Anthropology and Environment Society
Oral Presentation Session
Abstract: Environmental Knowledge and Wellbeing
Our quest for well-being (broadly intended) is often articulated through categories, imaginaries, and critiques of environmental knowledge and environmental justice.
For example, the organic movement articulates food safety on the basis of farming practices that privilege plants and soil health. As a response, critiques pivot on the limits of human-centered visions of wellbeing that further divert attention from the possibility of an embodied relation with plants and produce. Similarly, the discourse on ecosystem services diagnoses degradation in terms of the loss of benefits, and it has been criticized as unidirectional and built on economic (im)morality. Environmental health is often assessed through species-specific indicators that challenge its supra-species denotation. Yet human and animal interconnectedness has been revealed in a multiplicity of circumstances and forms, from the cross-species transmission of deadly viruses to lyrical accounts of interspecies care.
As anthropologists, we are well-equipped to give voice to the experience of those who suffer, those who thrive, and most importantly those who correlate their wellbeing to their “emplacement” and their affective relation to the environment and its many inhabitants.
This second panel, focused specifically under the theme CARING, seeks ethnographic-based pieces (from short drafts to full papers) that address at least one of the following questions:
What does it mean to theorize the goodlife in ways that remain committed to a future built on environmental justice, and how can we reconcile situated perspectives to relational wellbeing?
How is caring for ourselves and caring for others one and the same thing, how does these forms of caring are understood as a form of knowledge?