Dr. Darren J. Ranco

Darren Ranco photo

Associate Professor of Anthropology
and Coordinator of Native American Research

Ph.D., Harvard University, 2000

MSEL, Studies in Environmental Law, Vermont Law School, 1998

B.A., Anthropology and Classical Studies, Dartmouth College, 1993

Darren Ranco CV 2020

Professional Interests:

I have a joint appointment in the George J. Mitchell Center for Environmental and Watershed Research and in Native American Programs, where I serve as Coordinator of Native American Research. My research focuses on the ways in which indigenous communities in the United States resist environmental destruction by using indigenous diplomacies and critiques of liberalism to protect cultural resources, and how state knowledge systems, rooted in colonial contexts, continue to expose indigenous peoples to an inordinate amount of environmental risk. I teach classes on indigenous intellectual property rights, research ethics, environmental justice and tribal governance. A member of the Penobscot Indian Nation, I am particularly interested in how better research relationships can be made between universities, Native and non-Native researchers, and indigenous communities.

Representative Publications:

(with Dean Suagee) “Tribal Sovereignty and the Problem of Difference in Environmental Regulation: Observations on ‘Measured Separatism’ in Indian Country.” 2007. Antipode 39 (4): 691-707.

“The Indian Ecologist and the Politics of Representation: Critiquing the Ecological Indian in the Age of Ecocide.”2007. In Perspectives on the Ecological Indian: Native Americans and the Environment, Michael Harkin and David Rich Lewis, eds. Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, pp. 32-51.

“Toward a Native Anthropology: Hermeneutics, Hunting Stories, and Theorizing From Within.” 2006, Wicazo Sa Review 21(2): 61-78.

(with Anna Fleder) “Tribal Environmental Sovereignty: Cultural Appropriate Protection or Paternalism?” 2005. Journal of Natural Resources and Environmental Law 19 (1): 35-58.

“Ethics and Regulation in American Indian Environments: Embracing Autonomy and the Environmental Citizen.” 2005. In War and Border Crossings: Ethics When Cultures Clash, Peter French and Jason Short, eds. New York: Rowman and Littlefield, pp. 239-253.

” Review of Real Indians: Portraits of Contemporary Native Americans and America’s Tribal Colleges,” in Winds of Change, volume 18, number 4 (Fall 2003), pp. 88-89.

“Northeastern Native Americans.” 2001. In The Native North American Almanac, Duane Champagne, ed. Farmington Hills, MI: Gale Publishers, pp. 267-276.

“Environmental Risk, Fish Consumption, and American Indians: Exploring the Logic of Genocide.” In Bad Subjects, volume 55 (May 2001), pp. 9-12.


Tel: 207.581.1801

Fax: 207.581.1823

Email: darren.ranco@umit.maine.edu

Department of Anthropology
University of Maine
5773 S. Stevens Hall
Orono, ME 04469-5773

Additional Links

Gerorge Mitchell Center
Native American Programs
EPA Mercury Grant

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