Dumpster Diving, a Food Sharing Revolution, and Economies of Abjection: A Conversation with David Giles

In the first episode in the series, Cindy Isenhour talks with David Giles, an anthropologist who has long been working with the Food Not Bombs movement in cities like Seattle, San Francisco, New York, Boston and Melbourne. In these urban hearts of global capitalism David has scavenged food out of dumpsters and cooked with members to feed the community with food discarded by restaurants, grocers and food distribution facilities. Cindy and David talk about the absurdity of the criminalization of food sharing, David’s thoughts on abjection and about his new book coming out this spring with Duke University Press, A Mass Conspiracy to Feed People: World Class Waste and the Struggle for the Global City.

For more of David’s work, please check out his website.

Violence, Materiality and Adapting to Climate Change: A Conversation with Michael Bollig

In this fourth episode of Mergers & Acquisitions’ inaugural series on Economic Anthropology’s symposium issue on climate change, Aneil interviews Michael Bollig. Economic anthropology for Michael has always been closely linked with political ecology, both in his PhD work on violence in Northern Kenya and current research on large scale conservation projects in Namibia. They discuss Michael’s research, and highlight how economic anthropology allows individual and personal logics to be connected to macroeconomic systems. Thus, knowing political ecology but seeing things at the actor level is a great strength of economic anthropology. Michael and Aneil reflect on the effects of large scale conservation and what it means that climate change adaptation funds are set to overtake development funds across Africa. They end with a discussion on finding hope in humanity’s history of adapting to dramatic environmental change, how anthropologists can work in teams and across disciplines, as well as ways anthropologists can present alternative solutions to current macro scale problems such as climate change.
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Anthropological Insights To Help Avert Systemic Collapse: A Conversation With Thomas Reuter

In this third episode of Mergers & Acquisitions’ series on economic anthropology and climate change, Aneil interviews Thomas Reuter. Aneil and Thomas start their conversation with a reflection on economic anthropology as a critique of mainstream economics which through comparative study opens up alternative forms of economics. In responding to climate change, Thomas reflects on how we can use economic anthropology to give us an awareness that allows us to step back to see how current mainstream economic systems that dominate globally cause and further climate change.
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Economic Anthropology in Global Climate Change Policy: A Conversation with Pamela McElwee

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.
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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.
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