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IBS Speaker Series: Colleen Scanlan Lyons
October 3, 2022 @ 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm
Title: From the Atlantic Forest to the Amazon: Exploring Alternative Approaches for Framing, Writing, and Engaging with Tropical Forest Conservation
Abstract: What drives social-environmental activism in tropical forest regions around the world? How do key actors view themselves, and others? Where do people’s interests diverge and converge, and how can this knowledge help to drive tropical forest conservation? In this talk I introduce my newly published book, Running After Paradise: Hope, Survival, and Activism in Brazil’s Atlantic Forest, and discuss on-going work with the Governors’ Climate and Forests Task Force to explore these questions in two important forested regions of Brazil, the Atlantic and Amazon Forests. From diverse Atlantic Forest social movement leaders to subnational governmental leaders, civil servants, Indigenous and local community representatives, and the global conservation community that works across the Amazon, I explore how historic and present-day cultural politics of difference shape people’s conceptions of themselves, of each other, and of conservation and how, in turn, these perspectives can be employed instrumentally to develop new forms of collaboration across difference. Finally, I examine how alternative forms of writing can shift the position of the researcher, the reader, and the research subject in ways that seek to decolonize and decenter traditional academic conceptions of expertise and open new possibilities for engagement in tropical forest conservation.
Bio: Dr. Scanlan Lyons is an Associate Research Professor in the department of Environmental Studies at the University of Colorado Boulder. She also serves as the Project Director for the Governors’ Climate and Forests Task Force, the Co-Director of the Laboratory for Energy and Environmental Policy Innovation, and a Research Associate with the Environment and Society Program at CU’s Institute of Behavioral Science. She is a cultural anthropologist who focuses on tropical forest conservation, sustainable development, and social movements.