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Lucas Bessire
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Lucas Bessire

University of Oklahoma

Fellowship year

2024 - University of Oklahoma - Study 48

Lucas Bessire will spend his time at CASBS on a writing project that explores the emotional, political and economic responses to new environmental instabilities across the High Plains. Blending ethnography with history, memoir and analysis, the project is an attempt to understand how people reckon with the ecological paradoxes of agrarian profit and come to perceive the futures emerging through such reckonings. In reference to particular issues affecting Plains communities, the project aims to contribute to wider efforts to revise the major paradigms that rationalize damage, divide us from one another and impede timely solutions to the most urgent problems of our times.   

Bessire is a professor of anthropology at the University of Oklahoma. A writer and filmmaker, his work focuses on issues of natural resource depletion, inequality, affect and genre across the Americas. In addition to various scholarly articles and literary essays, he is the author of the prize-winning books Behold the Black Caiman: a Chronicle of Ayoreo Life (University of Chicago Press, 2014), and Running Out: In Search of Water on the High Plains (Princeton University Press, 2021), named a finalist for the 2021 National Book Award. 

For more information, please see his website: