CAFI Central African Forests Initiative
Rebecca, along with a team of faculty at the SNRE, is co-PI on a multi-year project studying environmental governance and forest cover at the concession level in the western Congo basin region of equatorial Africa. Funded by the NSF Coupled Natural and Human Systems Initiative, the project has Ethnographic, Ecological, Remote Sensing, Modeling, and Policy Analysis components. The project website will be published in June, and will be linked to the related initiative at University of Michigan, the International Forest Research Initiative.
Rebecca is also involved with the Fondation Paul Ango Ela directed by Kalliopi Ango Ela, which welcomes researchers studying the political complexity of central Africa, in a spirit of collegiality, rigor, and constructive debate. The foundation has a partnership with Sciences-Po Paris and has extended collaboration to the University of Michigan, hoping to assist students in getting acclamated in the field in Cameroon.
For more information about the project, see the following documents:
CAFI Overview (English) (French)
For more information about our project partners and study sites, see links below:
Foundation Paul Ango Ela:
L'Association Technique Internationale des Bois Tropicaux:

Corporate Lives: New Perspectives on the Corporate Social Form
With her University of Michigan colleagues Damani Partridge and Marina Welker, Rebecca organized a panel in early 2006 at the American Ethnological Society meetings in San Diego. There, they sought to describe and theorize new social forms of the corporation as it is taking new shapes, influencing individual subject formation, collective identities, and broader governance issues. Rebecca’s collaborator Susan Cook, from University of Pretoria, also attended to present her work on relations among elites in South Africa, as they appropriate and reinvent corporate mechanisms and forms under new Black Economic Empowerment legislation there. Following on that panel, along with Partridge and Welker (now of Cornell), she successfully proposed an international symposium to both of the key foundations for cultural anthropological research in the U.S.: Wenner Gren and the School of Advanced Research, in Santa Fe. With the support of senior scholar Jane Guyer, who had joined us in Sand Diego, we thereby catalyzed a new model for collaboration among these two foundations, toward meetings in August 2008 and a subsequent book or special journal issue that they will coordinate on Corporate Lives: New Perspectives on the Corporate Social Form.
Foundations supporting the Project:

Collaborators in Coordinating the Project:

Graham Institute Water and Health Collaborative
Hardin is part of an interdisciplinary team of scholars at the University of Michigan who are collaborating across African and Latin American field cases to consider a systems approach to the links between water resources and health challenges.

For information about their recent conference, click this url:

For a look at their draft white paper, currently under revision for submission to journals,
click here

Documentary Film Production
Through this process Rebecca has been introduced to key elements of the filmmaking process, including writing of treatments and scripts, editing, fundraising, restoring and digitizing archival footage, production, and the social and intellectual challenges in representing politically volatile material. The footage of Coolidge’s expeditions reflect the deep inequalities of the colonial era. Yet it has also offers intimate insight into the early field expeditions of Clarence Carpenter and Sherwood Washburn, figures who pioneered the use of film and field studies to develop behavioral approaches, rather than only taxonomic and evolutionary studies of non human primates. The relationships between the technology of film, as it fostered recognition and respect for the complexity of animal interactions, has yet to be fully explored. Rebecca hopes it can be studied further through an educational release of the film about these researchers. Further, these men were part of expeditionary science that laid the groundwork for contemporary wildlife conservation and management; they thus embody practices suffused with the racism and biases inherent in much of the science of the early 1900s, and perpetuate elements of them. Yet some of them also take strong stands after World War I, advocating for the commonality of all humans, and questioning the biological basis of race. In an era of ascendant genomic interventions regarding human diversity, along with mounting conflicts about access to natural resources, it is worth re-examining this critical era when modern institutions of scientific and conservation based work were constructed.
For more information about those who have been involved in or offered research support to the project to date, see below.
University of Michigan Screen Arts and Cultures Department
Donald Hall Collection: Official Website, Philip Hallman (Chief Librarian and Director of the DHC)
Interlock Media
Gregg Mitman
Donna Haraway: UC Santa Cruz Faculty Info, Bio

Sangha River Network
The Sangha River Network (SRN) is an interdisciplinary network of scientists and conservation professionals interested in the Sangha River region of central Africa. The Sangha River tropical forest is located in the transborder area between Cameroon, Central African Republic and Congo (Brazzaville).
Dzanga-Sangha Dense Forest Special Reserve
Nouabalé-Ndoki National Park of Congo Brazzaville
Central African Regional Program for the Environment
Melissa Remis
Michael Fay
Richard Carroll

Stephanie Karin Rupp
Rebecca Hardin
Associate Professor
School of Natural Resources and Environment
University of Michigan
Samuel Trask Dana Building
440 Church Street
Ann Arbor, MI 48109
Contact Info:
Phone: 734 647 5947
School of Natural Resources & Environment Dept of Anthropology