The Amazon is Burning! Historical and Contemporary Perspectives on the Current Crisis

Thursday, September 19, 2019
5:30 p.m.
160 Willard Building
The Amazon is Burning! Historical and Contemporary Perspectives on the Current Crisis

Over the past month the Amazon has become a focus of international outcry as news outlets and social media circulate images of a forest in flames. Come join three Penn State scholars who conduct research in different sites throughout the Amazon for the first of a series of events to be held over the course of the 2019-2020 academic year. In addition to reflecting on what by most accounts are the largest and most devastating fires in the history of the region, speakers will offer insight into the complex history behind the current crisis and place it in broader perspective by addressing the following issues:

  *   Fire as a traditional tool of agriculture in the Amazon, and what makes the current fires different
  *   How the increase in deforestation relates to displacement and killings of indigenous people
  *   Indigenous political struggles
  *   The Amazon as a longstanding site of resource extraction (mining, rubber, etc.) and connections to global economic trends
  *   Brazilian president Jair Bolsonaro's push to “develop” the Amazon and connections to/divergences from the policies of previous political leaders
  *   Social media as a vehicle for the circulation of (mis)information about environmental destruction and indigenous perspectives


Sarah J. Townsend (Associate Professor of Spanish and Portuguese): "The International Amazon”
Heather Randell (Assistant Professor of Rural Sociology): “Dams, Development, and Deforestation along the Transamazon Highway”
Georgia Ennis (Postdoctoral Fellow at the Center for Humanities and Information): "Demystifying Discourses of the Amazon: Indigenous Media, Representation, and the Climate Crisis”

Finally, come find out what you can do to support the Global Climate Strike on Friday, September 20.

Sponsored by the Latin American Studies Program, the Department of Spanish, Italian, and Portuguese, the Sustainability Institute, the Center for Global Workers' Rights, the Lifelong Learning and Adult Education Program, the Center for Humanities and Information, and the Department of Histor

160 Willard Building