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The Subversive Politics of Sentient Places

The Subversive Politics of Sentient Places

Date: Wed. 10 Oct, 2018 12:00 pm - 2:00 pm

The Latin American Studies program cordially invites you to a Luncheon Series lecture titled:

The Subversive Politics of Sentient Places:
Climate Change, Collective Ethics, and Environmental Justice in Peru

by Ana Mariella Bacigalupo

Bacigalupo Apucampana


Abstract of Presentation
Humanism and the idea of sentient landscapes interacting with humans have been theorized in multiple ways, although rarely with an eye toward environmental justice and collective ethics. Scholars of Latin America have written about the ontological dimensions of the radical alterities of sentient beings (De la Cadena 2015; Kohn 2013) and the existence of multiple or alternative ontologies (Blaser 2014). Other scholars have criticized the forms of governance implemented by regimes of late settler liberalism—geontopower—which operate by regulating the distinction between life and nonlife, enable extractivism, and discredit indigenous animistic practices that collapse nonlife into life (Povinelli 2016). But none of these approaches address the ways in which locals challenge geontopower by engaging sentient landscapes as participants in movements for environmental justice and collective ethics rather than as beings incommensurable with the modern world of politics. In Professor Bacigalupo's work with poor Peruvian mestizos in the coastal Moche and Chicama Valleys and the Andean area of Huamachuco in the highlands of La Libertad, she analyzes how and why they respond to climate change and environmental contamination by turning to indigenous sentient landscapes and how they work with these beings for environmental and political ends, as well as a collective ethics.

About the Presenter
Ana Mariella Bacigalupo received her PhD in Anthropology from UCLA and is Professor of Anthropology at SUNY Buffalo. She has been conducting anthropological research with Mapuche people of southern Chile and Argentina for 25 years. Professor Bacigalupo's research has focused on cultural transformation, systems of knowledge, and power—all from the perspective of Mapuche shamans from Chile and Argentina, their communities, and their critics. She analyzes how and why powerful outsiders imagine shamans as exotic remnants of a folkloric past, as sorcerers and gender deviants, as savage terrorists, or as lacking historical consciousness, and investigates the complex ways in which shamans and their communities challenge, transform, and play off these stereotypes in their discourses and practices for a variety of ends.
Bacigalupo has published five books and more than fifty sole authored articles and chapters. Her most recent book, published by the University of Texas Press in 2016, is titled: Thunder Shaman: Making History with Mapuche Spirits in Chile and Patagonia.

Please note: We offer a light lunch to those who register before the deadline below. If the deadline for registration has passed, please feel free to join us for the lecture and bring your own lunch.

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Event Registration

Registration Start: Mon. 10 Sep, 2018
Registration End: Fri. 5 Oct, 2018