In 2016, I published the book Amazonia in the Anthropocene: People, Soils, Plants, Forests (Univ. of Texas Press). Here is a brief synopsis:
“Widespread human alteration of the planet has led many scholars to claim that we have entered a new epoch in geological time: the Anthropocene, an age dominated by humanity. This ethnography is the first to directly engage the Anthropocene, tackling its problems and paradoxes from the vantage point of the world’s largest tropical rainforest.
Drawing from extensive ethnographic research, Nicholas Kawa examines the ways in which Pre-Columbian Amerindians and contemporary rural Amazonians have shaped their environment, describing in vivid detail their use and management of the region’s soils, plants, and forests. At the same time, he highlights the ways in which the Amazonian environment resists human manipulation and control – a vital reminder in this time of perceived human dominance. Written in engaging, accessible prose, Amazonia in the Anthropocene offers an innovative contribution to debates about humanity’s place on the planet, encouraging deeper eco-centric thinking and a more inclusive vision of ecology for the future.”