Editing Eden


Editing Eden

A Reconsideration of Identity, Politics, and Place in Amazonia

Edited by Frank Hutchins and Patrick C. Wilson

306 pages
5 illustrations, 1 map


April 2010


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eBook (PDF)
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April 2010


$35.00 Add to Cart

About the Book

Recent scholarship on the Amazon has challenged depictions of the region that emphasize its natural exuberance or represent its residents as historically isolated peoples stoically resisting challenges from powerful global forces. The contributors to this volume follow this lead by situating the discussion of the Amazon and its inhabitants at the intersections of identity politics, debates about socioeconomic sovereignty, and processes of place making.
Editing Eden focuses on case studies from Amazonian Brazil, Colombia, and Ecuador regarding the themes of indigeneity, community making, development politics, and the transcendence of indigenous/nonindigenous divides. Portraits of the Amazon emerge through an analysis of indigenous identity as a product of multiple sources, including state policies toward Amazonian populations, the views of foreign ecotourists, the agendas of nongovernmental organizations (NGOs), and accounts of journalists. At the same time, indigenous and nonindigenous Amazonians challenge the representations constructed for and about them by integrating anthropologists and other nonlocals into their reciprocal systems of gift giving, or by utilizing NGO or ecotourist dollars to support their own cultural agendas. Editing Eden offers insights from leading anthropologists of the region, providing perspectives on the Amazon beyond the counterfeit paradise but short of El Dorado.

Author Bio

Frank Hutchins is an associate professor of anthropology at Bellarmine University in Kentucky. Patrick C. Wilson is an associate professor of anthropology at the University of Lethbridge in Alberta, Canada.

Table of Contents

List of Illustrations



      Frank Hutchins and Patrick C. Wilson

Part 1. Myth, Meaning, Modernity, and Representation

1. Indigenous Capitalisms: Ecotourism, Cultural Reproduction, and the Logic of Capital in Ecuador's Upper Amazon

      Frank Hutchins

2. Fractal Subjectivities: An Amazonian-Inspired Critique of Globalization Theory

      Michael A. Uzendoski

3. The Portrayal of Colombian Indigenous Amazonian Peoples by the National Press, 1988<EN>2006

      Jean E. Jackson

4. Cannibal Tourists and Savvy Savages: Understanding Amazonian Modernities

      Neil L. Whitehead

Part 2. Ethnopolitics, Territory, and Notions of Community

5. For Love or Money? Indigenous Materialism and Humanitarian Agendas

      Beth A. Conklin

6. Alternative Development in Putumayo, Colombia: Bringing Back the State through the Creation of Community and "Productive Social Capital"?

      María Clemencia Ramírez

7. Normative Views, Strategic Views: The Geopolitical Maps in the Ethnic Territorialities of Putumayo

      Margarita Chaves

8. Indigenous Leadership and the Shifting Politics of Development in Ecuador's Amazon

      Patrick C. Wilson

9. Worlds at Cross-Purposes

      Alcida Rita Ramos



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