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A session of the ASA's Anthropology of Time Network, this panel aims to bring 'endings' to the forefront of temporal studies, asking how the analytic assists understandings of contemporary intersecting crises from the perspective of emergence, emptiness, indeterminacy and potential.
End of the world scenarios, apocalyptic speculation, species extinction, the predicted demise of the capitalist system, everyday teleologies. Over the last decade anthropologists have considered a multiplicity of 'endings' often from the perspective of finality and destruction juxtaposed with a politics of preservation. Yet emerging scholarship critiques fatalistic preoccupations with endings, asking what is beyond the deterministic horizon. Emergent ecologies destroy existing orders yet make way for creative symbiotic assemblages and interspecies connectivity (Kirksey 2015). Emptiness as analytic holds both destruction and creation in transitional tension, a world in suspension between old orders and the not-yet beginnings of the new (Dzenovska & Knight 2020). Endings signal potentiality and possibility alongside extinction. A session of the ASA's Anthropology of Time Network, this panel brings endings to the forefront of temporal studies, asking how the analytic assists understandings of contemporary intersecting crises. Scaling global or planetary to personal or individual ends, we welcome papers from all anthropologically-informed perspectives (incl. speculative fiction, philosophy and social theory, global health) to explore the spatiotemporal coordinates of endings. We invite authors to reflect on the following: To what extent are endings final? What is the relationship between endings and creative emergence? Can we talk about endings alongside durational crisis? How can we learn from speculative imaginaries of the end? How does a rethinking of endings impact political projects of conservation and preservation? What is the relationship between endings and beyond-planetary futures? In doing so, we hope to critique determinate the indeterminate readings of 'the end'
Stasja Koot (Wageningen University)
Nicolas Langlitz (The New School for Social Research)