Northwestern Events Calendar


Anthropology Colloquium: Ben Orlove, Columbia University

When: Monday, April 25, 2022
3:00 PM - 4:30 PM CT

Where: University Hall, 102, 1897 Sheridan Road, Evanston, IL 60208 map it

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

Contact: Nancy Hickey   (847) 467-1507

Group: Anthropology Department

Co-Sponsor: Anthropology Colloquia and Events

Category: Academic, Lectures & Meetings


The End in Sight: Facing Glacier Retreat in Mountain Communities

The residents of three mountain communities—Copa in the Cordillera Blanca in the Peruvian Andes, Stilfs in the South Tyrol of the Italian Alps, Concrete and Glacier in the North Cascades of Washington State, US—all have directly observed glacier retreat for decades. They all face impacts of glacier retreat, either for its reduction in water supply (of importance for agriculture in Peru and for hydropower in Italy) or for its reduction of ice and snow (of importance for tourism in the US). And they have all undertaken activities which match standard definitions of adaptation (use of water-conserving technologies in Peru, development of wood chip plants for electricity generation in Italy, expansion of alternative tourism activities in the US). However, the residents describe these activities, not in relation to global science/policy frameworks of climate change, but rather in relation to local community frameworks, which emphasize autonomy self-reliance and continuity. Several lines of analysis are explored to examine this disjuncture between these two frameworks, including an extension of Michel-Rolph Trouillot’s discussion of “silencing the past” to “silencing the future,” Audra Simpson’s contrast of recognition and refusal, and considerations of “epistemic justice” which examine the interactions of knowledge systems.

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