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Indigenous studies

The world’s indigenous population is close to 400 million (UN 2009). This population speaks thousands of different languages and inhabits many of the most biodiverse areas in the world. Indigenous peoples studies is a field that is concerned with the diversity of indigenous peoples’ cultures, histories and views, as well as with the challenges they currently face in a globalised world.

This area of study has an interface with a variety of disciplines, from anthropology, sociology and history, to geography, ecology and political science; to mention a few. This multidisciplinary approach is extremely relevant to reflect on and to understand the complexity of the situations indigenous peoples are currently facing in relation to the protection of their territories and their cultural survival.

CLOSER wants to contribute to indigenous studies by promoting the debate about indigenous peoples from the perspective of various areas of knowledge, looking especially at how society, environment and development interact in the global arena with the diversity of indigenous cultures. Also, it intends to advance the debate about the use of digital technology by indigenous peoples as a way of knowledge production. Last but not least, it aims at stimulating the exchange of methodologies from different disciplines, encouraging research that challenges to apply an integrated approach.

Suggested readings

Almeida, A.W.B. 2013. Nova cartografia social: territorialidades específicas e politização da consciência das fronteiras. In Povos e comunidades tradicionais – Nova Cartografia Social. A. W. B. de Almeida. and E. de A. Farias Júnior (orgs.) 157-173. Manaus: UEA Edições.

Cardoso de Oliveira, R. 1996. O índio e o mundo dos brancos. Campinas: Editora Unicamp.


Carneiro da Cunha, M. & M.W.B. de Almeida. 2000. Indigenous people, traditional people, and conservation in the Amazon. Daedalus 129, 2, 315-338.

Escobar, A. 1997. Anthropology and development. International Social Science Journal, 49, 497–516.

________. 2008. Territories of difference: place, movements, life, redes. Durham, NC: Duke University Press.

Ingold, T. 2000. The perception of the environment: essays on livelihood, dwelling and skill. London: Routledge.

Pagliaro H., M.M. Azevedo & R.V. Santos. 2005. Demografia dos povos indígenas no Brasil: um panorama crítico. In Demografia dos povos indígenas no Brasil. H. Pagliaro., M.M. Azevedo & R.V. Santos (orgs.). Rio de Janeiro: Editora Fiocruz e Associação Brasileira de Estudos Populacionais/Abep. 11-32

Ricardo, F. 2004. (org.) Terras indígenas e unidades de conservação da natureza: o desafio das sobreposições. São Paulo: Instituto Socioambiental.


——— 2011. Indigenous lands in the Brazilian Amazon. In Protected areas in the Brazilian Amazon: challenges and opportunities. (orgs.) A. Veríssimo, A. Rolla, M. Vedoveto & S. de M. Futada, 46-54. Belém: Imazon São Paulo: Socioenvironmental Institute.

United Nations. 2009. State of the World’s Indigenous Peoples. New York: Department of Economic and Social Affairs.

Viveiros de Castro, E. 1996a. Images of nature and society in Amazonian ethnology. Annu. Rev. Anthropology 25, 179–200.

Political Ecology

An interdisciplinary approach at the interface of political economy, anthropology, geography and ecology. It seeks to provide understandings of socio-environmental issues with an explicit concern with unequal power relations and both material and discursive struggles shaping those issues, thereby avoiding simplistic and normative explanations of environmental change and environmental conflicts.

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