Bookmark this page!

FacebookTwitterGoogle BookmarksLinkedinRSS Feed

HomePeopleAcademic StaffAssoc Prof Lesley Green

Lesley GreenLesley J F Green

Associate Professor: Anthropology in the School of African and Gender Studies, Anthropology and Linguistics University of Cape Town

Director: Environmental Humanities Initiative

Major Research Projects

The Environmental Humanities Initiative (Director and PI):  Developing research methods and approaches appropriate to retheorising, in the south, social science and humanities research for the anthropocene. Developing an new MPhil curriculum for rol out in 2015, subject to Faculty approval, together with colleagues in eight departments in the Faculty of Humanities at UCT, including the social sciences and the creative and performing arts. The project is actively in dialogue with colleagues in the Faculties of Science, Law, and Engineering & Built Environment, with a view to developing a cohort of graduates who are grounded in the critical humanities and post-humanities, and equipped to work with colleagues and information in earth sciences and life sciences.

Berg River Project, 2012-present: Participant in the trans-disciplinary project of the African Climate and Development Initiative at UCT, to work with the Bergrivier Municipality in the Western Cape, South Africa, exploring climate change preparedness in the region. Research projects in process.

Merging Science, Humanities and African Intellectual Heritage with Innovative and Sustainable Biodiversity Exploration for Human Health, 2010-present: An interdisciplinary collaboration of organic chemists, anthropologists, botanists and the Paulshoek community in the Leliefontein district of Namaqualand, South Africa. Article being developed in a workshop process.

Fishers’ Knowledge, 2007-2013 (Co-convenor):  Researching dialogues on marine knowledge between coastal communities and scientists in 7 sites along the Benguela current coastline in South Africa: an interdisciplinary collaboration of anthropologists, marine biologists, and historians. Proceedings in preparation for a special issue of a marine studies journal, co-edited with Dr Barbara Paterson.

Contested Ecologies, 2005-2013  (Convenor and PI): Post-colonial dilemmas in rethinking versions of nature in comparative contexts in the global south, including Australia, Latin America, Southern Africa and South Asia.  Proceedings published in the edited collection, Contested Ecologies: Dialogue in the South on Nature and Knowledge (Cape Town: HSRC Press, 2013)

Palikur Historical and Astronomical Knowledge in relation to Archaeology, 2000 – 2013 (PI): A study of Palikur astronomical knowledge and historiography in relation to research on archaeological sites in the state of Amapá, Brazil, with the goal of exploring Amerindian perspectivism and contributing to Palikur educational materials and heritage collections.  Research published in the monograph Knowing the Day, Knowing the World: Engaging Amerindian Thought in Public Archaeology, co-authored with David Green. (Tucson AZ: Arizona University Press, expected out in November 2013)

Major Awards

July 2013-December 2016: Environmental Humanities Initiative in the Faculty of Humanities, University of Cape Town

August 2009-September 2011: John F Sawyer Seminar grant from the Andrew W Mellon Foundation, for a three-year seminar series titled ‘Knowledges, Ways of Knowing, and the Post-Colonial University’ at the University of Cape Town

January 2010-December 2011: Research Associate of the Africa Knowledges Project in the Programme for the Enhancement of Research Capacity (PERC), University of Cape Town

January 2010-December 2013: SeaChange Fund of the National Research Foundation (PI)

January 2007-December 2008: Indigenous Knowledge Systems Research Grant from the National Research Foundation (PI)

May 2006-December 2010: Brazil-South Africa grant from the National Research Foundation of South Africa, for research on Palikur knowledges in Amapá, Brazil (PI)

September 2005 – January 2006: Mandela Fellowship, WEB du Bois Institute, Harvard University

January – May 2005: Rockefeller Humanities Fellowship in Retheorising Cultural Heritage, at the Smithsonian Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage, Washington DC

July 2001 to July 2003: Wenner Gren International Collaborative Research Grant (PI) for research on public archaeology in the area Indígena do Uaçá, Amapá, Brazil. 


Ph.D. in Social Anthropology, University of Cape Town, June 1999.  

B.Soc.Sc. (Honours) (First Class), Department of Social Anthropology, University of Cape Town. June 1990.

Bachelor of Arts,  Faculty of Social Science, University of Cape Town, 1988.



Lesley Green and David Green. 2013. Knowing the day, knowing the world: Engaging Amerindian thought in Public Archaeology.  Tucson: Arizona University Press.

Uwet Manoel Antonio dos Santos, David Green and Lesley Green. 2013. Waramwi: A Cobra Grande. Sao Paulo: IEPE.

Edited Collections

Lesley Green and Barbara Paterson (eds). In preparation. Fishers Knowledge, Science and Compliance.

Lesley Green (ed) 2013. Contested ecologies : Dialogues on Nature and Knowledge in the South.  Cape Town: HSRC Press.

Lesley Green (ed) 2009.  Knowledge Contests, South Africa, 2009. Special issue of Anthropology Southern Africa 32(1&2).

Matt Durington and Lesley Green (eds) 2007. New directions in media anthropology. Special issue of Critical Arts 21(2).

Lesley Green (ed) 2004. Space and the body. Special issue of Anthropology Southern Africa 27(1&2)1-3.

Journal Articles and Book Chapters

Links to most of my recent publications are listed on under Lesley Green

Green, LJF. Forthcoming. Resilience: A Manifesto for a Humanities of the Anthropocene. Resilience 1(1).

Green, LJF. Accepted. Ecology, race and the making of environmental publics in South Africa: A dialogue with Silent Spring, fifty years on. Resilience

Duggan, Greg; Lesley Green; Astrid Jarre. Submitted. ‘Thinking like a fish’: adaptive strategies for coping with vulnerability and variability emerging from a relational engagement with Kob. MAST.

Duggan, Greg; Jennifer Rogerson, Lesley Green, Astrid Jarre. Under Review. Opening dialogue and fostering collaboration: Thinking through fisheries research and management via relationality. South African Journal of Science.

Green, LJF. Forthcoming. Ethical Archaeologies: Researching the Ivegepket sambaqui in Amapa, Brazil. Post Colonialism, Ethics and Archaeology, ed. Cristobal Gnecco and Larry Zimmerman. Springer.

Green, LJF. Accepted. Retheorising indigenous knowledge: Perspectives from the post-humanities. For: volume edited by Brenda Cooper and Robert Morrell, UCT.

Paterson, Barbara; Marieke van Zyl, Astrid Jarre, Lesley Green. Accepted. Where have all the fish gone? Science, Fishers’ knowledge and the question of recovery  in the Namibian Industry. For: volume  edited by Brenda Cooper and Robert Morrell, UCT.

Green, LJF. 2013.  The Day World Hawkri and its Topologies: On Palikur Alternatives to the Idea of Space,in Contested ecologies : Dialogues on Nature and Knowledge in the South.  Editor: Lesley Green. Cape Town: HSRC Press. 

Anderson, Tarryn Anne; Kelsey Draper, Greg Duggan, Lesley Green, Astrid Jarre, Sven Ragaller, Jen Rogerson, Marieke van Zyl. 2013.  Conservation Conversations: Things and their Logics in Fisheries Management of Southern Africa  in Contested ecologies : Dialogues in the South on Nature and Knowledge.  Editor: Lesley Green. Cape Town: HSRC Press.

Sowman, M; D Scott, L Green, M Hara, M Hauck, K Kirsten, B Paterson, S Raemaekers, K Scott, J Sunde, J Turpie. In press.Shallow waters: social science research in the marine environment African Journal of Marine Science.

Green, LJF. 2012.  Beyond South Africa’s ‘indigenous knowledge’ versus ‘science’ wars. South African Journal of Science. 2012;108(7/8), Art. #631, 10pp.

Green, LJF and D R Green. 2010 (2011). The Rain Stars, the Sun’s Path, the Horizon and the World’s River: Astronomical narratives from the Rio Urucauá. Tipiti: The Journal of the Society for the Anthropology of Lowland South America, volume 8(2)article 3, pp.1-67. Available online December 2011. 67pp.

Green, Lesley. 2009. ‘Knowledge contests, South Africa, 2009’. Guest editor’s introduction in special issue of Anthropology Southern Africa 32(1&2)2-7.

Green, LJF and D R Green. 2009. ‘Space, Time and Story Tracks: Contemporary practices of topographic memory in the Palikur territory of Arukwa, Amapá, Brazil’, in Ethnohistory 58(1)

Green, Lesley. 2008. ‘Anthropologies of Knowledge and South Africa’s Indigenous Knowledge Systems Policy.’ Anthropology Southern Africa 31(1)48-57.

Green, Lesley. 2008. ‘Challenging Epistemologies: Exploring knowledge practices in Palikur astronomy.’ Special issue on the future of indigenous knowledge, Futures 40(9)41-52.

Green, Lesley. 2008. ‘Indigenous Knowledge’ and ‘Science’: Reframing the debate on knowledge diversity. Archaeologies: Journal of the World Archaeological Congress vol 4(1)144-163.

Green, Lesley. 2008. ‘ ‘Indigenous Knowledge’ and the Sciences: Towards a research agenda.’ InSouth African Keywords II, edited by Nick Shepherd and Steven Robins. Cape Town: Jacana. p.132-142.

Green, Lesley. 2007. ‘Cultural Heritage, Archives & Citizenship:  Reflections on using Virtual Reality for presenting different knowledge traditions in the public sphere’, Critical Arts, 21(2)101-122.

Durington, Matt and Lesley Green. 2007. ‘Journeys, experiments, innovations: New directions in media anthropology’. Critical Arts, 21(2)i-ix.

Green, Lesley. 2007. ‘South Africa’s Indigenous Knowledge Policy of 2004: Challenges for the Postcolonial University’. Social Dynamics, 33(1)130-154.

Green, Lesley. 2005.Ba pi ai?” – Rethinking the relationship between secularism and professionalism in anthropological fieldwork, Anthropology Southern Africa, 2005, 28(3&4)91-98.

Green, Lesley. 2004.  ‘Space and the body: Rethinking the division between biological and sociocultural anthropology’ –Introduction to Special Issue of Anthropology Southern Africa.   Anthropology Southern Africa  27 (1&2)1-3.

Green, Lesley and David R Green. 2003. ‘From chronological to spatio-temporal histories: Mapping heritage in Arukwa, Área Indígena do Uaçá , Brazil’ in History and Anthropology 14(3)283-295.

Fordred-Green, Lesley; David R Green and Eduardo Góes Neves. 2003. ‘Indigenous knowledge and archeological science: The challenges of public archeology in the Reserva Uaçá’  Journal of Social Archeology 3(2)366-397.

Fordred-Green, Lesley. 2003.  ‘Raconteur, Jester, Listener, Survivor: Khaba Mkhize and the journalism of conflict in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa.’  Published in Trickster's Way (1)2003, University of Texas.

Fordred-Green, Lesley. 2000. ‘Knots in the tokoloshe tale’ Current Anthropology, December 2000.

Fordred, Lesley. 1997. ‘Natal cockroaches fly: Khaba Mkhize and communitarian journalism in KwaZulu/Natal, South Africa’ in Late Editions 4: Perilous States ed. George Marcus. Chicago University Press.


Courses taught in recent years (prior to the years allocated to research, 2010-2012):

AXL5408f/SAN 5024: Tradition, Science, Environment:  In seven years of its teaching, the course has been completely redesigned each year. It focuses on the intersection of decolonial theory, the post-humanities, science studies, and ecocriticism. By 2013, a total of 56 students have taken the course, of whom 25 have developed dissertations based on it.

AXL4401/SAN 4000: Ethnographic Research Methods: I taught this course in 2002-2004; 2006-2009, and 2012.

AXL1400: Introduction to the Anthropology of Development and Difference, in which I introduce environmental anthropology, decolonial thinking and the post-humanities

SAN2024: Anthropology of Belief and Symbolism

Faculty of Science teaching: UCT Masters in Conservation Biology: Society and Natural Resources Module. Taught one seminar in this module in 2012, titled Conservation and different ways of doing 'nature' -- Discussions from South Africa, Latin America and Australia.

Fact 2
Did you know!
Based on the understanding that human beings are both similar and different, the field of anthropology seeks to understand these overlaps and fissures, as well as the opportunities and constraints for people in their lives.
"The purpose of anthropology is to make the world safe for human differences."
Ruth Benedict
Web Design Cape Town