POLLEN18 Keynote Plenaries

We are very pleased to announce the following three keynote plenary sessions for POLLEN18!

Keynote Plenary I

Headshot – West:AiniPaige West is The Claire Tow Professor of Anthropology at Barnard College and Columbia University. Her broad scholarly interest is the relationship between societies and their environments. She has written about the linkages between environmental conservation and international development, the material and symbolic ways in which the natural world is understood and produced, the aesthetics and poetics of human social relations with nature, and the creation of commodities and practices of consumption. Since the mid 1990s she has worked with indigenous people in Papua New Guinea. She is the author of three books and the editor of five more. The tentative theme of Paige’s POLLEN18 keynote lecture is Critical Approaches to Dispossession in the Melanesian Pacific: Conservation, Voice, and Collaboration. The lecture draws on a paper co-authored with John Aini (Founder and Director, Ailan Awareness, Papua New Guinea).

Headshots – RaiDiscussant: Nitin Rai is a Fellow at the Ashoka Trust for Research in Ecology and the Environment (ATREE), India. He uses a political ecology approach to understand the implications of state conservation policy and practice for people and landscapes. Nitin conducts most of his fieldwork in the Biligiri Rangaswamy Temple Tiger Reserve where he has explored issues ranging from historical patterns of forest use, cultural relationship to landscape, and rights-based conservation. More recently he has been analyzing market-based interventions such as eco-tourism and corporate investments in biodiversity conservation. Nitin is an editor of the journal Conservation and Society.

Keynote Plenary II

Headshot – KothariAshish Kothari is a Founder-member of the Indian environmental group Kalpavriksh. Ashish has taught at the Indian Institute of Public Administration, coordinated India’s National Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plan process, served on Greenpeace International and India Boards, helped initiate the global ICCA Consortium, and chaired an IUCN network dealing with protected areas and communities. Ashish has (co)authored or (co)edited over 30 books, and helps coordinate the Vikalp Sangam and Radical Ecological Democracy processes in search of alternative well-being pathways to globalized development. The tentative theme of Ashish’s POLLEN18 keynote lecture is Radical Ecological Democracy: Towards Transformative Alternatives to Development.

Headshot – RobbinsDiscussant: Paul Robbins is the director of the Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where he guides the institute in addressing rapid global environmental change. Robbins has years of experience as a researcher and educator, specializing in human interactions with nature and the politics of natural resource management. His research addresses questions spanning conservation conflicts, urban ecology, and environment and health interactions. He has done extensive fieldwork in rural India, led national studies of consumer chemical risk behaviors in America, and studied the complexities of elk management policy on the settled fringes of Yellowstone Park. He holds a doctorate in geography from Clark University. He is author of “Political Ecology: A Critical Introduction” and the award-winning book, “Lawn People”. Paul was raised in Denver, Colorado.

Keynote Plenary III

Headshot – Murray LiTania Murray Li is Professor of Anthropology at the University of Toronto, where she holds the Canada Research Chair in the Political Economy and Culture of Asia. Her publications include Land’s End: Capitalist Relations on an Indigenous Frontier (Duke University Press, 2014), Powers of Exclusion: Land Dilemmas in Southeast Asia (with Derek Hall and Philip Hirsch, NUS Press, 2011), The Will to Improve: Governmentality, Development, and the Practice of Politics (Duke University Press, 2007) and many articles on land, labour, class, capitalism, development, resources and indigeneity with a particular focus on Indonesia. Her current book project Plantation Life is an ethnography of an oil palm zone.


Headshot -- BuscherDiscussant: Bram Büscher is Professor and Chair of the Sociology of Development and Change group at Wageningen University, The Netherlands, and holds visiting positions at the University of Johannesburg and Stellenbosch University. Bram has published over 70 articles in peer-reviewed journals and edited volumes and is the author of ‘Transforming the Frontier. Peace Parks and the Politics of Neoliberal Conservation in Southern Africa’ (Duke University Press, 2013). Bram is one of the senior editors of the open-access journal Conservation & Society (www.conservationandsociety.org) and is currently finalizing a book manuscript entitled ‘Sharing Nature? Conserving Biodiversity between Platforms, Post-truth and Power.



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