National Association of Student Anthropologists
Anthropology of Consciousness
Cosponsored - Oral Presentation Session
Abstract: The turn of the 21st century has been marked by the growing power of neoliberal states, the economic and political oppression they perpetrate, and the ever more dire effects of climate change. New configurations of scale generated by the flows of global capitalism have given rise to novel types of attachments between people and land, and among communities of humans and non-humans. These relationships are negotiated in the midst of forms of global hegemonic violence such as historical erasure, resource extraction, displacement, and exploitation. Panelists populate their sites with more-than-human assemblages in conflict with these structural forces, following governments, coalitions, and biota as they reckon with the Anthropocene.
How do the protagonists of these contested landscapes respond as the present and imagined futures of their homes come under attack? This panel explores local resistance to systemic violences involving multispecies communities. As tensions rise between projects with implications beyond the landscape and projects of place-making at the scale of experience, self-fashioned futures face increasing precarity. Donna Haraway (2015) has described the challenge of our time as “to make the Anthropocene as short/thin as possible and to cultivate with each other in every way imaginable epochs to come that can replenish refuge.” Replenishing refuge means finding new ways to live with others. The landscapes engaged with in this panel have become contested in sometimes violent encounters, leading to the destruction or reconfiguration of refuge.
We are forced to ask: what would it take to imagine possible de-colonizing, sustainable futures? This panel explores various possibilities in these violent landscapes and the futures that critical actors (e.g., subaltern indigenous women, native Hawaiians, German anarchist activists) are forging. We situate global destruction in a forest in Germany, a remote village in Guatemala, Hawaii’s Mauna Kea, a neighborhood in Portland, the depths of the ocean, and even cyberspace. Rather than erasing the destructive past and ongoing effects of gendered and racialized settler-colonialism, land displacement, and economic dispossession, the cases we present imagine futures within those landscapes, confronting the violences enacted and engaging with their implications. Amidst the environmental destruction and calamity enacted by global hegemonies against humans and non-humans alike, we examine the precarity of our current moment in the Anthropocene through the lenses of race, gender, life, and time, and consider what might be required to build a future.