IBS Speaker Series: Lost in Application: Feminist Fears in Sustainable Development and the Environment

When: Monday, February 24th 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm
Where: IBS Meeting Room 155
Who: Kiran Asher (University of Massachusetts)

Abstract: Feminisms and sustainability are ostensibly interrelated projects and hold out the promise of creative synergies. But while feminist and environmental justice struggles are explicitly political, sustainable development and institutionalized environmental conservation endeavors are often policy-driven, technical projects. This talk will trace the synergies and slippages—in ideas and intent—when these kinds of projects coincide or their proponents seek to work together.  I will draw on examples from my long-term fieldwork with Afro-Colombian social movements, and from my work with CIFOR, an organization dedicated to policy-relevant research on tropical forests.  The aim of the talk is to think collectively about the intellectual and political implications of these synergies and slippages.

Bio: Kiran Asher is a biologist-turned-social scientist with two decades of field-based research on wildlife conservation, international development, and struggles for social change in Latin America and South Asia. Her publications include a monograph, Black and Green: Afro-Colombians, Development, and Nature in the Pacific Lowlands (Duke University Press, 2009). She is currently working on a book entitled Fieldwork: Nature, Culture, and Gender in the Age of Climate Change, which foregrounds the complex and contradictory intertwining of natural-cultural worlds, and the challenges these pose for 21st-century struggles for environmental and social justice. The book also develops a theoretical and political critique of economic development and resistance by drawing on feminist and Marxist approaches in a postcolonial frame.

Light lunch served at 11:45.

Sponsored By: Program on International Development, CU Department of Geography