Sunday, October 29, 2023

Amazônia: Fables to Forests

NOTE to NESTVAL Colleagues: this post is for a short course I am teaching through Bridgewater State University Senior College, beginning October 30. Material related to my presentation at the Portland virtual meeting is at the post entitled Amazon Deforestation in Lula’s Encore

Photo: Cara Reed 2003
I am fortunate to have two very distinct outlets for my current thinking about the region. As I mention in the Lula post, this is the region that turned me into a geographer, and it was my main focus for many years -- before I developed such a strong. affinity for and identity with coffee and coffeelands. 

The Amazon has remained part of my undergraduate teaching all along, but was largely absent from my scholarship and outreach activities for most of two decades. Recent events have brought me back -- both in my thinking and in my travels -- and have led me to the writing project mentioned above and to my first in-person course for BSU Senior College. The intention of both projects, of course, includes improving how I teach about the region in my undergraduate classes. 

See the course main page for the relevant parts of my biography, a full description of the class, and links to all of the materials I will be using. The opening lines of the description introduce this exploration.

The Amazon is a forest, a river, and a fountain of myths. This short course is a six-part exploration of all three, with a focus on one of its most populous but little-recognized parts: Rondônia. 

The outline hints at how we will explore this region in all of its dimensions.

  1. Dinosaurs, Warriors, and a Witch PhD
  2. Aviamento and the Railroad
  3. Missionaries and Linguistics
  4. Tributaries and Confluences
  5. Trajectory of Illusion
  6. Soy and Fire, Beef and Politics 

Música Rondônia on the Planet Sings

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