Anthropology Brown Bag: "Decolonizing Science, Justice & Environment in Tierra del Fuego"

September 22, 2021
12pm - 1pm
old forest, dead trees, swamp, water, gray, brown, green

In this talk, "Beavers, Settlers, and Scientists: Decolonizing Science, Justice, and the Environment in Tierra del Fuego," Dr. Mara Dicenta will present her work around beavers, settler-colonialism, and science in Tierra del Fuego, the southernmost tip of Chile and Argentina. There, she has examined why and how a global conservation project is trying to eradicate the entire species of beavers for being exotic, introduced, and invasive. To this end, she asks: how is conservation responding stories of colonial and racialized injustices? Dicenta will show how the introduction of beavers into Tierra del Fuego was motivated by racializing visions that provoked not only severe environmental consequences but also long-term social and political effects. The case of the beavers illuminates the ways in which not only humans but also nature and animals are subjected to racializing politics. In addition, and despite the willingness of some indigenous peoples to collaborate in the eradication of beavers, they are often excluded when their goals are not biodiversity conservation but rather land and nature decolonization. In that context, Dicenta suggests that conservation should engage both in nature restoration and intergenerational justice equally and not instrumentalize indigenous peoples work and knowledges for conservation outcomes.

Please email [[jdcarlson]] for Zoom link.