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Lesley Green

Lesley Green

Department of Social Anthropology
University of Cape Town

Rondebosch, 7701, RSA

Ph: # (0)21 650 3678

Email: lesley.green(at)uct.ac.za
Website: http://www.socanth.uct.ac.za/


Fields: Anthropology of knowledge; anthropology of the environment; lowland South America; cultural astronomy; public archaeology

Research Interests and Teaching

The relationship between traditional knowledge and the sciences in the post-colonial era is the focus of my current work. I’ve been working with Palikur knowledge in the northern Brazilian Amazon for the past several years, focusing on historiography, geography, astronomical knowledge, and ethics. The study has convinced me that traditional knowledge has much to offer science.
Educational curricula and biodiversity conservation are two particular areas in which careful thinking about knowledge is needed. Both fields depend heavily on the need to be able to evaluate knowledge. On what basis? Here, we need to confront epistemology. So – what IS the way forward? The question is one that shapes my current research and thinking, and gives form to the courses that teach.

Latest Publications:

  1. In press. Space, Time, and Story Tracks: Contemporary Practices of Topographic Memory in the Palikur Territory of Arukwa, Amapá, Brazil. Ethnohistory 56(1)163-184, with D R Green.
  2. 2008. ‘ ‘Indigenous Knowledge’ and the Sciences: Towards a research agenda.’ South African Keywords 2, edited by Nick Shepherd and Steven Robins. Jacana.
  3. 2008. ‘Indigenous Knowledge’ and ‘Science’: Reframing the Debate on Knowledge Diversity.Archaeologies 1(1)144-163.
  4. 2008. ‘Challenging epistemologies: Exploring knowledge practices in Palikur astronomy.’ Futures, 40(9), November 2008.
  5. 2008. ‘Anthropologies of Knowledge and South Africa’s Indigenous Knowledge Systems Policy.’ Anthropology Southern Africa 31(1) 2008.



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