Northwestern Events Calendar


Wednesdays@PAS: A Paradox Otherwise: Ontological Problems and Possibilities Along Uganda’s Southern Littoral

When: Wednesday, October 19, 2016
12:00 PM - 1:30 PM  

Where: 620 Library Place, 1st Floor Conference Room, Evanston, IL 60208 map it

Audience: Faculty/Staff - Student - Public - Post Docs/Docs - Graduate Students

Contact: Program of African Studies   847.491.7323

Group: Program of African Studies

Category: Lectures & Meetings


Come join PAS for our weekly lunch and lecture. Lunch provided by PAS.

Speaker: Jennifer Johnson, Department of Anthropology, Purdue University

Title: A Paradox Otherwise: Ontological Problems and Possibilities Along Uganda’s Southern Littoral

Abstract: The fascinating complexities of Lake Victoria’s contemporary fisheries situation and assumed fisheries crisis have motivated a recent florescence of social science scholarship. These studies have identified a central paradox: despite living next to and making their living from Africa’s largest freshwater fishery, residents of Lake Victoria’s fishing communities are surprisingly food insecure and eat surprisingly few fish. In this talk, I introduce four ontological problems that implicitly frame studies of and attempts to address Lake Victoria’s contemporary fisheries crisis. These problems are: what constitutes a body of water, a complete meal, fish, and fisheries themselves. Attention to these problems configures a paradox otherwise: it is still possible to eat and live well with fish in places where experts have already determined almost no one can.

Bio: Jennifer Lee Johnson is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Anthropology at Purdue University. Her research is historically rooted, ethnographically engaged, and focused at the confluence of gender, legality, and sustainability in and around Africa’s largest body of freshwater where she has conducted long-term field research since 2007. Johnson’s research has been supported by the National Science Foundation, the Wenner-Gren Foundation for Anthropology, the Program in Agrarian Studies at Yale University, and the Institute for the Humanities at the University of Michigan. Prior to joining Purdue University’s Department of Anthropology, Johnson earned her M.S. in Environmental Policy and Planning and Ph.D. in Resource Policy and Behavior from the University of Michigan, and a BA in International Political Economy from the Colorado College. She has also worked professionally on fisheries sustainability issues for the Marine Fish Conservation Network, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Great Lakes Environmental Research Laboratory, and the Blue Ocean Institute.

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