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Lecture: Jomon Food Diversity, Climate Change, and Long-Term Sustainability

February 18, 2020 @ 4:00 pm - 5:30 pm

International, interdisciplinary, and transdisciplinary research in the fields of anthropology, including archaeology and ethnography, and related disciplines can make important contributions to the debates on the resilience of food systems and long-term sustainability of human society. Japanese archaeology, in particular, with its rich excavation data and its long tradition of community engagement and public outreach, is in an excellent position to contribute to these important contemporary debates. In this presentation, I test a hypothesis that diversity and decentralization may be critical for maintaining long-term sustainability of human societies in the order of hundreds to tens of thousands of years. Using case studies from the Early and Middle Jomon periods (ca. 6000–4400 cal. BP) of prehistoric Japan as well as ethnographic studies in northern Japan, Prof. Habu emphasize the importance of framing recent and current global environmental problems in the context of the greater human experiences.

Junko Habu is Professor of the Department of Anthropology of UCB, and Affiliate Professor of the Research Institute for Humanity and Nature (RIHN). She received her B.A. (1982) and M.A. (1984) from Keio University and her Ph.D. (1996) from McGill University. Habu has excavated a number of prehistoric Jomon sites and historic Edo period sites in Japan, as well as Thule Inuit sites in the Canadian arctic. Her books include Subsistence-Settlement Systems and Intersite Variability in the Moroiso Phase of the Early Jomon Period of Japan (International Monographs in Prehistory 2001), Ancient Jomon of Japan (Cambridge University Press, 2004; translated into Korean in 2016), Beyond Foraging and Collecting (Kluwer/Plenum 2002, co-edited with B. Fitzhugh) and Evaluating Multiple Narratives (Springer 2008, co-edited with C. Fawcett and J. M. Matsunaga). Her current research focuses on the importance of food diversity, networks and local autonomy for understanding the resilience of socioeconomic systems in the past and the present. From 2011 to 2017, she conducted a transdisciplinary project at RIHN titled Long-term Sustainability through Place-Based, Small-scale Economies: Approaches from Historical Ecology. Her 2018 edited volume is Weaving the Knowledge Mountains, Rivers and the Ocean: Traditional Ecological Knowledge and Ecoliteracy in Tohoku, Northern Japan (Tokai University Press; in Japanese).


February 18, 2020
4:00 pm - 5:30 pm
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Ingraham Hall, Room 206
1155 Observatory Dr.
Madison, WI 53706 United States
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