This panel seeks to explore the relationship between land/the lived experience of land and cosmopolitical agency. We invite ethnographically based contributions that foster productive comparative dialogues on land as a cosmopolitic axis of sociality.
Given the importance of land in many of our ethnographic contexts, and given that land custodianship often involves both physical engagement with the land as well as relations concerning spiritual, ancestral entities, this panel seeks to explore the relationship between land/the lived experience of land and cosmopolitical agency. Unlike the politics defined and circumscribed by the nation state, cosmopolitics is open to political agency that is not a priori restricted to human actors. What relations come into play involving people with a multiplicity of beings including other-than-human agents? How do the living engage with powerful ancestral/spiritual forces connected to land? How are people shaped by their physical/political engagement with the material/agentive environment? How do local cosmopolitics engage with state politics of land tenure and usage? We invite ethnographic reflections on the kinds of politics involved in dealing with other-than-human agents and their roles in shaping the lived world. This could include problematizing the coexistence, in the real lived world, of different scales of politics that construct in various ways the material milieu of belonging, habitation and contentious or negotiated appropriation of the environment. Through the themes of land, materiality and cosmopolitics, this panel invites ethnographically based contributions with the explicit aim of fostering productive comparative dialogues on land as a cosmopolitic axis of sociality.