Allison Enfield Caine

Grant Type

Hunt Postdoctoral Fellowship

Institutional Affiliation

Wyoming, U. of

Grant number

Gr. 10552

Approve Date

September 29, 2023

Project Title

Caine, Allison (Wyoming, U. of) "Restless Ecologies: Climate Change and Multispecies Survival in the Peruvian Andes"

In the Andean highlands, Quechua pastoralists live on the edges of glaciers that have retreated more rapidly in the past fifty years than in the previous six millennia. Women are the primary herders in the Cordillera Vilcanota of the southeastern Peruvian Andes, and their specialized knowledge and skill is vital to the ability of their communities to survive in changing climatic conditions. In the past decade, Quechua women and their animals traverse a rapidly shifting terrain marked by prolonged drought as well as religious conversion, extractive industries, and a global pandemic. Restless Ecologies explores how herders sense and make sense of changing socioecological conditions in the shifting qualities of their interactions with humans, animals, and landscapes. Through detailed analysis of multispecies interactions, the book analyzes the emergence of ecological disruption in the quiet, quotidian moments that shape everyday lived experience. Women’s strategies likewise emerge in the habitual practices of caring for humans, animals, and landscapes, where they are often overlooked as impactful adaptive responses to socioecological change. In the face of often fatalistic narratives of climate futures, this project explores how Andean herders are actively forging pathways forward and offering compelling analytics to evaluate the state of the planet.