What are the Environmental Health Humanities? Lessons from the Navajo Nation.
▲ Speaker: Dr. Dana E. Powell
Associate Professor, Graduate Institute of Humanities in Medicine, Taipei Medical University
Environmental health is usually determined by quantitative measures of harm, ranging from soil to water sampling, or other ecological indicators. While these are critical forms of measuring harm, anthropological approaches offer more complex and nuanced analysis of what constitutes wellness in a particular environment. For instance, the cumulative impacts of colonialism, racism, and other forms of structural violence have material impacts on what we consider to be "nature" and the natural world, and thus, have profound social and cultural impacts on lived experience. Drawing upon two decades of ethnographic research in the Navajo Nation (US Southwest), a Native Nation that has been widely studied for legacies of ecological damage, this presentation shows how the inability to quantify the harm of some forms of pollution opens up possibilities for narratives of risk and well-being to emerge. Rather than focusing solely on ruin and harm, I suggest that the environmental health humanities also offer new imaginative means and analytics for rethinking what health means, beyond biomedical and ecotoxicological measurements.
▲ Date: 2023.10.24 1-3 pm
▲Venue: 802, Teaching & Research Building, Shuang Ho Campus,TMU.
▲Registration ─ Please contact me on Facebook Messenger.