Tuesday, April 9, 2013

ANTH Talk:  A Situating of Knowledge and

Change in 21st Century Rural Contexts

The Department of Anthropology presents a talk by

Susan A. Crate
Associate Professor of Anthropology
Department of Environmental Science and Policy
George Mason University

“A Situating of Knowledge and Change in 21st Century Rural Contexts”

Monday, April 15, 4:00 pm
Ballantine Hall, Room 247

Using longitudinal ethnographic material, anthropologists are skilled to discern how change and knowledge, in their many forms, can transform the livelihoods of place-based communities. Furthermore, multi-sited ethnography can show how change and knowledge are both founded in global and local sources. Ethnographic material is therefore critical to interdisciplinary understandings of 21st century global issues. Through case study in native villages in northeastern Siberia, Russia, this talk argues for ethnography’s unique capacity to understanding change by showing how local and global change and knowledge interact and how local actors respond and adapt. In the process the study reveals patterns of change in rural contexts that are both universal and site-specific. The paper then draws upon preliminary case studies in other rural areas: Labrador, Canada; Dorchester County, Maryland; Kiribati; the Peruvian Andes and Wales. In conclusion, the talk argues for ethnography’s much-needed contribution in interdisciplinary efforts to inform the roles of change and knowledge in global change.

Professor Crate is an applied social scientist trained in cultural anthropology and human ecology with a focus on the complex issues of human-environment interactions. The central theme of her research, teaching and service is the investigation into and fostering of sustainability in our contemporary world.