Political Ecology (PE-3C) in Wageningen, Netherlands

I’ve just returned from a wonderful international political ecology conference in the central Netherlands. The Political Ecologies of Conflict, Capitalism and Contestation (PE-3C) – International Conference was held last week in Wageningen, home of the university of the same name, well known for its leadership in life and agricultural sciences.

The view from the conference venue in Wageningsche Berg, just outside of the city

The conference was a real treat, both in terms of its lovely location in Gelderland province and the opportunity to connect with many inspiring scholars from around the world working to empower social and environmental justice. I reconnected with colleagues and made many new friends, and was reminded how beneficial such intimate, interdisciplinary conferences can be!

The meeting also afforded me occasion to visit the lovely city of Amsterdam.

Along one of Amsterdam’s many canals in the Museumkwartier district

Highlights there included a wonderful meal of raw oysters and cerviche at Brut de Mer in Oude Pijp (thanks, Mike!), and a visit to the Rijksmuseum, which houses countless masterpieces and these days a stunning temporary exhibition of Modern Japanese art. I particularly enjoyed finding two original landscapes by Dutch painter Frans Post.

“Gezicht op Olinda, Brazilië (View of Olinda, Brazil)” by Frans Post, 1662

In 1636 Post traveled to Northeastern Brazil where he joined the Dutch royal party led by Johan Maurits van Nassau-Siegen camped in Pernambuco. There he sketched and painted several Brazilian landscapes still studied by geographers, historians, and others interested in Brazil’s early colonial period. His paintings represent important documents of Brazilian biota and environments, Luso-Afro-Atlantic forms of architecture, and early social, cultural, and ecological relations in the colony. Using online repositories that reproduce his work, I studied many of his paintings while researching my dissertation. It was a great pleasure to take in an original!

Cheers, Netherlands!  Next time I’m sleeping in a boat!



Author: Case Watkins

Case Watkins is a cultural and environmental geographer and Assistant Professor in the Department of Justice Studies at James Madison University. Dr. Watkins studies long-term relationships between societies and environments, especially the political ecologies and environmental histories of the African diaspora.

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