A case study from the South Rupununi, Guyana
This is my PhD thesis, originally completed in 2002 and freely available online since that time (back then, this was something of a novelty). With Edges, Fringes, Frontiers finally on its way, and interest in the work growing in the Rupununi region where the research took place I thought it was worth making it more readily available in print format. I took the opportunity to clean up a few typos and received a nice foreword from Adrian Gomes, founder of the Wapishana literacy group and now completing a PhD in linguistics, making him the first Wapishana person ever to receive a higher degree, and released it on the Lulu self-publishing platform, with all revenues to be returned to my host village in Guyana.
Most people finish their PhD disillusioned, and I was no exception. However, looking back at it fifteen years later I was impressed at what a wide-ranging, thorough, well-organised and original piece of work it is. I’ve long since mislaid the examiners’ report (which was on paper at the time), but I think it described it as ‘a landmark study in the new field of ethnoecology, sure to be widely cited in the years to come’, or something like that (and it has steadily clocked up several citations a year on Google Scholar, up until the present day, which is the least it deserves).