The department is a lively community that is recognised internationally as one of the top centres for research and teaching in development studies.
The glocalization of wellbeing and sustainability: a biosocial educational prototype for Peru, Brazil and beyond
This research project tackles the Global Challenge of supporting the long-term, equitable and sustainable resilience of indigenous and peasant communities. It documents the customary sustainable lifestyles of indigenous and rural groups of South America, examining their implicit pedagogy and how their models of multispecies wellbeing can be effectively integrated with the Global Sustainable Development Goals and passed onto future generations.
The project includes the publication of an ethnographic monograph that describes and analyses, from a health perspective, a remarkable facet of Amerindian life: the amount of time and effort dedicated to facilitating personal growth, for both oneself and for others. Throughout the life cycle, and especially during early perinatal life, a wide array of 'humorally'-informed hands-on techniques and practices are used to ensure that people achieve their potential to be robust, attentive persons, mindful of their wider environment. Taking as its subject the northwestern Amazonian Brazilian Warekena, the book examines how they manage to achieve this aim. The book engages multidisciplinary audiences by addressing the broader topics of a) indigenous mindfulness practices, in society and when learning, b) inequitable interethnic relations and their transformation over time, c) the passing of sustainable environmental practices across generations.
This project also aims to build dialogues, and open avenues, to pioneer truly holistic education initiatives that have sustainability and wellbeing at their core. The project is designed to have significant impact on the on-going implementation of holistic educative initiatives, in Peru, Brazil and beyond, and it engages various research users to enable them to do so effectively.