FORA.tv Speaker - J. Stephen Lansing

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Biography

J. Stephen Lansing has been a Professor of Anthropology at the University of Southern California since 1977. He is presently teaching at the University of Michigan where he has a joint appointment in the Department of Anthropology and the School of Natural Resources. Stephen Lansing began fieldwork in Bali in 1970, as an undergraduate. He specializes in Balinese culture and has studied and written extensively about environmental issues in Bali. Until he began his study of Balinese water temples in the early 1970s, they were largely either ignored or misunderstood by foreigners. After years of unsuccessful attempts to convince international development agencies to pay attention to the ecological roles of water temples, in 1992 Lansing and computer scientist Alan Petersen developed, with the support of the UN and others, a simplified geographic information system called “Watershed,” designed to create a two-way communication between traditional farming communities and development planners. Lansing spent seven months helping farmers, extension agents, and temple priests use this system in 1993-94 in a project that is expected to continue. Lansing’s team is currently working with 15 Balinese villages in researching the harmful effects of excessive commercial fertilizer use on the coral reef system that extends from Indonesia to the Philippines. Lansing was educated at Wesleyan University and the University of Michigan, USA. He wrote his dissertation at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, New Jersey, USA. He is the author of several books on Bali, including “The Balinese” (1995) and “Priests and Programmers: Technologies of Power in the Engineered Landscape of Bali” (1991). He has participated in the making of a number of films, including his collaboration with English anthropological filmmaker Andre Singer in 1988, entitled “The Goddess and the Computer,” a study of the role of Balinese water temples in ecological management.

1 Program

J. Stephen Lansing: A Thousand Years in Bali

02.13.06 | 01:18:45 min | 2 comments