The University of Massachusetts Dartmouth Center for Portuguese Studies and Culture / Tagus Press is a multidisciplinary international studies and outreach unit dedicated to the study of the language, literatures and cultures of the Portuguese-speaking world. Working in close partnership with the Department of Portuguese and the Ferreira-Mendes Portuguese-American Archives, it is the oldest of these units devoted to Portuguese at UMass Dartmouth.

Events - 2012

"Environmental Futures in Amazonia: The Vexing Question of Property Rights"

Lecture by Dr. Jeremy M. Campbell

April 26, 2012 at 12:30 p.m, University of Massachusetts Dartmouth, LARTS 109, parking lot 1

Admission is FREE and open to the public

Dr. Jeremy M. Campbell
Dr. Jeremy M. Campbell

The University of Massachusetts Dartmouth Center for Portuguese Studies and Culture announces a lecture, “Environmental Futures in Amazonia: The Vexing Question of Property Rights,” by Dr. Jeremy M. Campbell. The event - free and open to the public - will take place on Thursday, April 26, 2012 at 12:30 p.m. in LARTS 109, parking lot 1.

Since the Brazilian federal government opened the Amazon to widespread colonization in the 1960s, the region has been the site of extractive economies, get-rich-quick schemes, social displacement, and violence. Perhaps most famously, nearly 25% of the world’s largest remaining tropical forest biome has been converted into colonization schemes and ranchlands, fueling the growth of the world’s sixth largest economy. As Brazil takes an enlarged role in the global political economy, all levels of government are at pains to demonstrate a “balanced approach” between economic growth, social equity, and environmental preservation. One of the most persistent challenges to sustainable development, however, is the legacy of indeterminate land tenure arrangements in Brazil’s vast Amazon region. Different constituents–from indigenous groups to landless workers, from industrialists to large-scale ranchers–bring to life different and often contradictory concepts of property and possession as they engage Amazonian landscapes. A study of state efforts to address the patchwork of legally- and culturally-divergent land tenure systems reveals the enduring importance of property speculation as a principal driver in the social and environmental transformations in Brazil.

Jeremy M. Campbell is a political and environmental anthropologist and assistant professor of Cultural Anthropology at Roger Williams University. He has conducted over three years of ethnographic research in Brazil, where Campbell also teaches classes on environmental justice issues for North American and Brazilian audiences. He is currently finishing a book, Conjuring Property: Speculation and Environmental Futures in Amazonia, which describes the material and imagined effects of property speculation along an unpaved forest highway.

For further information, please contact Prof. Cristina Mehrtens at 508.999.8303 or e-mail