Alison Richard | Hidden in Plain Sight: Madagascar and the Indian Ocean World

Hidden in Plain Sight: Madagascar and the Indian Ocean World

A lecture by Professor Alison Richard (Franklin Muzzy Professor of Anthropology Emerita)

Tuesday, September 26, 2017 4:00 PM

Department of Anthropology, 10 Sachem Street, Room 105

Madagascar is one of the biggest islands in the world, yet it is among the last to be settled by people. Madagascar lies close to the East African coast, yet the Malagasy language is overwhelmingly derived from an Indonesian language and the genetic ancestry of the Malagasy is strongly rooted in Indonesia. How are these enigmas to be explained? Madagascar’s place in the geography and history of the Indian Ocean World offers answers, and archaeology, linguistics, genetics, oceanography, paleoecology and historical records the means to find them.

Alison Richard is the Franklin Muzzy Crosby Professor of Anthropology emerita. The focus of her research has been the evolution of social complexity in nonhuman primates, the lemurs of Madagascar in particular. With a longstanding involvement in community-based conservation efforts in Madagascar, her interests in recent years have broadened to include exploration of the island’s environmental history and the role people may have played in changes after they settled the island during the last few thousand years. Professor Richard served as Chair of Anthropology, Director of the Peabody Museum, and Provost at Yale University, and then as Vice-Chancellor of Cambridge University between 2003 and 2010.

A light reception will follow the lecture and discussion at 5:30 PM.

Co-hosted by the Yale Inter-Asia Connections Program and the Department of Anthropology, in coordination with the Yale Environmental Humanities Initiative.