Princeton University Professor Says Nature Conservation Is More Complex Than We Thought [VIDEO]By Khaleb Skye A. Cruz
Jacob Dlamini, an assistant history professor at Princeton University, lets his students argue about the justification of using violence against poachers. In his class "White Hunters, Black Poachers: Africa and the Science of Conservation", Dlamini aims to help the youth understand the cultural and political assumptions behind nature conservation.
According to Princeton University, the renowned professor wants his students to walk away with a better understanding of Africa and the history of nature conservation. Eventually, he foresees the need to rethink conventional approaches when it comes to environmental protection projects. For the record, the class, which debuted this semester, realized with the help of Princeton's Program in African Studies.
Dlamini explains that what the world needs is "a much more nuanced appreciation" of nature conservation and environmental history. Currently, conservation efforts are often simplified as a way of protecting animals from people. However, the truth is that Earth preservation is more complex than that.
The expert noted that Africa shows the true meaning of conservation. It exudes very close coexistence between nature and human culture, a connection found in only a few places worldwide. Africa, per Dlamini, has been central to the evolution of conservation since the 18th century. He added that authorities tell locals to stay away from elephants to save the animal, but that is just not the history of the Africans.
Dlamini graduated from the Southern African Wildlife College and earned his Ph.D. at Yale University in 2012. He joined Princeton about two years ago. One of the professor's main points in the class is that people cannot hope to protect nature by citing Africans as the problem.
On the other hand, The Voice reported that Princeton recently honored two black scholars namely Sir Arthur Lewis and Toni Morrison. The latter will have the West College named after her while Sir Lewis will have his named engraved in the main auditorium of the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs. Both icons were Nobel laureates.
Morrison was also a Pulitzer Prize winner in 1988 for her novel "Beloved". Sir Lewis, meanwhile, was the first person of African descent to become a professor in Great Britain's university system. He taught at Princeton from 1963 to 1983.