Sociocultural Anthropology (environmental anthropology; ethnography; agriculture, land change and deforestation; Latin America; Brazilian Amazon)
Ph.D., Anthropology, University of Florida
M.A., Latin American Studies, University of Texas at Austin
I am a cultural anthropologist interested in human-environment interactions in the Brazilian Amazon. My research seeks to understand Amazonian livelihoods and land uses in relation to political and economic drivers, but also to expand the view through attention to cultural factors, such as ideals of work, nature, and masculinity, as well as food and landscape preferences. The goal is to understand why destructive environmental practices, particularly cattle raising, make sense from the perspective of different actors. My book, Rainforest Cowboys: The Rise of Ranching and Cattle Culture in Western Amazonia, won the 2016 Book Prize from the Brazil Section the Latin American Studies Association. The Portuguese translation of the book is available for free download here.
During the 2021-2022 academic year, I was on sabbatical at Latin American Centre and the School of Environment and Geography at University of Oxford. Along with Brazilian colleague Valerio Gomes, I lead the inaugural Fulbright Amazonia Initiative (2022-2024).
The anthropology of environmental degradation in the Brazilian Amazon
The function and aesthetics of everyday forms of nature control and domination
Cross-cultural comparison of cattle economies, cattle cultures, and beef consumption
Integrating culture into land use-land change frameworks, theory, and modeling
Local Research Project on Plants and People: The IV Ethnobotany Project
Hoelle, J. A Chegada da Cultura Caubói no Acre, Brasil. 2020. Caderno de Geografia 30(3), pp. 461-483. DOI: 10.5752/P.2318-2962.2020v30nesp3p461
"Why the Amazon is Burning" Op-ed, Los Angeles Times, Aug 27, 2019
Quantifying cultural values associated with deforestation in the Brazilian Amazon. (2018) Journal of Land Use Science.
From contested to ‘green’ frontiers in the Amazon? A long-term analysis of São Félix do Xingu, Brazil. Marianne Schmink, Jeffrey Hoelle, Carlos Valério A. Gomes & Gregory M. Thaler (2017) Journal of Peasant Studies.
Jungle Beef: consumption, production and destruction, and the development process in the Brazilian Amazon. (2017) Journal of Political Ecology 24: 743-762.
Gold glimmers in the Amazon. with Michael Klingler and Peter Richards. December 13, 2016 Sapiens.
Rainforest Cowboys: The Rise of Ranching and Cattle Culture in Western Amazonia. (2015) University of Texas Press.
Fall: Not teaching
Winter 2023: ANTH 2: Introductory Cultural Anthropology; ANTH 205: Anthropological Ethics (graduate course)
Spring 2023: ANTH 152/ ES 151: Environmental Anthropology; ANTH 174: Amazonia
Other courses I teach: ANTH 115: Language, Culture, and Place; ANTH 240A: Anthropology Research Methods (Graduate course); ANTH 252: Political Ecology.