We are excited to announce that the first presentation in our Brown Bag series will take place on Thursday, March 5, 12:30-1:30 in GA2134. Our presenter is Katheryn Lehman, a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of History.
Here is the abstract for her talk:
Department of History, Indiana University
During the second half of the twentieth century the southwestern Amazon rainforest of Bolivia and Brazil was transformed both physically and politically as large swaths of rainforest were cleared and burned for roadbuilding and cattle pasture and rural laborers (mostly rubber tappers) formed labor unions to fight rapidly expanding deforestation. I combine social and environmental history in order to analyze large-scale Amazonian deforestation as an interrelated process of local labor conflicts and struggles for social and political autonomy. As social and ecological conflict escalated, workers on both sides of the border agitated for landholding reform, winning long and hard-fought battles for land and resource rights. Brazilian efforts at economic development and the tensions and contradictions of weighing road building and cattle ranching with rainforest conservation, labor rights, and state support of natural rubber created a complex, entangled, and often violently conflictive history. In Bolivia, competing notions of economic and ecological sustainability espoused by rural peasant producers, wealthy regional elites, and state actors produced decades-long conflicts over political, economic, and natural resource rights. The shared focus on forest and social history also elucidates ways in which environmental justice, the rights of the rural working poor to land and resource access and a dignified way of life, played a key part in ecological conflict.
Please share this announcement with any interested parties, and consider coming out to support graduate student research! Stay tuned for more information regarding the other talks in the series.