Graduate Lunch Seminar 02/22/19

Anthropology Department Graduate Lunch Seminar

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

Professor Ana Mariella Bacigalupo, State University of New York, Buffalo

NOTE THIS IS A FRIDAY TALK: February 22, 2019  1:30-3:00

African Studies Seminar Room, Fifth floor, 232 Bay State Road

Please contact Professor Merry White ( by February 18th at 5 pm if lunch is wanted.

Poor mestizos in northern Peru offer a new way to theorize humanism and sentient landscapes that interact with humans in terms of environmental justice, collective ethics, and health. This model transcends the limits of ontological cosmopolitics and political ecology. Mestizos respond to climate change and environmental devastation and challenge the governance of late liberalism by engaging indigenous sentient landscapes as leaders of environmental movements and co-creators of an interethnic world. They attach moral agency to the natural world for social and environmental transformation and open up a new kind of political debate. By defining “community” and “well-being” as humans-in-relationship-to-places-as-persons, poor mestizos resignify “nature” itself as an anchor for social justice.

Ana Mariella Bacigalupo is Professor of Anthropology at the State University of New York-Buffalo. She has been conducting anthropological research with the Mapuche people of southern Chile and Argentina for 25 years and with the people of northern Peru for 4 years.  She is the author of Thunder Shaman: Making History with Mapuche Spirits in Patagonia (University of Texas Press, 2016); Shamans of the Foye Tree: Gender, Power and Healing Among the Chilean Mapuche (University of Texas Press, 2007) and other works. Bacigalupo is currently conducting new research on Northern Peru on the relationship between Sentient Mountains and local movements for collective ethics and environmental justice led by shamans.