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Postcolonial Ecologies in the Global South: Explorations at the Culture/Nature Interface

The workshop will bring together the Centre of Development Studies, Centre of South Asian Studies, Centre of African Studies, Centre of Latin American Studies and University of Cambridge Conservation Research Institute in order to exchange ideas and define collaborative research agendas regarding one of the most pressing issues of the 21st century: the relationship between humanity and the natural world.
When Jun 28, 2018 09:30 AM to
Jun 29, 2018 07:30 PM
Where Alison Richard Building, 7 West Road, CB3 9DT
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The Global South is home to the vast majority of the world’s biological and cultural diversity. It is also the area where both kinds of diversity are disappearing the fastest. For these reasons, the countries of the Global South are especially relevant to the Environmental Humanities, in terms of both theory and practice. For theory, comparing radically different perspectives on humanity’s relationship with nature promises important insights about what “humanity”, “nature”, “culture” and similar concepts may mean. For practice, endeavours to conserve cultural and biological diversity at a global level need to develop integrated frameworks for the regions where this diversity is greatest and most threatened.

Just as the Global South is of particular relevance for the Environmental Humanities, so the Environmental Humanities touch the very core of the challenges and opportunities present in Global South. The economies of these regions are particularly dependent on natural resources, whether in the form of raw materials or tourism. They are also especially susceptible to disruption by natural phenomena. Indeed, a crucial dimension of the postcolonial reality is how states and populations reconfigure the relationship between humanity and nature in changing cultural and economic contexts.

There is a very active body of researchers pursuing these issues in all of the Centres. Yet, until now, there have been few opportunities to interact across regional divides. The reciprocal importance of the Environmental Humanities and the countries of the Global South means that it is now important to integrate these discussions on a more unified platform. The aim of this workshop is to take this crucial step, by facilitating cross-disciplinary and cross-regional discussion on the relationship between humanity and nature in the Global South. The topic is deliberately broad, in order to encourage new, perhaps unexpected, forms of collaboration, and to define concrete research strategies for the short or long term.

This event has been generously funded by:
The Smuts Memorial Fund
The Leverhulme Trust
The Isaac Newton Trust

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UCCRI is an Interdisciplinary Research Centre, with a network of over 150 researchers from all 6 Schools of the University of Cambridge. The Institute supports multidisciplinary research on biodiversity conservation and the social context within which humans engage with nature. It works from a base in the David Attenborough Building, which is designed to enhance collaboration and the sharing of perspectives across organisational and disciplinary boundaries. Find out more...

 

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