I do research on the political ecology of water and ice. From port cities of Brazil, Argentina and Singapore to the Canadian Arctic and subarctic, my ethnography explores the way river and coastal city inhabitants embed themselves into the planetary crust and negotiate water disasters (flooding, pollution, dispossession). My non-fiction creative writing brings geoscience, engineering, law, social life and art into the conversation to highlight social justice and environmental justice.
- Ph.D., University of Texas at Austin, 1986
- M.A., University of Texas at Austin, 1981
- B.A., Cornell University, 1972
Regions of Interest
- South, Central and North America
- Global Port Cities
- Political ecology/cultural politics of water
- Ethnography of infrastructure (flood control)
- Social and environmental justice
- Creative non-fiction writing bridging science, social science and the humanities
- 2022: Just One Rain Away: The Ethnography of River-City Flood Control
- Where Rivers Meet the Sea: The Political Ecology of Water (first edition, 2012 Temple).
Where Rivers Meet the Sea: The Political Ecology of Water (Audible by Amazon, 2016)
- Crime’s Power: Anthropologists and the Ethnography of Crime (Co-edited with Phil Parnell, 2003 Palgrave/Macmillan).
- AIDS Alibis: Sex, Drugs, and Crime in the Americas (1998 Temple)
- The Phantom Gringo Boat: Shamanism and Development in Panama (1994 Smithsonian, 2004 Cybereditions).
Available at IU ScholarWorks: https://scholarworks.iu.edu/dspace/handle/2022/22251
Journal Articles and Book Chapters
- 2022 (with P. Steinberg, G. Ferloni, C. Aporta, G. Bridge, A. Chircop et al.) Navigating the Structural Coherence of Sea Ice. In, “Laws of the Sea: Interdisciplinary Currents.” Irus Braverman, Ed. (open-access) Oxfordshire: Routledge.
- 2022 Winnipeg’s Aspirational Port and the Future of Arctic Shipping (The Geo-Cultural Version). Pp. 42-63. In Hydrohumanities: Transforming Currents for Uncertain Futures, edited by Kim De Wolff, Rina Faletti, and Ignacio López-Calvo. Oakland, CA: University of California Press. Open access. https://www.ucpress.edu/book/9780520380455/hydrohumanities
- 2019 Post-Election Surveillance Ecology in Midtown Manhattan: “Where are All the Protestors?” Crime, Media and Culture 15(2): 367-377.
- 2018 Where Sheets of Water Intersect: Infrastructural Logistics and Sensibilities in Winnipeg, Manitoba. Pp. 107-126, In, Territory beyond Terra. K. Peters, P. Steinberg and E. Stratford, Eds. Rowman and Littlefield. Blog: https://www.rowmaninternational.com/blog/territory-beyond-terra/
- 2018 Engineering an Island City-State: A 3D Ethnographic Comparison of the Singapore River and Orchard Road. Pp. 135-149. In, Rivers of the Anthropocene, J. Kelly et al., Eds. University of California. (open source) http://www.ucpress.edu/book.php?isbn=9780520295025
- 2018 (with C. Aporta and A. Chircop) Shipping corridors through the Inuit homeland. Limn 10. April.Special issue on “Chokepoints.” (open source) http://limn.it/
- 2017 Enclave Ecology: Hardening the Land-Sea Edge to Provide Freshwater in Singapore’s Hydrohub. Human Organization 76 (1):82-95.
- 2016 Reestablishing the Fundamental Bases for Environmental Health: Infrastructure and the Socio-topographies of Surviving Seismic Disaster. Pp. 348-72. In, A Companion to Environmental Health: Anthropological Perspectives. M. Singer, Ed. Malden MA: John Wiley and Sons.
- 2015 Bird Names and Folklore from the Emberá (Chocó) in Darién, Panamá. Ethnobiological Letters 6(1): 32-62.
- 2015 (with M. Williams, J. Zalasiewicz et al.) Humans as the Third Evolutionary Stage of Biosphere Engineering of Rivers. Anthropocene 7: 57-63.
- 2015 (with E. Medina and D.M. Michler) Infrastructural Drift in Seismic Cities: Chile, Pacific Rim, 27 February, 2010. Social Text 33(1) (#122): 71-92.
- 2014 (with H. Klein). Gringo/a as a Sociolinguistic Fractal. Ethnologies 35 (1): 3-2
- 2013 Environmental Decision-Making in the Argentine Delta. Pp. 77-101. In, Comparative Decision Making. P. Crowley and T. Zentall, Eds. New York: Oxford University Press.
- 2013 Coastal Conflict: Implementing Environmental Law in Salvador da Bahia. Pp. 379-393. In, Routledge International Handbook of Green Criminology. N. South and A. Brisman, Eds. New York: Routledge.
- 2012 Water Security in Buenos Aires and the Paraná-Paraguay Waterway. Human Organization 71(2): 211-221.
- 2012 The Art of Torture and the Place of Execution: A Forensic Narrative. Political and Legal Anthropology Review (PoLAR) 35(1):53-76.