A creative, narrative approach to environmental destruction in urban waterscapes, focusing on neighborhood activists who pressure their governments to follow existing law
Where Rivers Meet the Sea
The Political Ecology of Water
Stephanie C. Kane
paper EAN: 978-1-43990-931-7 (ISBN: 1-4399-0931-8)
"Where Rivers Meet the Sea is a crucial, animated, urgent work. I am impressed by Kane's deep, sustained immersion in the places she writes about; the fluency with which she moves between lyrical evocation and conceptual innovation; and her broad, passionate understanding of the transnational politics of water. One of Kane’s imaginative strengths is integrating discussions of maritime and riverine research. The personal sections of quotidian life and intense—and intensely relevant—personal material brighten this book that is deeply informed by geographic scholarship and political ecology. Where Rivers Meet the Sea is brilliant: beautifully written, conceptually rich, diverse in its approaches, and utterly cohesive."
Rob Nixon, Rachel Carson Professor of English, University of Wisconsin-Madison
Where fresh water appears to be abundant and generally accessible, chronic pollution may be relatively ignored as a public issue. Yet there are those whose lives, livelihoods, and traditions are touched directly by the destructive albeit essential relationship between humans and water.
In her passionate and persuasively argued Where Rivers Meet the Sea, Stephanie Kane compares two cities and nations—Salvador, Brazil and Buenos Aires, Argentina—as she tells the stories of those who organize in the streets, petition the courts, and challenge their governments to implement and enforce existing laws designed to protect springs, lakes, harbors, and rivers.
Illuminating the complex and distinctive cultural forces in the South Atlantic that shape conflicts and collaborations pertaining to particular waterfront settings, Kane shows the dilemmas, inventiveness, and persistence that provide the foundation for environmental and social justice movements writ large.
Excerpt available at www.temple.edu/tempress
"In this beautifully written book, Stephanie Kane provides nuanced descriptions of how different kinds of people—in different settings, using different strategies—care for water. Kane also describes the many ways—mundane and powerful—that people fail to care for water, offering a complex and sobering analysis of how sustainability challenges are always cultural challenges. Where Rivers Meet the Sea enriches the ways we can think about environmental ethics, activism, law and policy."
Kim Fortun, Professor, Department of Science and Technology Studies, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
"In Where Rivers Meet the Sea, Stephanie Kane embarks on an engaging and innovative analysis of the political-ecology of aquatic spaces in two Latin American portcities, Salvador, Brazil, and Buenos Aires, Argentina. She draws on a wealth of ethnographic research from which she concludes that, despite considerable cultural and technical difficulties, people need to engage in collective practices to effect sociallyjust and ecologically sound change in highly degraded waterscapes. Her work illuminates the need for and complexities of eco-savvy human relationships with water."
Gene Desfor, Professor Emeritus, Faculty of Environmental Studies, York University, Toronto, Canada
"Stephanie Kane’s beautifully written book serves as an exemplar for how criminology can engage with environmental problems.... Kane’s analysis clearly demonstrates how power positions—in the overlapping forms of economic wealth and political influence—explain not just the underlying causes of but also the varied responses (and lack of responses) to this particular environmental problem and to the various criminal activities stemming from the social conflict it generates.... She offers a coherent vision of how a future that conserves water systems for all (including nature) might look, and how we might get there."
"Throughout her fieldwork, Kane depicts vivid and lasting images complete with photographs and maps that further enable the readers to immerse themselves by visualizing the neighborhoods and waterways.... [S]he effectively presents the argument that we are not apart from nature and that the environment is very much influenced by our culture. An impressive aspect of this book is the role history plays in these narratives, and this is something Kane highlights exceptionally well.... The reader cannot help but walk away with a sense of concern, not only for the cities outlined here, but for all cities along waterways that have become polluted or struggle for access to clean water."
Journal of Qualitative Criminal Justice & Criminology
List of Figures
List of Abbreviations
Part I: Salvador da Bahia, Brazil
2. Sense and Science at the Lake of Dark Waters
3. Dune Shenanigans and Rebellious Festival Memories
4. Of Sewage, Sacrifice, and Sacred Springs
Coda: The Assassination of Antonio Conceição Reis
Part II: Buenos Aires, Argentina
5. Water History, Water Activism
6. Iconic Bridges of la Boca and Madero (Dereliction as Opportunity)
7. Neighbors Fight to Reverse Eco-Blind Engineering in Tigre Delta
8. Convergent Protest from the Provinces: Hydroelectricity + Gold Mining = Water Predation
Stephanie C. Kane is Professor in the Department of International Studies in the School of Global and International Studies at Indiana University. She is author of The Phantom Gringo Boat: Shamanic Discourse and Development in Panama, and AIDS Alibis: Sex, Drugs, and Crime in the Americas (Temple). She is coeditor of Crime's Power: Anthropologists and the Ethnography of Crime.
Nature and the Environment
Latin American/Caribbean Studies
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