Mergers and Acquisitions will host interviews with leading economic anthropologists, provide reflection pieces on economic transformations and problems, and serve as a vehicle for new and established scholars to connect with each other and share their perspectives on the anthropological study of economic life. Each quarter, Mergers and Acquisitions will feature a specific topic or theme, curated by one of our editors. The blog will then explore this theme through a number of different formats including podcasts, photo essays, interviews and roundtable discussions.
Economic Anthropology in Global Climate Change Policy: A Conversation with Pamela McElwee
In this second episode of Mergers and Acquisitions’ inaugural climate change series, economic and climate anthropologist Aneil Tripathy interviews Professor Pamela McElwee at Rutgers University. Pam is the author of “Anthropological Engagements with Integrated Assessment Modelling” for Economic Anthropology's symposium issue on climate change.
Pam and Aneil dive into how her long-term fieldwork and study of forest policy and management in Vietnam informs and shapes Pam's professional work for the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. We discuss how to bring anthropological insights into the world of global climate change policy, how to navigate critical approaches and contributions to consensus knowledge, collaborating across disciplines and in teams. We also reflect on the meanings of equity, value, and justice in policy and market-based solutions as well as on how economic anthropologists can work to make sense of, change and inform important policy models.
Pamela McElwee is an associate professor in the Department of Human Ecology at Rutgers University. For the past 15 years her research interests have concerned human adaptation to global environmental change with particular expertise in biodiversity conservation and climate change in Asia. Pam's work focuses on how individuals and households respond to changes in the physical environment, and how their responses are shaped by external policies, markets and other constraints. Her research combines qualitative and quantitative household-level social analysis of environmental decision-making and resource use, with most of her fieldwork focusing on Vietnam. She has also been a lead author for the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.
How Ancient Landscapes Can Help Us Respond to Climate Change: A Conversation with Vernon Scarborough
Aneil and Vern discuss economic anthropology, archaeological relevance to current climate change concerns, making linkages between past and present, sustainability, interactions between ancient people and their environments, and what we can learn from them, population dispersion, inequality, interdisciplinary decision-making, laughter, and the value of taking the long view.
In this first Mergers & Acquisitions podcast episode, Aneil Tripathy interviews Vernon L. Scarborough. Vern is a Distinguished University Research Professor and a Charles Phelps Taft Professor in Anthropology at the University of Cincinnati. His topical interests focus on settlement, land use, and water management in the context of the archaic state. By examining ancient, engineered water systems and landscapes, he reflects on and assesses societal sustainability issues from a comparative ecological perspective. To achieve this end, he has emphasized cross–disciplinary exchange and international fieldwork. Vern is the author of “What ancient landscapes contribute to climate change” in Economic Anthropology’s symposium on climate change.