Amazonia in the Anthropocene: People, Soils, Plants, Forests

Amazonia in the Anthropocene: People, Soils, Plants, Forests

by Nicholas C. Kawa

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Widespread human alteration of the planet has led many scholars to claim that we have entered a new epoch in geological time: the Anthropocene, an age dominated by humanity. This ethnography is the first to directly engage the Anthropocene, tackling its problems and paradoxes from the vantage point of the world's largest tropical rainforest.

Drawing from extensive ethnographic research, Nicholas Kawa examines how pre-Columbian Amerindians and contemporary rural Amazonians have shaped their environment, describing in vivid detail their use and management of the region's soils, plants, and forests. At the same time, he highlights the ways in which the Amazonian environment resists human manipulation and control—a vital reminder in this time of perceived human dominance. Written in engaging, accessible prose, Amazonia in the Anthropocene offers an innovative contribution to debates about humanity's place on the planet, encouraging deeper ecocentric thinking and a more inclusive vision of ecology for the future.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781477308448
Publisher: University of Texas Press
Publication date: 05/10/2016
Edition description: New Edition
Pages: 202
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.60(d)

About the Author

Nicholas C. Kawa is an assistant professor in the Department of Anthropology at the Ohio State University, where he researches biodiversity management and agricultural sustainability in the Amazon region.

Table of Contents

  • Preface
  • Acknowledgments
  • 1. Amazonia in the Anthropocene
  • 2. People
  • 3. Soils
  • 4. Plants
  • 5. Forests
  • 6. From the Anthropocene to the Ecozoic?
  • Appendix: Useful Botanical Species Surveyed in Borba, Amazonas, Brazil
  • Notes
  • References
  • Index

What People are Saying About This

Barbara Rose Johnston

"A provocative read. Densely packed, this richly constructed, engaging ethnography explores biodiversity, human adaptation, risk, vulnerability, and resilience in the immensely complex and rapidly changing realm that is the Amazon. Writing in an effective, reflexive style, Nicholas Kawa offers the reader a nuanced, deeply supported, and multifaceted view of Amazonian life in times that are truly momentous. This is, simply, an insightful, beautiful gem of a book."

John Hartigan

"I didn’t realize such a recent coinage as ‘anthropocene’ is already in desperate need of revision. Kawa provides that in his intriguing account of soils, forests, and rivers. These stories sparkle with analytic insight and unfold through vivid ethnographic details that cumulatively challenge the centrality of the West in the narrative of how the world is changing. This book will change our thinking about the planet."

Customer Reviews