Environmental Anthropology


Tracey Heatherington’s

Spring 2010 Seminars (UWM):

  1. Emergent Landscapes of Power/Knowledge

  2. Extinctions

Fall 2010 Seminar (Cornell):

  1. The Political Ecology of Imagination

For more information about my research and teaching, see my UWM faculty page.

My work in environmental anthropology includes both critical theoretical approaches to contemporary political ecology, and applied interdisciplinary collaborations related to sustainable development. I am particularly interested in the way science, culture and environment come together in the context of new environmental partnerships and new frameworks for conservation and ecodevelopment.

Europe is an intriguing place to undertake anthropological fieldwork today.  The European Union claims to be a leader in environmental management, monitoring, and new energy paradigms, and the Greens have been key actors on the European stage. At the same time that new forms of European governance are targeted to environmental concerns, new ideas of citizenship and identity are taking shape as Western European nations become more integrated and more Eastern European nations are incorporated into the EU. Postsocialist transitions in Eastern Europe pose new challenges for the European Greens, and for the local social movements that coalesce to address environmental concerns in situ. There is exciting work to be done here from the standpoint of environmental anthropology. My fieldwork in Sardinia has considered the complexities of biodiversity conservation. I have also participated in interdisciplinary team projects applying new models for sustainability in Romania, with UWM colleagues and international collaboration.

Although my own research projects are centered in European contexts, I frequently work with students whose geographic interests are closer to home, or elsewhere entirely, but who share a passion for the way ethnography can change the way we frame “global” concerns. I welcome students with both applied and theoretical interests.

Some key themes in environmental anthropology today:

  1. Global imaginaries related to culture & biodiversity conservation

  2. Environmental partnerships and post-national frameworks of resource management & governance

  3. The environment and social justice

  4. Anthropology of development paradigms & development practice

  5. Indigenous issues and the media

  6. Visions of global environmental security in relation to climate change

  7. Food systems and community development

  8. Role of new technology in conservation