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Public defense of Olea Morris's PhD Dissertation: Communing with Others: More-Than-Human communities of Mexican Ecovillages

Olea Morris
Tuesday, June 28, 2022, 5:00 pm – 8:00 pm

This dissertation explores the entanglements of knowledge and place in the construction of sustainable socioecological systems by focusing on the emergence of ecovillage communities in Mexico. This research helps to better understand the politics of knowledge creation that underlies divergent sustainable imaginaries, or visions of how ecologically harmonious livelihoods might be pursued, which in turn depend closely on the more-than-human relationships that anchor them to place. Drawing on ethnographic fieldwork carried out in ecovillages across Mexico, I explore how different plants, animals, insects, and microorganisms are drawn into and influence the narratives of each community, and how these other beings contest, revise, or unmake human plans for them. I use these examples to argue for an understanding of sustainability that accounts for both more-than-human futures – a “multispecies sustainability” (Rupprecht et al. 2020) – and the place-based socioecological contexts in which sustainability projects are situated.

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Meeting ID: 991 8584 2817
Passcode: 777981


Supervisor: Guntra Aistara, Department of Environmental Sciences, CEU
Internal committee member: Tamara Steger, Department of Environmental Sciences, CEU
External committee member: John Hartigan, The University of Texas at Austin, US

Opponent: Prof. dr. L.G Horlings, University of Groningen, the Netherlands 
Chair: Prem Kumar Rajaram, CEU