Conference 1: Ecology

November 45, 2022

Ephemeral architecture has been long overlooked by scholars, with few exceptions, because of its relatively short life span, the lack of extant structures, and most importantly, the need to understand its complex ecological context.  Our first conference, “Ecology” (November 4–5, 2022), seeks to address this lacuna by exploring the complex and dynamic ecologies from which ephemeral architecture arises in the Indigenous Caribbean and South America worlds, and their transformation with the arrival of Africans and Europeans (with their flora, fauna and technologies). Scholars from a diversity of disciplines and countries are brought together to explore and challenge a variety of perspectives and theoretical approaches to local and cross regional ecologies and histories, from unique plants and cultural knowledge, to complex ecosystems and critical human interventions. In the case of thatched roofs, which often drew upon short-lived grasses and had to be remade regularly, even slight ecological changes would have had profound impacts. It is precisely the material condition of this ephemeral architecture that ties its existence to even subtle changes in local ecologies, while also revealing overlooked histories and silenced voices of the early modern world.

Conference Schedule

Friday, November 4, 2022, Clark Memorial Library

9:30 a.m. Morning Coffee and Registration

10:00 a.m. Bronwen Wilson, University of California, Los Angeles

Welcome

Stella Nair and Paul Niell, University of California, Los Angeles/ Florida State University

Opening Remarks

Shannon Speed, University of California, Los Angeles

Collaboration with the American Indian Studies Center and the Terra Foundation for American Art

10:15 a.m. Session 1: “What is Ecology?”

Moderator: Shannon Speed, University of California, Los Angeles

Pamela Villaseñor, Pukúu Cultural Community Services

“Indigenous Knowledges and Futurisms: Native Villages of Los Angeles”

10:45 a.m. Glenn Shephard Jr, Goeldi Museum

“The House-Forest Continuum in Indigenous Amazonia: from Architecture to Ecophilosophy”  

11:15 a.m. Coffee Break

11:30 a.m. Justin Dunnavent, University of California, Los Angeles

Beyond the Provision Ground: Towards a Black Historical Ecology in the Atlantic World

12:00 p.m. Morning Session Discussion (Q and A)

12:45 p.m. LUNCH

2:00 p.m. Session 2: On the Move: Dynamic Ecologies and Landscapes

Moderator: Judith Carney, University of California, Los Angeles

Christine Hastorf, University of California, Berkeley 

“The Movement and Tempo of Plant Domesticates throughout the Americas: Implications of Values”

2:30 p.m. Eduardo Neves, University of Sao Paulo

Landscape and Urbanism in Ancient Amazonia”

3:00 p.m. Coffee break

3:15 p.m. Jonah Rowen, Ahmanson-Getty Fellow

“‘Little Empires’: Mahogany, from Forests and Forced Labor to Furniture and Fittings”

3:45 p.m. Afternoon Session Discussion (Q and A)

4:30 p.m.  Reception

Saturday, November 5, 2022: Mildred E. Mathias Botanical Garden, UCLA

9:30 a.m. Morning Coffee and Registration

10:00 a.m. Stella Nair and Paul Niell, University of California, Los Angeles/ Florida State University

Opening Remarks

10:15 a.m. Session 4: Landscapes and Settlements

Moderator: Robin Lauren Derby, University of California, Los Angeles

Michael Carrasco, Florida State University

The Enduring Maya Home

10:45 a.m. Monica Domingues Torres, University of Delaware

“Between rancherías and fortalezas: Empire, Extractivism, and Ecology at the Pearling Centers of the Early Americas”

11:15 a.m. Coffee Break

11:30 p.m. Corinne Hofman, Leiden University and Irvince Nanichi Auguiste, former Chief, Kalinago Territory, Dominica

Grounding the Táboüi. Recognizing Traditional Knowledge Practices Embedded in the Life Histories of the Caribbean’s Islandscapes of Dwelling

12:00 a.m. Morning Session Discussion: 

12:45 p.m.  – Conference Closes


[PT]

A arquitetura efêmera tem sido há muito tempo negligenciada por estudiosos, com algumas exceções, devido a sua existência relativamente curta, à falta de estruturas vigentes e, com maior destaque, devido a necessidade de compreender o seu contexto ecológico complexo. Nossa primeira conferência, “Ecologia” (Dias 04 e 05 de novembro de 2022), procura abordar essa lacuna ao explorar a complexa e dinâmica ecologia através da qual a arquitetura efêmera surge no mundo indígena do Caribe e da América do Sul, e a transformação ocorrida a partir da chegada dos africanos e dos Europeus (com sua flora, fauna e tecnologias). Estudiosos de uma diversidade de disciplinas e países são reunidos para explorar e desafiar uma variedade de perspectivas e abordagens teóricas sobre ecologias e histórias locais e regionais, de plantas singulares e saber cultural a ecossistemas complexos e intervenções humanas críticas. No caso dos telhados de colmo, que frequentemente são feitos a partir de gramíneas com curta duração de vida e que tinham que ser refeitos regularmente, mesmo pequenas mudanças ecológicas teriam causado impactos profundos. É justamente a condição material dessa arquitetura efêmera que conecta sua existência com até mesmo mudanças sutis nas ecologias locais, enquanto também revela histórias negligenciadas e vozes silenciadas dos primórdios do mundo moderno.

Translated to Portuguese by Júlia Acerbi (Federal University of Juiz de Fora, Brazil)


[ES]

La arquitectura efímera ha sido ignorada durante mucho tiempo por los estudiosos, con pocas excepciones, debido a su vida útil relativamente corta, la falta de estructuras existentes, y lo que es más importante, la necesidad de comprender su complejo contexto ecológico. Nuestra primera conferencia, “Ecología” (4 y 5 de noviembre de 2022), busca abordar esta laguna explorando las ecologías complejas y dinámicas de las que surge la arquitectura efímera en los mundos indígenas del Caribe y América del Sur, y su transformación con la llegada de los africanos. y europeos (con su flora, fauna y tecnologías). Los académicos de una diversidad de disciplinas y países se reúnen para explorar y desafiar una variedad de perspectivas y enfoques teóricos de las ecologías e historias locales e interregionales, desde plantas únicas y conocimiento cultural, hasta ecosistemas complejos e intervenciones humanas críticas. En el caso de los techos de paja, que a menudo se basaban en pastos de vida corta y tenían que ser reconstruidos con regularidad, incluso los cambios ecológicos más leves habrían tenido un impacto profundo. Es precisamente la condición material de esta arquitectura efímera la que vincula su existencia incluso a cambios sutiles en las ecologías locales, al mismo tiempo que revela historias pasadas por alto y voces silenciadas del mundo moderno.

Translated to Spanish by Estefanía Vallejo Santiago (Florida State University)


[FR]

L’architecture éphémère, à quelques exceptions près, a longtemps été négligée par les chercheurs en raison de sa durée de vie relativement courte, du manque de structures existantes et, surtout, de la nécessité de comprendre son contexte écologique complexe.  Notre première conférence, “Ecologie” (4-5 novembre 2022), cherche à combler cette lacune en explorant les écologies complexes et dynamiques à partir desquelles émerge l’architecture éphémère dans les mondes indigènes des Caraïbes et de l’Amérique du Sud, ainsi que sa transformation à l’arrivée des Africains et des Européens (avec leur flore, leur faune et leurs technologies). Des chercheurs de diverses disciplines et pays sont réunis pour explorer et remettre en question une variété de perspectives et d’approches théoriques des écologies et des histoires locales et transrégionales, et cela en partant des plantes uniques et des connaissances culturelles pour arriver aux écosystèmes complexes et aux interventions humaines critiques. Dans le cas des toits de chaume, qui faisaient souvent appel à des herbes éphémères et devaient être régulièrement reconstruits, même de légers changements écologiques auraient eu de profondes répercussions. C’est précisément la condition matérielle de cette architecture éphémère qui lie son existence à des changements même subtils dans les écologies locales, tout en révélant des histoires négligées et des voix silencieuses du monde moderne.

Translated to French by Capucine Monfort (Université de Tours, France)

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