Widespread human alteration of the planet has led many scholars to claim that we have entered a new epoch in geological time: the Anthropocene,...

Widespread human alteration of the planet has led many scholars to claim that we have entered a new epoch in geological time: the Anthropocene, an age dominated by humanity. This ethnography is the first to directly engage the Anthropocene, tackling its problems and paradoxes from the vantage point of the world’s largest tropical rainforest.

Drawing from extensive ethnographic research, Nicholas C. Kawa‘s Amazonia in the Anthropocene: People, Soils, Plants, Forests (University of Texas Press, 2016) examines how pre-Columbian Amerindians and contemporary rural Amazonians have shaped their environment, describing in vivid detail their use and management of the region’s soils, plants, and forests. At the same time, Kawa highlights the ways in which the Amazonian environment resists human manipulation and control–a vital reminder in this time of perceived human dominance. Written in engaging, accessible prose, Amazonia in the Anthropocene offers an innovative contribution to debates about humanity’s place on the planet, encouraging deeper ecocentric thinking and a more inclusive vision of ecology for the future.


Nivedita Kar is a student at the University of Southern California, having graduated from UCLA with a double major in Anthropology and Statistics and a masters degree from Northwestern University in biostatistics and epidemiology. She is immersed in the realm of academia and medicine, she hopes to be one of the rare few who aim to bridge the gap between clinical literacy and statistical methods.

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