Andrea Pintar, Vrije University Amsterdam
We Are a Part of This World: Tracing Human-Environmental Entanglement from the Late Pleistocene Through the Anthropocene
Landscape reconstructions of the past ~130ka years involving geological, archaeobotanical, and zooarchaeological data are pieced together to illustrate the ways non-human environmental agents, such as climatic gradients, soils and sediments, ice and water, flora and fauna, create ecological narratives. In this dissertation, people—including myself as an author—and landscapes and ecosystems are encompassed in what I term “living biographies.” This project also addresses two concerns of the Anthropocene—(de)colonization and environmental degradation, which are threatening cultural and natural heritage, and hitting Indigenous Arctic communities hard. Drawing from Paulette Steeves’ call to un-erase past cultural narratives, as an author and person of color, I feel acutely the challenge of trying to answer that call, reconnecting communities of color to histories suppressed through imperialist and colonialist policies. By examining the longevity of human-environmental entanglement, I hope to provide some inspiration for the necessity of sustainable and equitable living in the Anthropocene.