Carol Carpenter

Senior Lecturer and Associate Research Scientist in Natural Resource Social Science and Adjunct Lecturer in Anthropology

Teaching Statement

Dr. Carpenter is an environmental anthropologist with experience in conservation and sustainable development. Her teaching interests include the theoretical history of environmental anthropology and the history of social science thought about conservation and sustainable development. Dr. Carpenter teaches the following courses:

  • Environmental Anthropology, an undergraduate course on the history of environmental anthropology. Topics include: questioning the nature-culture dichotomy, the relation between social organization and ecology, the debate about swidden agriculture, the idea of the self-sufficient community, indigeneity, environmental movements, sense of place, and constructions of the environment.
  • Social Science of Conservation & Development, a graduate seminar intended to provide a fundamental understanding of the social aspects involved in implementing conservation and sustainable development projects, based my my book, Power in Conservation.  The stance throughout will be on how these things shape the practice of conservation and sustainable development.
  • The Anthropology of the Global Economy, a graduate seminar, explores topics in economic anthropology that are relevant to development and conservation policy and practice.  The anthropological perspective on the global economy is unique and important.  This course will examine the topics that make up this perspective, including: using a single commodity to study the global economy, the moral relation between economy and society, models for thinking about power in the global economy, the process of becoming a commodity, articulations between rural households and the global economy, rural-urban relations in the global economy, the commons debate, credit and debt, and theorizing the global economy and its transformations.
  • Economy is Ecology: The Anthropology of Agriculture, a new graduate seminar that explore the premise that small-scale agriculture, its distinctive economic character, and its ecology shape each other in important ways.  This course will explore smallholder farming in the developing world through ethnographies.
  • Social Science of Development and Conservation: Advanced Readings, an advanced graduate seminar on the theory behind the social science of conservation and sustainable development, focusing on theories of power, governmentality, and capitalism. It examines relations between these theories, alternative theories, and how this history influences the field.