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Michael Cepek – Whiteness, Indigeneity, and Power in Amazonia: A Cofán Perspective

Friday, November 2, 2018

4 p.m. – 6 p.m.

Digital Scholarship Lab, Rockefeller Library, 10 Prospect Street

This talk is part of the Sawyer Seminar series on race and indigeneity in the Americas. The event will be hosted by our own Professor James Green, Professor of Modern Latin American History and Portuguese and Brazilian Studies, and director of the Brazil Initiative. Special remarks will be given by student Hugo Lucitante '19, co-founder of the Cofán Heritage Project whose mission is to preserve the culture and history of the Cofán tribe of which he is a member.

Michael Cepek's research explores the relationship between environmental change, cultural difference, and political power at the margins of global orders. In his studies with indigenous Cofán people in the Amazonian forests, Andean foothills, and capital city of Ecuador, he investigates cultural politics, environmental conservation projects, and environmental justice movements from the perspective of longstanding concerns in social theory and emerging debates in the anthropology of Latin America.

In addition, he is a fellow in the program for Science Action for Conservation & Community at the Field Museum of Natural History, and he works as Book Review Editor for Environment and Society: Advances in Research, a publication affiliated with the Earth Institute at Columbia University. Cepek is also president of the board of the Cofán Survival Fund, a non-profit organization that supports Cofán-directed conservation and sustainable development initiatives in Amazonian Ecuador. 

Michael Cepek is an Associate Professor in the Department of Anthropology at the University of Texas at San Antonio. 

Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies