Finding a Space/Place for Archaeology in Political Ecology (Workshop/Discussion)

Organizers: Karen Stevens, Justin Carlson, Megan Parker, and Katharine Alexander (University of Kentucky)


Archaeologists are in a unique position to offer insight into how people in (pre)history interacted with their surrounding ecosystems, and how they have coped with and even promoted environmental change within those systems. In response to regional climates and environmental changes, people of the past have displayed both resiliency and sociopolitical flexibility. As actors, humans have altered landscapes to varying degrees, leading to both degradation and enhancement. This workshop aims to explore how archaeology has been and can continue to be used to bolster political ecology research and to offer a perspective using the longue durée. This workshop will also look at how political ecology can be used as an analytical tool for archaeologists. 


Potential topics for discussion include: 


*Domestication of plants and animals

*Land use/modification

*Property management

*Climate change and cultural/political change

*Appropriation of nature for political and economic purposes

*Navigation of social & ecological changes using plants/animals

*Historical Ecology

*Traditional environmental knowledge (TEK) production 

*Power relations

*Ideological manipulation of nature

*Population pressures on agricultural systems

*Dynamics between politics and sustainability

*Landesque Capital

*Niche construction

*Political ecology theory building in archaeology


While participation is open to all conference attendees, those interested in participating in the workshop/discussion should prepare a 1-2 paragraph introduction to your research, along with any questions/thoughts/comments that can be used by the organizers to direct discussion. Please send these to by February 1.

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