P073
Indelible footprints and unstable futures: anthropology and resource politics

Convenors:
Dinah Rajak (University of Sussex)
Andrea Muehlebach (University of Toronto)
Format:
Panels
Location:
U7-15
Start time:
21 July, 2016 at 9:00
Session slots:
2

Short abstract:

This panel explores the politics around resource extraction and use. This panel brings together ethnographic contributions that examine the ways in which resources (from water, land and logging to minerals, oil and gas) are being politicized, ethicized, contested, reclaimed and revalued.

Long abstract:

This panel explores the politics around resource extraction and use to ask how "natural resources" themselves (their meaning, value, and future) have become indeterminate today. On the one hand, global capitalism continues to invest in turning "nature" into "resources" through often violent techniques of extractivism (the dispossession of land and water) and human disturbance (the destruction of livelihoods and lifeworlds) or different modalities of alienation, valuation, and commodification. At the same time, resources and resource extraction are being politicized, ethicized, contested, reclaimed and revalued in novel ways. Over the past decade ethnographic research from diverse geographies across the world have challenged dominant paradigms of 'growth', refocusing analysis on the social costs of extraction that are disproportionately shouldered by those living in the vicinity of operations but which are not amenable to the macro-economic measurements of resource economists; highlighting the alternative ecologies that are marginalised through conventional models of resource economics. In short, we are interested in how diverse frontiers of resource extraction (from water use to mining, from oil to fracking) offer insight into the status of "the resource" itself, and thus into how our human and non-human futures will be radically shaped by them.