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david meek, BRAZIL, 2011-2012

Fulbright Year: 2011-2012
Country: Brazil
Proposal Type: Research
Field of Study: Anthropology
Proposal Title: Agroecological Learning and Landscape Change in the Brazilian Landless Workers’ Movement
UGA Graduate Department: Anthropology
Degree: PhD in Anthropology
Hometown: Wilmington, DE

David Meek is spending his Fulbright tenure close to the earth studying what he terms is “the largest social movement in Latin America.”

“During my Fulbright year, I will be studying the Brazilian Landless Workers’ Movement (MST), which is the largest social movement in Latin America,” he says. “Agroecology, or agriculture that is designed around ecological principles, plays a large role in the movement. Equally important is the formal and informal education that movement members receive through their political participation.

“This research seeks to explore the interrelationships between political participation, agroecological learning, and landscape change. Specifically, it focuses on an agrarian reform settlement of the MST located in the Southeastern Amazon. I will be spending the majority of my time in this rural settlement, but will also be conducting research in the south of Brazil, where the movement’s headquarters is located.”

Besides strengthening his research skills, David says he looks forward to polishing his linguistic acumen.

“I am most looking forward to getting the opportunity to strengthen the connections I have made to my research community,” he says. “Additionally, the opportunity to live in a monolingual community while conducting research will be an incredible opportunity to improve my Portuguese!”

At the conclusion of his time in Brazil, David says he’ll compile his research as an ethnographic monograph and adds that his long-term career goals are to “continue conducting scholarly research, and teach as a professor. I also seek to maintain my connections to this field site and to develop other research projects.”

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