International Conference on Heritage and Sustainable Development

Photo courtesy of Heritage 2014.

HERITAGE 2014 – 4th International Conference on Heritage and Sustainable Development follows the path of the previous editions: it aims at establishing a state of the art event regarding the relationships between forms and kinds of heritage and the framework of sustainable development concepts.

Once again the four dimensions of sustainable development (environment, economics, society and culture) are the pillars of this event, defining a singular approach on how to deal with the specific subject of heritage sustainability. Furthermore, beyond the traditional aspects of heritage preservation and safeguarding, the relevance and significance of the sustainable development concept is to be discussed and scrutinized by some of the most eminent worldwide experts.

Heritage 2014 – 4th International Conference on Heritage and Sustainable Development proposes a global view on how heritage is being contextualized in relation with the four dimensions of sustainable development. What is being done in terms of research, future directions, methodologies, working tools and other significant aspects of both theoretical and field approaches will be the aims of this International Conference. Furthermore, heritage governance, and education are brought into discussion as the key factors for enlightenment of future global strategies for heritage preservation and safeguarding.

A special chapter on Heritage and Cultural Tourism was included in this edition, as cultural tourism became a major theme and a major area of research. Applied field research as well as theoretical approaches are welcome in this special chapter that is meant to be a wide and meaningful forum of debate on this topic.

HERITAGE 2014 is a peer reviewed conference. Abstract submissions are accepted until January 15th.

Visit the conference website for full details about the conference scope, topics and submission procedures here.


·         Heritage and governance for sustainability

·         Heritage and society

·         Heritage and environment

·         Heritage and economics

·         Heritage and culture

·         Heritage and education for the future

·         Preservation of historic buildings and structures

·         Special Chapter: Heritage and cultural tourism

Secretariat HERITAGE 2014
Green Lines Institute for Sustainable Development
Av. Alcaides de Faria, 377 S12
4750-106 Barcelos, PORTUGAL
Telephone: + 351 253 815 037

Washington, D.C. event: The Unexpected Rewards of a Career in Museum Anthropology

Speaker: Jake Homiak, Smithsonian Institution

When: Tuesday, November 5th, 2013,  7:00 pm

Where: Sumner School, Rotating Gallery G-4

Pre-meeting get-together, 5:30 pm Beacon Bar and Grill. Registration is helpful, but not required.

In the late 19th century anthropology was largely a museum-focused discipline shaped by scholars concerned with collecting the artifacts and documenting the rituals, languages, and the expressive forms of Native cultures expected to soon disappear. A century later — with the decolonization of anthropology and pressure to collaborate with ‘traditional’ communities — concepts such as cultural equity, cultural property, and indigenous knowledge have shifted understandings about curatorial authority and repositioned debates about the meanings of ethnographic and archival collections.

Today, the manner in which museums curators document, care for, provide access to, broker and exhibit ethnographic artifacts and materials are projects profoundly shaped by ongoing relations with source communities whose materials they hold. Jake Homiak, the Director of the Anthropology Collections & Archives Program at the Smithsonian, will discuss these issues in relation to his own career variously as a collection manager, an ‘accidental archivist’, and anthropologist whose museum work frequently brings him into contact with the members of Native communities. He also reflects on how these same concerns have shaped his own long-term ethnographic work in the Caribbean with Rastafari communities.

Presenter bio:

Jake Homiak is the Director of the Anthropology Collections & Archives Program in the Smithsonian’s Department of Anthropology, National Museum of Natural History. He is now currently responsible for all anthropology collections and archival holdings at the Smithsonian Museum Support Center including the care, preservation, and researcher access to collections.

More information: The Unexpected Rewards of a Career in Museum Anthropology

Sponsored by the Washington Association of Professional Anthropologists

GW event: Why the World Bank Should Take a Human Rights Approach to Hydrodevelopment

Barbara Rose Johnston, Senior Research Fellow at the Center for Political Ecology, Santa Cruz, CA, will address hydrodevelopment and its connections to crimes against humanity with reference to Chixoy dam in Guatemala.

When: Wednesday, October 23, 2013, 5:00-6:30pm

Where: 1957 E Street NW, Lindner Family Commons, 6th Floor
George Washington University, Washington, DC


Presented by the Culture in Global Affairs Program Seminar Series and the Global Policy Forum of GW’s Elliott School of International Affairs’ Institute for Global and International Studies

GW event: Why the World Bank Should Take a Human Rights Approach to Hydrodevelopment

Barbara Rose Johnston
Senior Research Fellow, The Center for Political Ecology, Santa Cruz, CA

This talk will address hydrodevelopment and its connections to crimes against humanity with reference to Chixoy dam in Guatemala.

When: October 23, 2013, 5:00-6:30pm

Where: 1957 E Street NW, Lindner Family Commons, 6th Floor
George Washington University, Washington, DC


Presented by the Culture in Global Affairs Seminar Series and the Global Policy Forum of GW’s Elliott School of International Affairs

Institute for Global and International Studies

Wilson Center Environmental Change and Security Program events in DC

A Dialogue: Integrated Multi-sector Approaches – What Works and What’s Next?
When: Tuesday, September 10th, 2:30 – 5pm
Where: 6th Floor, Wilson Center

After five years of implementing a holistic development approach that combined family planning, health, livelihood opportunities, and conservation efforts, the USAID-funded BALANCED Project will offer insights drawn from its accomplishments and lessons learned, as well as from experiences with scaling up integrated approaches in Africa and Asia. A short documentary on BALANCED’s efforts to improve women’s lives in rural Tanzania will be screened, followed by an interactive discussion designed to inform future development work. Reception to follow.

Continue reading “Wilson Center Environmental Change and Security Program events in DC”

Water governance: Smallholder irrigation in Tanzania

Tom Franks and colleagues in the Department of Geography at King’s College, London, have written a Working Paper on “Evolving Outcomes of Water Governance Arrangements: Smallholder Irrigation on the Usangu Plains, Tanzania.” The paper reviews the development of water resources management over the past 40 years in the Kimani catchment of the Usangu plains in southwest Tanzania, showing how water management has changed over time. Experiences in the area show the importance of mapping the whole institutional landscape to ensure that physical infrastructure relates to it in order to ensure social equity among water users.

Anthro in the news 9/2/13

Iquitos, Loreto region. Peru. The Amazons. 2012.
Iquitos, Loreto region. Peru.2012. From The Liquid Serpent by Nicolas Janowski

• A photo is worth a thousand words

The New York Times highlighted the work of Nicolas Janowski, a freelance photographer who was trained as an anthropologist at the Autonomous University of Barcelona. In recent years, he has traveled around the western part of the Amazon in Bolivia, Ecuador, and Peru. One result of his ongoing project is a photographic essay called The Liquid Serpent, referring to an indigenous term for the river that flows through the heart of the Amazon. The title offers a glimpse into Janowski’s conception of the region as having magical and mystical qualities. He says in his introduction: “The Amazon is neither man nor animal; she is nature’s hybrid.”

• The shifting odds of life and death in the Alto

Nancy Scheper-Hughes, professor of anthropology at the University of California at Berkeley, published an article in Natural History magazine describing changes in a shantytown in northeastern Brazil. She first lived in the Alto as a Peace Corps worker in 1954 and later returned to do fieldwork on poverty, hunger, and child death. Those experiences led to her book, Death Without Weeping and many other publications.

Death Without Weeping
Book cover

The undercurrent driving the book is the very high rate of infant and child mortality at the time. Parents responded through delayed bonding until a child made it through the early years.

Fifty years later, fertility rates are down in Alto as are infant and child mortality rates. Scheper-Hughes writes: “…the bottom line is that women on the Alto today do not lose their infants. Children go to school rather than to the cane fields, and social cooperatives have taken the place of shadow economies. When mothers are sick or pregnant or a child is ill, they can go to the well-appointed health clinic supported by both state and national funds. There is a safety net, and it is wide, deep, and strong.”

Yet, now “The people of the Alto do Cruzeiro still face many problems. Drugs, gangs, and death squads have left their ugly mark. Homicides have returned with a vengeance, but they are diffuse and chaotic … One sees adolescents and young men of the shantytowns, who survived that dangerous first year of life, cut down by bullets and knives at the age of fifteen or seventeen by local gangs, strongmen, bandidos, and local police in almost equal measure.”

As Scheper-Hughes has written so compellingly for many decades, the “modernization” of life and death churns on, taking different shapes in different contexts. One wonders what the next fifty years will bring to the people of the Alto.

Continue reading “Anthro in the news 9/2/13”

Anthro in the news 7/1/13

• DOMA and beyond: it’s complicated

The Los Angeles Times published an article by Rosemary Joyce, professor of anthropology at the University of California at Berkeley. She is quoted as saying: “One doesn’t have to go far afield to question the idea that marriage has always been defined the same way.”

The Huffington Post published an essay by Tom Boellstorff, professor of anthropology at the University of California at Irvine. He offers four points, the first of which echoes Joyce’s:

Defense of Marriage Act
January 10, 2009 Chicago protest of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA). Flickr/Kevin Zolkiewicz
  1. social scientists and historians have shown that many forms of marriage and kinship exist, and have existed, around the world, and heterosexual marriage itself takes many forms;
  2. the victory is bittersweet given the Supreme Court’s finding of a key element of the Voting Rights Act unconstitutional;
  3. both the DOMA and Proposition 8 decisions were 5-4 rulings and this split represents divisions in society and suggests that heterosexism and homophobia will not disappear with these court rulings;
  4. finally, it is important to anticipate questions about what is “normal.”

• Structural violence and popular revolts

A Brazilian news source carried an article about the uprisings there and mentioned cultural anthropologists Paul Farmer, Nancy Scheper-Hughes, and Philippe Bourgois.

The article points to how social exclusion plays a role in fomenting protest and predicts that given structural limitations, the government, even if it wants to, cannot resolve the major issues on the table in the short term. [Blogger’s note: the article is in Portuguese; my thanks to my colleague, David Gow, for this synopsis].
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Working together to protect rock art

Photo courtesy of the CARE Project

The CARE project is a collaboration between heritage and science research interests at Newcastle University and Queen’s University Belfast to help preserve ancient rock art.

Its primary objective is to co-produce a user-friendly, non-intrusive Condition Assessment Risk Evaluation (CARE) toolkit for gathering and organizing information essential for the long-term safeguarding of ancient rock art that exists out in the open. Please see their Fact Sheet for more information.

The main outputs from the project will be created with the help, advice and support of heritage professionals, landowners and land agents, rock art enthusiasts and other interested parties. If you would like to be involved, please email us at Please also visit this Facebook page for British rock art.

An initial workshop will be held on 29 June in Northumberland, UK, for rock art enthusiasts. he end aim is to roll these materials out to the British Isles and beyond.

If you are interested in attending the workshop or if you wish to be kept in touch about project progress, please get in touch at

Washington, DC event on disaster response

Trends in Natural Disaster Response and the Role of Regional Organizations

Monday, April 22, 2013, 2:00 — 3:30 pm
The Brookings Institution, Saul/Zilkha Rooms, 1775 Massachusetts Ave, NW, Washington, DC

Global demographic trends suggest that more people are living in areas vulnerable to sudden-onset natural disasters even as scientists predict that the frequency and intensity of these disasters are likely to increase as a result of the effects of climate change. These trends, coupled with recent high-profile mega-disasters like Hurricane Sandy and the drought in the Sahel, are raising global awareness of the need to build the capacity of national governments, civil society organizations and international actors to prevent, respond to and recover from natural disasters. The Brookings-LSE Project on Internal Displacement’s third annual Review of Natural Disasters outlines these major disasters in 2012 and key response opportunities, in particular the role of regional organizations. Although regional mechanisms are playing increasingly important roles in disasters, there has been remarkably little research on their role in disaster risk management.

Continue reading “Washington, DC event on disaster response”