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CSPS ANNUAL LECTURE | Coral Whisperers: Scientists on the brink | by Irus Braverman

| Thursday, June 20 4:00 PM-6:00 PM | Leeuwenborch C63 | drinks in restaurant afterwards

Coral Whisperers captures a critical moment in the history of coral reef science. Gleaning insights from over one hundred interviews with leading scientists and conservation managers, Irus Braverman documents a community caught in an existential crisis and alternating between despair and hope. In her talk, corals will emerge not only as signs and measures of environmental catastrophe, but also as catalysts for action.

Irus Braverman is Professor of Law and Adjunct Professor of Geography at the State University of New York at Buffalo. She is author of Planted Flags: Trees, Land, and Law in Israel/Palestine (2009), Zooland: The Institution of Captivity (2012), and Wild Life: The Institution of Nature (2015). Her latest monograph, Coral Whisperers: Scientists on the Brink was published by the University of California Press in November 2018.

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Lecture | Forest becomes frontline: Conservation and Counter-Insurgency in a space of violent conflict in Assam, Northeast India | By Anwesha Dutta

| May 20th 12:00 – 13:00 | Leeuwenborch C62

Abstract
Using the case of the Ecological Task Force (ETF) of the Indian Army as an entry point, I expand on existing conceptual and theoretical views on green militarization and violent environments in the context of poaching and national parks. I situate this within the broader literature on critical conservation and militarized conservation practices and apply it to the reserved forests in the Bodo Territorial Autonomous Districts (BTAD) in Assam, northeast India. Here, politics that surround conservation is immersed within a context of violent ethno-religious conflict. The BTAD has been a theatre of recurrent insurgencies between the autochthonous Bodo tribe and the Adivasi, Muslim groups over territory. A key characteristic of the conflict is its occurrence in the Reserved Forests (RFs) on the Assam-Bhutan borderlands, which can be traced back to the colonial process of forest making that brought immigrants into Assam, threatening cultural and territorial loss for Bodos. During the Bodo movement for a separate state, starting in 1980s and continuing, the militants operated from within the forest, leading to the departure of the forest department. As a result, rebels and locals appropriated the forest through rampant resource extraction. In response, the ETF was constituted in 2007. Fieldwork suggests that ETF is not engaged in counter-insurgency, and rely on the regular Army for protection during conservation operations. Drawing on regional environmental history, I analyze how ethno-religious conflict influences modes of conservation exemplified by continuing inter-institutional competition between the forest department and the ETF. I further argue that at the end it is counter-insurgency that prevails over conservation in the RFs. Moreover, despite ETF’s efforts to buffer from local politics, incidents of a political nature seep into its operations, e.g. ambushed by militants during conservation activities.

Anwesha Dutta

Anwesha Dutta is a Post-Doctoral researcher at the Chr. Michelsen Institute in Bergen, Norway. She has a PhD in Conflict and Development Studies from Ghent University, Belgium. Her research has focused on political ecology of resource extraction, conservation and livelihoods in the reserved forests on the India-Bhutan borderlands in Assam, Northeast India. Broadly, she focuses on natural resources and environment using political economy and ecology approaches to forestry sector and extractive industries in South Asia.

Kick-off WUR Ph.D. project: “The potential of green programs for the rehabilitation of young employees with burnout: a salutogenic approach”

Roald Pijpker (PhD Candidate at Health & Society/Rural Sociology) |Moestuin in Utrecht | April 30th, 9.30-13.00

Roald Pijpker (PhD Candidate at Health & Society/Rural Sociology) will present about his ongoing PhD project during a kick-off meeting at the Moestuin in Utrecht. Besides his presentation, workshops are provided by green care professionals. Click on this link for more information and for registration (unfortunately in Dutch). You can also register by sending an email to roald.pijpker@wur.nl.

New article: “Inside Checkpoint 300: Checkpoint Regimes as Spatial Political Technologies in the Occupied Palestinian Territories”

Forthcoming in Antipode 51(3) this June, and available online now, Alexandra Rijke and Claudio Minca’s open access paper, “Inside Checkpoint 300: Checkpoint Regimes as Spatial Political Technologies in the Occupied Palestinian Territories”, takes us to the “land of the checkpoints”, the Occupied Palestinian Territories, employing a combination of participant observation, in-depth interviews, and “go-along” interviews to explore the everyday experience of coping with and responding to the Israeli state’s “architecture of occupation”. Read more about the paper below, and watch Alexandra talking about it in the following video.

Research seminar: Forensic Architecture and Violent Landscapes

Wednesday 29 May | 15.00-17.00 | Leeuwenborch, C67

“Forensic Architecture and Violent Landscapes” is a seminar organized by the Politics of Place and Space cluster of the CSPS, focusing on new methods of studying and understanding how landscapes and infrastructures make/unmake territorialities and mediate citizen state relations. Guided by two senior speakers from leading institutes we will explore different approaches and methodologies for reading the landscape and infrastructures of ‘violence’.

Stefan Laxness – Researcher and Project Coordinator at Forensic Architecture, Goldsmith University (UK): Through its investigative work, Forensic Architecture develops methodologies to reaffirm a collective notion of public truth in the contemporary condition. The talk will present an overview of the work of Forensic Architecture. It will be structured around five key concepts – counter-forensics, forensic aesthetics, the image-data complex, operative models, and the architecture of memory – each of which will be introduced through a selection of projects.

Zeynep Kezer – Senior Lecturer in architecture at Newcastle University (UK): Surrounded by steep and rugged mountain ranges and Euphrates’ two main tributaries, Dersim is a natural fortress, which evolved into a shatter zone as the modernizing (Ottoman and later Turkish) state’s efforts to bolster its central authority intensified in the last hundred years. This presentation probes the complex and mutually constitutive relationship between landscape and identity in this region. I argue that the differences between the practices of navigation and mapping used by the agents of the state and local populations not only produced discrepant landscapes in the same physical space, but also reified the rifts between the two groups.

Seminar organized by the Politics of Place and Space cluster of the Centre of Space, Place and Society, Wageningen University and Research. For more info: Joost Jongerden (joost.jongerden@wur.nl)