen synergies between technology, culture, and materiality. What does this concept have to offer environmental anthropology? While we can safely say that infrastructures shape the natural world, they surely do so in ways particular to their times and places. This Engagement blog thematic series seeks to shed light on the heterogeneity of infrastructures—their forms and effects—as seen through the anthropology of the environment…[read more]


Life on the Frontier: The Environmental Anthropology of Settler Colonialism

Lithography of a painting by A. Salm.
Lithography of a painting by A. Salm.

What kinds of nature are forged through settler colonialism? Settler colonists do not merely conquer people and territory—they seek to transplant and redefine. Settler colonialisms fashion borderlands through their concept of “the frontier,” generating novel identity categories that are negotiated, rejected, or reconfigured by colonized people and their descendants. This thematic series explores what anthropological approaches can contribute to our understanding of…[read more]


Toxic Bodies

“A pigeon trap,” Provincial Archives of Alberta.

Epigenetics, developmental biology, and feminist science and technology studies teach us that organisms are not merely affected by their environment—they are co-constituted by it, in deep dialogue. What, then, does it mean to be human in the abundant presence of human-produced toxins? From Bisphenol A (BPA) to polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) to glyphosate and many more, the efflorescence of 20th century toxins settles into humans and their companion species. Here, we take an expanded notion of toxicity…[read more]


Natural Histories

Landskapsstudie från Barbizon. By Carl Larsson, via Wikimedia Commons. {{PD-US}}

Long-term field research in a single locale has been central to the environmental sciences, including environmental anthropology. From Harold Conklin’s work in Ifugao, Philippines to Aldo Leopold’s research in Sauk County, Wisconsin, sustained acquaintance with a field site opens up to a place-based understanding of ecological process, while teaching researchers to discern both stability and variation in social and natural worlds. At a time when theorizing and concept development has accelerated within anthropology and environmental science writ large, what does the future hold for long-term field research?…[read more]

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