Invited Talk: Extraction, Conservation, and Contingent Labor in the Peruvian Amazon


The newly established Continuity and Change in the Andes and Amazonia Humanities Institute Working Group and CLAS Andean Studies Working Group invited me to give a talk about my ethnographic research in Amazonia that has been ongoing for the past 5+ years. The event was absolutely fabulous and I’ve already made new scholarly connections! If you are interested in getting on the Andes/Amazonia listserv and attending upcoming talks, please email the WG’s founder, Dr. Michelle Wibbelsman (Wibbelsman dot 1@


In the above image, I’m discussing native people living in voluntary isolation (specifically the Mascho-Piro) and why their popular label as “uncontacted people” is theoretically naive, historically inaccurate, and politically troublesome. For more on this subject, read anthropologist Glenn Shepard’s guest blog post over at Savage Minds. Shepard writes:

Yet they [Mascho-Piro] are hardly throwbacks to the “Stone Age,” as some media outlets present them. In fact, the Mashco-Piro are every bit as modern as, well, the automobile and the rubber tire. In the late 19th century, before John Boyd Dunlop invented the pneumatic tire and Henry Ford drove the first “horseless carriage” out of his shed in Detroit, the Mashco-Piro inhabited the upper Manu River in settled agricultural villages.

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