Actors of vigilance: Indigenous environmental monitoring in Amazonia

by Jonas Bauschert and Anna Meiser

‘[…] there is a saying that says that we operate at the speed of trust […]. Relationships matter a lot with these Indigenous communities. They matter a lot. […] [T]hat kind of transparency and reciprocity and working towards mutually beneficial research agreements is very, very important to Indigenous communities’, explains Tyler Jessen from the University of Victoria in British Columbia.1 He thus describes key aspects of scientific collaboration with Indigenous groups, which are also decisive for the ethnographic research in project A10 ‘Jaguar, drone, human: Indigenous vigilance in Amazonia’.2 Only mutual, interpersonal trust, the prerequisite of which is personal, often time-intensive contact on-site, enables familiar movements within the initially unfamiliar field of research. In the context of the project, which focuses on investigating the organization and understanding of vigilance in Indigenous environmental monitoring, the first step is to get to know the people and institutions that implement the relevant projects on-site.

Actors of vigilance: Indigenous environmental monitoring in Amazonia weiterlesen

  1. BR-Radiowissen (17.01.2024): Traditionelles Wissen. Indigene und die Spitzenforschung. URL:  https://www.br.de/radio/bayern2/service/manuskripte/radiowissen/manuskript-radiowissen-traditionelles-wissen-100.html [Last accessed: 18.01.2024]. []
  2. “The Amazon Forest is a complex system of interconnected species, ecosystems and human cultures that contributes to the well-being of people globally. The Amazon Forest holds more than 10% of Earth’s terrestrial biodiversity, stores an amount of carbon equivalent to 15-20 years of global CO2 emissions (150-200 Pg C), and has a net cooling effect (from evapotranspiration) that helps to stabilize the Earth’s climate” (Flores, Bernardo M.; Montoya, Encarni; Sakschweski, Boris et al. (2024): Critical transitions in the Amazon Forest system. In: Nature 626, 555-564, 555. []

Neuerscheinung: Creating an Empire of Informers. Vigilance in the Assyrian Empire and King Esarhaddon’s adê-Covenant of 672 BC. 

Poppy Tushingham

Band 10 der Publikationsreihe Vigilanzkulturen

Der SFB 1369 gibt die Publikationsreihe Vigilanzkulturen beim De Gruyter Verlag heraus, die als Print- und Open Access-Format erscheint.

Vigilanz steht für die Verknüpfung persönlicher Aufmerksamkeit mit überindividuellen Zielen. Dies geschieht alltäglich im Bereich der Sicherheit, des Rechts, des Gesundheitswesens oder auch der Religionen: überall dort, wo wir auf etwas achten, gegebenenfalls auch etwas tun oder melden sollen. Der SFB 1369 untersucht die Geschichte, kulturellen Varianten und aktuellen Formen dieses Phänomens. In der Publikationsreihe werden Forschungsergebnisse der Öffentlichkeit zugänglich gemacht.

Poppy Tushingham: Creating an Empire of Informers. Vigilance in the Assyrian Empire and King Esarhaddon’s adê-Covenant of 672 BC. Berlin/Boston 2024. (Cover)

Throughout history, many states have attempted to harness the attention of their populations for their own ends. This study argues that the Assyrian Empire in the year 672 BC is such a case.

In 672 BC, Esarhaddon, King of Assyria, imposed a succession covenant (adê) on his subjects, the inhabitants of the Assyrian Empire. This covenant required the empire’s population to monitor one another, and themselves, for signs of disloyalty to the monarch and his chosen successor, Ashurbanipal. This study examines the aims and outcomes, desired and undesired, of imposing this duty of vigilance across the Assyrian Empire.

To consider the presentation and implementation of this duty of vigilance, the study draws largely on evidence supplied by the covenant and other royally-commissioned texts. To examine the outcomes of the covenant’s enactment, meanwhile, it explores cuneiform sources, such as letters to the crown, private legal documents, and literary compositions, as well as the Aramaic Story of Ahiqar and the biblical Book of Deuteronomy.

By providing a sustained analysis of the real-world implications and outcomes of the covenant, this book sheds new light on a text that fundamentally altered the political makeup of the Assyrian Empire.

Neuerscheinung: Vigilance and the Plague France Confronted with the Epidemic Scourge during the 17th and 18th CenturiesNeuerscheinung:

Herausgegeben von Sébastien Demichel und Mark Sven Hengerer

Band 6 der Publikationsreihe Vigilanzkulturen

Der SFB 1369 gibt die Publikationsreihe Vigilanzkulturen beim De Gruyter Verlag heraus, die als Print- und Open Access-Format erscheint.

Vigilanz steht für die Verknüpfung persönlicher Aufmerksamkeit mit überindividuellen Zielen. Dies geschieht alltäglich im Bereich der Sicherheit, des Rechts, des Gesundheitswesens oder auch der Religionen: überall dort, wo wir auf etwas achten, gegebenenfalls auch etwas tun oder melden sollen. Der SFB 1369 untersucht die Geschichte, kulturellen Varianten und aktuellen Formen dieses Phänomens. In der Publikationsreihe werden Forschungsergebnisse der Öffentlichkeit zugänglich gemacht.

Sébastien Demichel und Mark Sven Hengerer (Hrsg.):
Vigilance and the Plague. France Confronted with the Epidemic Scourge during the 17th and 18th centuries. Berlin/Boston 2023 (Cover)

This book focuses on the connection between vigilance and the plague in France throughout the 17th and 18th centuries. For more than three centuries, between the middle of the 14th century up until circa 1670, the prevalence of the plague in France was said to be endemic, before it then vanished from French territory. The Great Plague of Marseille (1720-1722, which also impacted the rest of Provence, the County of Venaissin and Languedoc) proved to be an exception. During that period, the fight against the plague was deemed a top-priority along the French coast, and health institutions, called bureaux de la santé, were developed. Contributions to this book primarily focus on health vigilance from the standpoint of how to prevent an epidemic and how to respond to a declared epidemic. Among the salient themes addressed are: communications between health and different state actors, prevailing religious and political norms, and the popular participation in the fight against the plague. The use of the concept of vigilance enables the mobilisation of often rather distant branches of history, namely institutional. social, religious history, the history of communication and the history of public health.