Cultural Anthropologist to Discuss Sustainable Transportation

Luis Vivanco
Luis Vivanco

Cultural anthropologist Luis Vivanco, director of the Global and Regional Studies Program and founding director of the Global Studies Program at the University of Vermont, will present a lecture titled “Reconsidering the Bicycle,” based on his book by the same name, on Thursday, Oct. 24, at 7:30 p.m., in the Fillius Events Barn.  His lecture is part of the Fall 2013 speaker series for the Arthur Levitt Public Affairs Center.  It is free and open to the public.

Vivanco holds a bachelor’s degree in religion from Dartmouth College, as well as a master’s degree and Ph.D in cultural anthropology from Princeton University.  His scholarship focuses on understanding the cultural and political aspects of environmental change and efforts to “save nature” through environmental social movements.

This research, which he has conducted in Costa Rica, Mexico and the U.S., explores how meanings of nature and social change are debated, negotiated, imposed and resisted across diverse social contexts, including community environmental and indigenous groups, the ecotourism economy and advocacy and sustainable development organizations. In recent years, Vivanco has also developed a distinct but related research program investigating the rise of sustainable transportation movements and alternatives to automobiles in urban areas, specifically focused on the relationship between bicycle transportation, environmental sustainability and quality of life.

Vivanco has published several books, most recently Reconsidering the Bicycle: An Anthropological Perspective on a New (Old) Thing (2013). His research has also been published in various journals, including the American Anthropologist, Ethnology and The Ecologist, among others.  Vivanco received a National Endowment for the Humanities grant to attend a cultural studies institute at the East-West Center (University of Hawai'i) and a Fulbright Scholar Award to teach at the University of Costa Rica.

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