VSS September 2022 | Dr. Eric Thrift “Cashmere as cultural commodity: Exploring potential cultural indicators for ‘sustainable cashmere'”

ACMS presents Dr. Eric Thrift, our September guest for VSS, which will be in English.

When: September 23, 8:00 pm (ULAT) 8:00 am (EDT) and 7:00 am (CDT)
*Please note that times are a bit irregular than that of our previous sessions.

Meeting id: 826 0573 9211
Passcode: 611351
Zoom link: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/82605739211?pwd=cjZISUxtSWNqOFdQY2txYTgzcGE1dz09

Abstract
The phrase “sustainable cashmere” appears frequently in marketing messages from global brands and designers, in addition to serving as a frame of reference for several market-based development initiatives in Mongolia and China. But it is not generally obvious to consumers, or even to most producers, what should be understood as making a cashmere garment “sustainable”. Beyond disagreement over the long-term ecological impacts of goats on Mongolia’s rangelands, there are differing perspectives on which sustainability indicators to prioritize, from a range of factors such as wildlife conservation, rangeland biodiversity, governance, common-pool resource management, social inclusion, or economic livelihoods. Moreover, discussion of sustainability measures in the cashmere sector has given relatively little consideration to cultural factors. Our current research considers the strategic potential for cultural indicators within sustainability standards for cashmere, with a focus on “nomadic culture” as a political and economic resource.

Speaker Bio:
Eric Thrift (PhD) is an Assistant Professor of socio-cultural anthropology at the University of Winnipeg in Canada. He has worked as a research consultant and project manager for numerous projects addressing the intersection of culture, environment, and development. His current research on ethics and sustainability in cashmere commodity chains in Mongolia, funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada, is being conducted in association with the International Institute for the Study of Nomadic Civilizations under the auspices of UNESCO.

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