Author Meets Critics: Pam McElwee's "Forests Are Gold: Trees, People and Environmental Rule in Vietnam"

Type: Panel
Sponsor Groups: Cultural and Political Ecology Specialty Group, Development Geographies Specialty Group, Human Dimensions of Global Change Specialty Group
Poster #:
Day: 4/14/2018
Start / End Time: 4:00 PM / 5:40 PM (MDT)
Room: Balcony N, Marriott, River Tower Elevators, 4th Floor
Organizers: Heidi Hausermann
Chairs: Heidi Hausermann


Based on more than twenty years of travel and research in Vietnam, Forests Are Gold examines the management of Vietnam's forests in the tumultuous twentieth century―from French colonialism to the recent transition to market-oriented economics―as the country united, prospered, and transformed people and landscapes. The book argues that forest policy has rarely been about ecology or conservation for nature's sake, but about managing citizens and society, a process McElwee terms "environmental rule." Employing a variety of methods, from historical archival research to anthropological interviews and ecological surveys, the book documents the ways in which knowledge about forests was produced to serve specific ends, many of which were about how to govern people rather than the environment. The book argues that untangling and understanding these practices and networks of environmental rule illuminates not just thorny issues of ecological change, but also help us understand the birth of Vietnam as a modern nation itself.


Type Details Minutes
Panelist Melanie McDermott Rutgers University 15
Panelist Sarah Turner McGill University 15
Discussant Pamela McElwee Rutgers 20
Panelist Robin Roth University of Guelph 15
Discussant Nancy Peluso University of California 15
Discussant Heidi Hausermann Rutgers University 15
Introduction Heidi Hausermann Rutgers University 5

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