Michael Cepek: Secretary-Treasurer 2008-2011


Michael Cepek

University of Texas at San Antonio

Secretary-Treasurer 2008-2011

From Michael Cepek‘s webpage:

My research explores the relationship between environmental change, cultural difference, and political power at the margins of global orders. In my studies with indigenous Cofán people in the Amazonian forests, Andean foothills, and capital city of Ecuador, I investigate 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 my last project, I produced an ethnographic account of the oil-related transformation of Cofán lands, which lie at the epicenter of Ecuador’s petroleum industry. In my current project, I am studying the ways in which Cofán shamans negotiate relations between humans and nonhumans in the context of intercultural violence, invasion, and dispossession. In all my work, I employ an immersed ethnographic standpoint to develop new perspectives on the forces that trouble us, whether ecological disasters, specters of cultural loss, or enduring constraints on human agency. I use this viewpoint to contribute to broader discussions in environmental anthropology, political economy, science and technology studies, the anthropology of religion, conservation policy and practice, and collaborative filmmaking and activism with indigenous peoples and other subaltern groups.

In addition, I am 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. I also serve on the editorial board of PoLAR: Political and Legal Anthropology Review.

Michael Cepek’s institutional webpage: http://anthropology.utsa.edu/faculty/michael-cepek

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