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Re-Imagining the Amazon

If you think about the way people occupied space then and think about the way people occupy space now, we might be able to come up with better strategies for managing the Amazon.

–Anna Browne Ribeiro

In her lecture “Imagining the Amazon, European Colonialism and the Making of Modern Day Amazonia“, geoarchaeologist Anna Browne Ribeiro discussed ancient uses of the Amazon and what discoveries about the region’s past inhabitants may teach us about how to manage it today. The lecture is now available on the Kluge Center’s website and YouTube playlist.

Browne Ribeiro has engaged in archaeological and ethnographic research in the Brazilian Amazon for the past ten years. Particularly, she has focused on human-made landscapes of the deep and recent past. As a Kluge Fellow at the Kluge Center, she worked on her book project entitled “Rethinking Empty Places, An Archeology of Amazonian Dwelling.” Combining archaeological evidence with critical re-readings of early accounts of European travels in Amazonia, Browne Ribeiro examined how the language of colonialism, shaped and continues to shape how the Amazon and Amazonian peoples were depicted, conceptualized and most importantly managed. She also used soil science and archaeology to ask how inhabitants of the Amazon more than a thousand years ago intentionally managed the land.

Click below to watch the lecture

Browne Ribeiro is co-director of the interdisciplinary project Origins, Culture and Environment housed at the Museu Paraense Emílio Goeldi (MPEG) in Brazil. She has published in the Journal of Archaeological Science, Latin American Antiquity, and Archaeological Review from Cambridge and has contributed chapters to edited volumes dealing with travel writing. For 2015-2016, she was a Kluge Fellow at The John W. Kluge Center.

Applications for Kluge Fellowships are now being accepted through July 15. Apply here.

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