Feb 3: From Narrating Nature to Decolonizing Conservation: Stories from Maasailand, East Africa

Feb 03, 2022

PWIAS International Visiting Research Scholar Dr. Mara Goldman (University of Colorado-Boulder) has had to delay her in-person visit to UBC and will instead be presenting her talk online.

Dr. Goldman is an Associate Professor in the Department of Geography, with affiliations at the Institute for Behavioral Sciences, the Gender and Women’s Studies Program and the Center for Native American and Indigenous Studies at the University of Colorado-Boulder, and the Center for International Studies, University Institute of Lisbon (ISCTE-IUL). She has a PhD in Geography and an MS in Conservation Biology and Sustainable Development from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She is a human-environment geographer, drawing from political ecology, science studies, and Indigenous/decolonial scholarship to explore knowledge politics related to conservation and development in Southern African and South Asia.

About the talk

Dr. Goldman will present her book, Narrating Nature: Wildlife Conservation and Maasai Ways of Knowing (University of Arizona Press, 2020), which draws on over two decades of fieldwork among Maasai pastoralists in northern Tanzania and southern Kenya. In the book, she seeks to unsettle established ways of knowing, talking about, and managing human-wildlife relations and wildlife conservation in these landscapes and beyond, where Euro-American scientific approaches have historically dominated. She centers customary Maasai knowledge production and presentation processes—in the form of narratives and the use of an active Maasai meeting/dialogue, the enkiguena. In challenging existing conservation models and the boundaries on which they rely (dividing people/nature, wild/domestic, and science/all other ways of knowing and being with nature), Dr. Goldman asks what it might mean to talk about decolonizing conservation globally.