Resource temporalities: anticipations, retentions and afterlives 
Gisa Weszkalnys (London School of Economics)
Kärg Kama (University of Birmingham)
Examination Schools South School
Start time:
19 September, 2018 at 9:00 (UTC+0)
Session slots:

Short Abstract:

This panel asks new questions about the multiple temporalities of resource-making raised by current research in anthropology and cognate disciplines. Papers will explore the variety of imaginative practices involved, drawing on a range of methods and analytical approaches.

Long Abstract

Recent studies of natural resources have highlighted their processual, indeterminate and often speculative nature as the outcome of a variety of imaginative practices (e.g. cultural, techno-scientific, governmental, entrepreneurial, financial). Inherent to these practices are important temporal aspects which have remained remarkably underexplored in anthropology and cognate disciplines. This panel takes the existing cross-disciplinary literature on resources as a springboard for asking new questions about the multiple temporalities generated by processes of resource-making. These range from anticipations of resource matters to their diverse retentions and affective presences, to other non-linear temporal and material states once processed or unmade as a resource. Current examples of resource-making projects highlight their incremental and performative nature, including the "mortgaging" of hydrocarbon futures by emerging producer states; the constitution of "reclaimed" landscapes in the context of mine decommissioning and closure; the circulation of overinflated resource estimates in the quest for "unconventional" fossil fuels and novel extractive spaces (e.g., ocean seabeds); as well as the specific modes of financialisation with their localised ramifications at global resource frontiers. Important questions are also raised by the parallel life of extractive waste products and by development projects that have been blocked or indefinitely postponed due to various techno-scientific, political and economic factors. We invite papers that explore the diverse engagements with time that underpin these and other resource-making endeavours, drawing on a range of methods and trans-disciplinary analytical approaches.

Accepted papers: