Accepted Paper:

The habits of water: how trees became natural and crocodiles became harmless  
Gaetano Mangiameli (Università degli Studi di Milano)

Paper long abstract:

An understanding of human becomings calls for an ethnography of non-human becomings, as humans and non humans are both involved in the ecological mind's activity through which skills and knowledge are developed. In order to bypass some contradictions stemming from an essentialist interpretation of sacred groves among the Kasena people of northern Ghana, this paper will address how something is selected as sacred and then protected. Assuming Bruno Latour's critique of political ecology and Philippe Descola's notion of analogism, I will show how the selection of pertinent units results from social and organic processes characterized by different temporal scales. What emerges is a single spiral of life where humans and non-humans co-evolve and use their points of view to read and mould together the environment they constitute. This spiral can explain how the ongoing process through which "natural" sacred ponds take shape is related to human becomings.

Panel IW007
Beyond the biological and the social: anthropology as the study of human becomings