MUSSI Fellowship Talk Series - Watershed citizenship: love, labour and logistics in rural Belize

Tuesday, April 12, 2022 - 14:30 to 16:00
MUSSI Conference Room Iontas Building & Online

Together with MU Department of Anthropology we welcome Dr. Sophie Haines of University of Edinburgh for her MUSSI Fellowship Seminar on "Watershed citizenship: love, labour and logistics in rural Belize"

In many parts of the world, water-related policies and projects are being implemented following the global paradigm of Integrated Water Resources Management (IWRM), which posits water as an economic good and the watershed as the main unit of analysis and intervention. Drawing on ethnographic research with a community-based organisation tasked with co-managing a watershed as a national park in rural Belize, this talk will highlight the work underpinning efforts to make this protected area fulfil its (often antagonistic) management goals: conserving biodiversity, providing potable water, and attracting tourists. Paying attention to the co-ordination involved in moving water, people, ideas and funding to facilitate this community watershed project, I will explore how the ideals of IWRM bump up against time, terrain and political relations at this interface of nature and infrastructure.  

Sophie Haines is a Lecturer in Anthropology of Development at the University of Edinburgh, specialising in environment, science & technology. Her research explores knowledge practices, environmental perceptions, and decision-making in contexts of social and ecological change. Three key areas of interest are: infrastructure and anticipation; environmental citizenship; and ecologies of knowledge. Projects to date have focused on highway planning and construction; the production and use of weather and climate forecasts; and the negotiation of environmental knowledges in watershed assessments and interventions. Sophie has carried out ethnographic research and interview-based studies in Belize, Kenya and the UK.  She sits on the Royal Anthropological Institute Environment Committee, and convenes the Network for Anthropologies of Forecasting Weather and Climate (AnthFOR).

The MUSSI Fellowship Scheme began in the 2019/2020 academic year and was designed to enhance the research community of the University by fostering collaboration between Maynooth University Social Sciences Institute Visiting Fellows and academic staff at Maynooth University. Fellowship recipients have the opportunity to engage with a vibrant research culture in the Institute (see www.maynoothuniversity/mussi ) and across the wider university, Dublin city area and the region.

Registration required