Endangered Species: Health, Illness and Death Among Madagascar’s People of the Forest
Carolina Academic Press, 2012.
Nominated for the Margaret Mead award, Janice Harper’s ethnographic study of Madagascar’s “People of the Forest” has been featured in a number of anthropology textbooks for its anthropological insights into how an internationally-acclaimed conservation project impacted the lives of those living in the forests of Madagascar. Challenging views that “ethnicity” determined how people used the environment, Dr. Harper shows how access to land and labor determine whether one lives—or often dies—amidst the rich biodiversity of Madagascar.
“It is one of the clearest and most detailed pictures that I have read about the multiple pressures on ‘coastal’ Malagasy . . . It is beautifully and horrifyingly written.”
“[Endangered Species] is a valuable and fundamental analysis of some of the major problems with conservation and development projects and policy in Madagascar. It should be required reading for all policy makers there, as well as those who work in conservation and development anywhere in the world. It is a major contribution to the fields of medical anthropology, political ecology, and the anthropology of development.”
“In my opinion, Endangered Species is among the very best ethnographies written in the past ten years, and not only do I assign it in a range of classes (from Introductory Anthropology to advanced seminars in medical anthropology), but I encourage colleagues here and elsewhere to make use of it, too. I have even been known to keep a st ash of extra copies that I give away to various people visiting my office! Why? Because the mastery of history, the depth of the ethnography, and the commitment to getting things right—as well as righting wrongs—make it among the very best examples of why anthropology matters in the contemporary world.”
“Endangered Species fits well in the finest activist ethnographic tradition alongside such works as Nancy Scheper-Hughes’ Death Without Weeping, and Paul Farmer’s The Uses of Haiti. Janice Harper’s rich analysis enlarges our understanding of the impacts of international conservation programs, as well as our understanding of links between the environment, health and culture.”