This panel explores the materialities, socialities, and meanings of the underground through ethnographies of what lies beneath the surface: from actual or symbolic roots, tunnels, and networks via subterranean resources, excavation and fracking, to subterrestrial dreamings, monsters, and hell.
Broadly defining the underground as all that lies beneath the surface, we invite papers exploring the values of the down below. We call for ethnographic explorations that de-centre the surface and investigate what is underneath: subterranean ecosystems, aquifers, stone and earth, minerals, gases, metals, caves, tunnels, root systems, and underground dwellers from fauna and flora to the mythical, the monstrous, and the decomposing. Analytically, we encourage contributors to explore the values attributed to the underground in their respective fieldsites. We hope that in tandem, the contributions to this panel will further efforts towards comparative underground anthropologies.