Advanced Readings in Environment and Society
Tuesday, 1:30 - 4:30 PM
As capitalist relations remake the earth through projects of intensified mineral extraction, carbon-based energy consumption and the production of 'waste', in this course we will examine the diverse histories and practices through which nature-society relations have been studied in anthropology and related disciplines. The course will follow a genealogical approach to understand some contemporary theoretical developments in environmental anthropology, including multispecies ethnography, the anthropology of infrastructure, and ontological anthropology. In what ways do these modes of doing anthropology recapitulate or address some of the earlier debates on race, indigeneity, materiality and alterity? How might recent work in the field generate new ways to remake the world and our understanding of it? The class will combine key theoretical texts in cultural ecology, political ecology and science and technology studies together with ethnographies of natureculture to investigate how earth water, earth, air and fire are being remade in the current moment. It borrows from and builds on the "Reading List for a Progressive Environmental Anthropology" by Guarasci, Moore and Vaughn (2018) to rethink and reconstitute what counts as the canon of the field by attending to the contributions of women, people of color, scholars working outside of the United States, and indigenous authors. By examining the entanglements of nature, culture and political economy in the contemporary moment, the course will enable students to situate and construct their dissertation research projects with what is a prolific and compelling literature to imagine and understand our climate changed world.