Oral Presentation Session
Reviewed by: Anthropology and Environment Society
Of interest to: Practicing and Applied Anthropologists, Teachers of Anthropology in Community Colleges, Students, Those Involved in Mentoring Activities
Primary Theme: Anthropocene
Secondary Theme: Materiality
What happens when people care for objects that resist jurisdiction and intention? This panel explores the effects of care on slippery objects and processes, things that cannot be easily bounded or governed.
Anthropologists writing about affect and climate change have recently begun theorizing what it means to care for large environmental and industrial processes whose material effects may be far removed from the person who cares (Howe 2017; Callison 2016; Van Dooren 2014). In this construction, the process of "care" is not necessarily positive, and it might also be boundary-making - deciding the shape of a glacier, the nature/culture divide, or one’s standing before the law. How is such care expressed, and what effects does it have on its object?
This panel interrogates processes care and jurisdiction as they intersect with natural-cultural phenomena. We invite papers that explore how these processes unfold through forms of stewardship and authority that are expressed from different locations and subject-positions. How do distributed processes become objects of jurisdictional authority? How does felt proximity to environmental change reconfigure social relations and aspirations, and produce newly-articulated objects of care? In this panel, we examine the objects of such care: water, air, landscape, and toxins. What happens when materials like these resist or exceed the jurisdictions that exist to regulate them (cf. Choy & Zee, 2016; Cooper, 2018; Povinelli, 2016; Simpson, 2014)? What are the effects of this excess?
Callison, Candis. 2014. How Climate Change Comes to Matter: The Communal Life of Facts. Durham and London: Duke University Press.
Choy, Timothy, and Jerry Zee. 2015. "Condition-Suspension." Cultural Anthropology 30 (2):210-223.
Cooper, Jessica. "Unruly Affects: Attempts at Control and All That Escapes from an American Mental Health Court." Cultural Anthropology 33, no. 1 (2018): 85–108.
Howe, Cymene. "Timely." Theorizing the Contemporary, Cultural Anthropology website, January 21, 2016. https://culanth.org/fieldsights/800-timely
Simpson, Audra. 2014. Mohawk interruptus: Political life across the borders of settler states. Durham and London: Duke University Press.
Povinelli, Elizabeth. 2016. Geontologies: A Requiem to Late Liberalism. Durham: Duke University Press.
Van Dooren. 2014. Flight Ways: Life and Loss at the Edge of Extinction. New York: Columbia University Press.