Exploring Wellbeing

Exploring Wellbeing: Human-environment relations in indigenous and Afro-descendant communities

Man walking in salt pondsCoordinated by Prof. Florence Babb (UNC-CH, Anthropology, fbabb@unc.edu)
Prof. Gabriela Valdivia (UNC-CH, Geography, valdivia@email.unc.edu)
Maja Jeranko (UNC-CH, Anthropology)
Lucía Stavig (UNC-CH, Anthropology)
Lara Lookabaugh (UNC-CH, Geography)

Over the past several decades, some social groups in the Latin American and Caribbean region have seen improved economic conditions and increased opportunities. However, these advances have also led to greater inequalities and increased exploitation along lines of difference, namely ethnicity, race, gender, sexuality and class. These uneven processes have persisted despite state initiatives, social movements, and other efforts toward realizing social justice and the greater wellbeing of differently positioned peoples and environments. Especially apparent in the current conjuncture are conflicts between the state and indigenous and afro-descendant groups over what constitutes buen vivir, or “good living.” This conflict extends to disagreements over who (and what) is a sentient and agential being.

As anthropologists, archaeologists, geographers, historians and fellow travelers, we see our research and teaching interests extending from colonial times to the present; from social movements and other subaltern groups who are making gains and finding political and cultural expression in different arenas; from conflict and disaster to wellbeing and justice; from political ecology to biopolitics; from forms of cultural expression to post-neoliberal performances of multiculturalism.

Copyright 2018 | The Consortium in Latin American and Caribbean Studies at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and Duke University