Indigenous Environments

African and North American Environmental Knowledge and Practices Compared

The Africana Studies and Environmental Studies Programs at Bowdoin College are pleased to be hosting a conference to discuss indigenous environmental knowledge in early April 2008.  The conference, “Indigenous Environments: African and North American Environmental Knowledge and Practices Compared”  will bring twenty scholars of African and Native American history and culture to campus to explore pre-colonial, colonial, and post-colonial relationships with the environment over time. Funding for the conference has been provided by a generous grant from the Mellon Foundation

Arun Agrawal, of the University of Michigan will open the conference with the keynote address "Indigenous Knowledge and Power" on Thursday, April 3. The keynote address is open to the public. We encourage interested faculty and students to attend the conference.

By placing African and Native American local knowledge and practices alongside one another, we hope that participants might not only compare differences between period and place, but also between different traditions of scholarship.  Specific topics will include land tenure and treaty rights, health and food ways, religion, science and scientists, identity and ethnicity, and natural resource management. 

Faculty Conference Organizers:
Matthew Klingle, Assistant Professor of History and Environmental Studies
Connie Chiang, Assistant Professor of History and Environmental Studies
Lance Van Sittert, Mellon Global Scholar in Environmental Studies
David Gordon, Assistant Professor of History 

Conference Program 

Panelist Abstracts

For more information, please contact Gen Creedon (Africana Studies), Rosie Armstrong (Environmental Studies), or Eileen Johnson (Environmental Studies). 

Panelist Forums and Posts

lock Panelist Papers are available to participants and panelists in this password protected area . For access, please contact Rosemary Armstrong at: