Research Programs: Summer Stipends

Period of Performance

6/1/2007 - 8/31/2007

Funding Totals

$5,000.00 (approved)
$5,000.00 (awarded)

Living On a Threshold: Identity, Images, and Illusions of an African Landscape

FAIN: FT-54882-07

Stuart Alexander Marks
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (Chapel Hill, NC 27599-1350)

This study assumes that place centered, interdisciplinary study is critical for discourse on cultural conflicts and identities. Within Zambia's Luangwa Valley, the loom of time has woven over the past 150 years a dense cultural and environmental tapestry of choice, constraint, and chance transformations in human and wildlife relationships . My manuscript begins with pre-colonial intrusions by the Arab and European worlds and ends with the creation of weak state agencies and regulations backed by global interests in conservation and biodiversity. Discussed and edited by valley residents in 2006, the final sections will be completed during this Summer Stipend.

Associated Products

Discordant Village Voices: A Zambian community-based wildlife program me (Book)
Title: Discordant Village Voices: A Zambian community-based wildlife program me
Author: Stuart A. Marks
Editor: Stuart A. Marks
Abstract: The designation of some Zambian landscapes are game management areas (GMAs) distorts and masks the profound nature of the cultural and economic changes affecting residents within them. This study, carried out over five decades, examines the interface between rural communities and the wildlife institutions imposed recently upon this terrain in the central Luangwa Valley. The shift in focus in environmental and biodiversity protection in the 1980s brought a new web of myths, problems and contradictions without resolving earlier dilemmas from the colonial and state dominated era. Whereas donor initiatives, assuming that wildlife is the appropriate adjunct to tourism as the region's most valuable asset, this emphasis tends to stymie local agriculture and cultural developments among human residents, whose visions and aspirations are silenced as they struggle to live within these strangely truncated environments. This book is a quest for a more telling narrative about what continues to happen to people and wildlife on one resource frontier. Survival for all of us depends on our relationships with other humans and life around us, relationships that remain fragile, often unconscious and uncertain. Sustainable practices and the ideas supporting them must be worked at and over continually; such resolutions rarely are found in textbooks, but in practical cultivations on the ground and often appear when least expected.
Year: 2013
Primary URL: http://
Publisher: UNISA-University of South Africa Press
Type: Single author monograph
ISBN: 978-1-86888-70

Life as a Hunt: Thresholds of Identities and Illusions on an African Landscape (Book)
Title: Life as a Hunt: Thresholds of Identities and Illusions on an African Landscape
Author: Stuart A. Marks
Abstract: The 'extensive wilderness' of Zambia's central Luangwa Valley is the homeland of the Valley Bisa whose cultural practices have enriched this environment for centuries. Beginning with the intrusions of warlords and later British commerce, successive generations have experienced the callousness and challenges of colonialism. Their homeland, a slender corridor surrounded by three national parks and an escarpment, is a microcosm of the political, economic, and cultural skirmishes surrounding most African protected areas today. The story of the Valley Bisa diverges from the myths that conservationists, administrators and philanthropists, tell about Africa's environmental, developmental and wildlife crises. The book is the result of a long term (50years) ethnographic and environmental studies on three generations of homeland residents.
Year: 2016
Primary URL Description: check under Cultural Anthropology and Environmental Studies Book scheduled for publication in September 2016
Access Model:
Publisher: Berghahn Books- New York & Oxford UK
Type: Single author monograph
ISBN: 9781785331572

The Name of the Game: Community Costs of Zambian Wildlife Policies within a Game Management Area (1966-2012) (Conference Paper/Presentation)
Title: The Name of the Game: Community Costs of Zambian Wildlife Policies within a Game Management Area (1966-2012)
Author: Stuart A. Marks
Abstract: The paper presents a sequential assemblages of data points on wildlife uses, users, and local community welfare within a significant Zambian GMA. Within the Luangwa Valley, land and resource access have been vexing and contested issues for centuries. Here powerful agents and agencies have sought to secure and strengthen advantageous forms of access through violence and offensive force as well as through more subtle excursions, intrigue, enforced boundaries, and lawful processes. 'Technologies' of control and governance as well as local responses are products of their time, yet these same processes actively create new 'frontiers' of land, wealth and health through progressive struggles between different actors, varying contexts and procedures. The irony is that both colonial and postcolonial agencies have sought to destroy, if not destabilize, local communities' abilities to manage resources within the context of local livelihoods, while simultaneously claiming to serve conservation and community interests.
Date: 09/14/2012
Secondary URL Description: paper given, maybe a paper later
Conference Name: Old Land and New Practices? The Challenging Face of Land and Conservation in Post Colonial Africa Rhodes University , Grahamstown, South Africa

Disclosure on a Wildlife Enclosure: Transition on a Zambian Frontier, 1988-92 (Conference Paper/Presentation)
Title: Disclosure on a Wildlife Enclosure: Transition on a Zambian Frontier, 1988-92
Author: Stuart A. Marks
Abstract: Frontiers are not just noted for their normative deficiencies and risks;often they are craved as places for adventure and potential wealth. Planners perceive such frontiers as places with unregulated , potential resources and design projects for outside commercial interests and as generators of revenue. Economic booms on frontiers also attract migrants seeking opportunities not available to them elsewhere. Overlooked in these hinterlands are local residents, whose efforts to harness wildlife are often dismissed even in areas where they depend upon wildlife for food and to protect their lives and properties from them This paper describes the interactions between insiders and outsiders over wildlife and its issues over four significant years.
Date: 4/1/2016
Primary URL Description: Invited paper presented at Center for African Studies, University of Florida-Gainesville, for the 2016 Gwendolyn M. Carter Conference on "Tropics of Discipline: Crime and Punishment in Africa' April 1-2, 2016 paper only, may be published later