University of Connecticut

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Geography Colloquium - Chelsea Leiper

Friday, February 1, 2019
12:20pm – 1:15pm

Storrs Campus
AUST 445

Paleo Body Politics: Re-wilding Health, Ecology, and Diet During the Anthropocene

In an era of environmental anxiety, "re-wilding" has emerged as an ecological health and resiliency strategy across scales, from the human body to the planet. At the scale of the body, this has meant a reevaluation of dietary, consumption, and lifestyle behaviors among concerned consumers seeking to create healthy, resilient bodily ecosystems. Recent health trends such as the controversial Paleo movement call upon an evolutionary perspective for insight as to how to re-wild one's bodily ecosystem in the face of ecological crisis, using the Paleolithic era as a benchmark for dietary and behavioral re-wilding. Drawing upon data from interviews with Paleo and Keto dieters, I investigate how the discourse and practices surrounding the Paleo and Keto diets engage with the shifting landscape of healthcare and nutrition politics, new ecological conceptions of human health and bodies, and a growing understanding of the connection between human and non-human/environmental health in the Anthropocene. I argue that the body's ecology is a new frontier for an ecological ethic of health and sustainability and a microcosm for interrogating the politics that go along with it. Further, I argue that there is an underutilized potential of the body as a (bio)pedagogical site for understanding the dynamics between the body, food, health and ecology.

Contact:

Scott Stephenson [stephenson@uconn.edu]

Geography Department (primary), College of Agriculture, Health and Natural Resources, EEB Related Events, UConn Master Calendar

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