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Session 1: Going Multidisciplinary

One of the most used key words in academia all over the world nowadays is ‘interdisciplinarity’ or ‘multidisciplinarity’. From call for papers and conferences, to Deans and rectors’ speeches and description of courses and modules, these words are almost omnipresent. Conceptually speaking, it is not difficult to explain what these words mean, their semantics and polysemy.

Good articles and papers have already explained the value and importance of interdisciplinarity and multidisciplinarity in a world where the necessity of dialogue and cross-reference research is mandatory to resolve global pressing issues – such as climate change, refugee crisis, sustainability – which one single dimension or discipline is not able to address them on its own. However, problems generally appear when we need to translate these concepts into practice.

Traditions and methodologies of well-established sciences, as well as jargons and specific language of specific areas of knowledge, tend to be more closed than the ideal of interdisciplinarity pretends. And that is natural, normal and, why not to say, necessary to the correct and precise development of knowledge.

The challenge(s), however, still remains: How to best approach multidisciplinary? How to successfully explore different areas and disciplines of expertise within research? How to overcome traditional structure of disciplinary borders when collaborating? This workshop aims at addressing these questions by exploring examples coming from the speaker’s own experience in working within multidisciplinary projects and departments.


  • To examine the different semantics of multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary studies;
  • To explore how to conciliate different areas of expertise within research collaboration;
  • To illustrate interdisciplinary in action based on interdisciplinary journals and book edition;
  • To stimulate participants to consider interdisciplinary/multidisciplinary approach in their own research.

Key themes

  • Between arts, humanities, social sciences and public policies collaborations;
  • Dealing with cross-disciplinary frictions;
  • Translating multidisciplinary into practice: through methods and will.

Our speaker 

Dr Vinicius Mariano de Carvalho

 Vinícius Mariano de Carvalho

Lecturer in the King’s Brazil Institute, King’s College London


Dr Vinicius Mariano de Carvalho joined the King’s Brazil Institute as a lecturer in September 2014. Before that, he coordinated the Brazilian Studies programme at Aarhus University (AU), in Denmark (2008-2014), where he is currently Honorary Associate Professor. He was director of the Latin American Centre at AU, from January 2012 to 2014. During this period, he was part of the interdisciplinary research project Sugar and Modernity in Latin America and is co-editor of the homonymous volume, result of the project. From 2007 to 2008 Dr Carvalho was Lieutenant in the Brazilian Army, serving in the Military Technical Corps.

He received his Ph.D. at Passau University, Germany, in 2006. Having an MA in Religious Studies and a BA in Letras, both from the University of Juiz de Fora, Brazil. He is also trained in Music and Musicology and performs as a professional conductor.

Dr Carvalho has a broad interest within the field of Brazilian Studies. His plural academic background and personal trajectory have provided him with a wide understanding of Brazil from diverse fields including Literature, Culture, History, Religion, Society, Defence studies and Politics. He is also the Chief Editor of Brasiliana – Journal for Brazilian Studies.

Coordinators: CLOSER

Speakers: Dr Vinicius Mariano de Carvalho

Place: Old Committee room, Strand Building, KCL

Date: 10/14/2015

Time: 17h00 – 19h00

Register Here!

Session 2: Colonising Nature: People and Protected Areas

Taking the Amazon rainforest as a point of reference, Dr Vinicius Mariano de Carvalho will expose some of the historical views on colonisation and representation of nature. Subsequently, Grace Iara Souza will present a case study on the Amazonian colonisation through the setting of areas aside for environmental protection.

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Session 3: Regulation and the Environment

Questions concerning public policy and regulation in the environment-development debate will be addressed. The focus will be on the role of voluntary multi-stakeholder sustainability initiatives in the context of states with limited administrative capacity. Flavia Donadelli and Larissa Boratti will present a case study on private forest regulation in Latin America in order to stimulate an open debate about the role of alternative environmental governance mechanisms in developing countries.

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Session 4: Governance, institutions and actors: the challenges of researching socio-environmental complexity

Dr Daanish Mustafa will give an overview on the theoretical and epistemological questions that arise in socio-environmental research, namely in what regards interplay of governance, institutions and actors. Tiago Freitas will present a case study from the Brazilian Amazon and Kay Phanthuwongpakdee a case study from Thailand.

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Session 5: Natural resource management and gender: can pro-poor strategies work in a neo-liberal world?

Natural resources such as land, water and forests are of key importance to the livelihoods of very many people in the countries of the Global South. In many countries most people still live in rural areas and derive significant parts of their livelihoods from agriculture, livestock and fisheries as well as from timber and non-timber forest products. The management of these resources is thus of great significance both for reducing poverty and trying to attain improved sustainability in the use of the natural environment. During this session, Dr Deborah Potts will discuss some of these themes with particular reference to southern African societies, while Giovanna Grandoni will introduce the gendered implications of natural resource management in small rural communities in the Northeast of Brazil.

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Session 6: The Space and Place of Indigenous and Riverine Peoples in The National State

This session will provide an analysis of cultural, institutional and livelihood dimensions of Indigenous groups and traditional communities and how it can interact with the conservation agenda. Moreover it will present the recent evolution of international and national policies and rights of indigenous and riverine peoples, and explore its consequences on the analytical framework on human-environment interactions.

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Session 1: Between Conservation, Development & Territorial Rights

The local people right to the territory has been one of the major struggles when creating and implementing conservation and development policies throughout natural resource rich countries. Embedded in a conflict between different stakeholders and agendas, conducting research in and about such places require constant adaptation and persistence

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Session 2: Environment, Public Policy and Regulation

Several changes in environmental policies and regulations have happened in Brazil in the past decade. Although commentators and protesters often use the term ‘environmental roll-back’ to describe these changes little research has been published on the actual nature and processes leading to these reforms. This session aims to fill in this gap and shed light on the actual characteristics and drivers of this recent trend.

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Session 3: Conducting Research with Indigenous Peoples in the Amazon

This session will focus on research with indigenous peoples from an anthropological, environmental and economic perspective, and present the challenges of conducting fieldwork in indigenous territories in the Amazon.

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Socio-Ecological Systems: environment, development and sustainability

The Socio-Ecological Systems (SES) Reading Group in the Department of Anthropology, UCL invite PhD students to come to our one-day student conference. This one-day postgraduate research conference seeks to bring research across both social/political and ecological/biophysical disciplines to share experiences together. The conference will explore themes in SES and sustainability, including multiple interactions and relations between people and ecosystems; political ecology of human-animal relations, customary modes of natural resource management and their conflict or complementarity with western ideas of management; community-based conservation and development approaches and factors influencing their outcomes; impacts of changes in land use, tenure, access and management on livelihoods; impacts of climate change on human well-being, ecosystems and wildlife; and integrative methodologies in understanding SES.

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Reimagining Prosperity: Futures from the Global South

Given the planetary challenges we face, we urgently need to formulate more explicit projects of transformation and transition. The announcement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in September 2015 emphasises that making substantial changes using tried and tested models is unlikely to work. This paper discusses how we might move beyond the SDGs to formulate diverse pathways to future prosperity, and explains why many of the philosophical and practical ideas arising in the Global South offer innovative ways forward.

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