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Seminal matters of planetary uncertainty: The transformational ecologies of material infrastructures and agricultural practices [SIEF panel] 
Roger Norum (University of Oulu)
Dmitry Arzyutov (The Ohio State University)
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6 College Park (6CP), 01/035
Wednesday 27 July, -
Time zone: Europe/London

Short Abstract:

This transdisciplinary panel considers the "social lives" of seeds, plants, animal bodies, and other elemental matter of the agricultural process, and their role in global food security, biodiversity conservation, and climate change mitigation in the Anthropocene.

Long Abstract:

Given the looming uncertainties of agricultural and climatic crises, critical and creative thinking about the futures of the Earth's land is essential. The relations and mobilities of elemental granular matter integral to agricultural processes such as seeds, soils, animal bodies, and other organic substances have begun to receive due attention from anthropologists. This panel addresses the roles played by such matter's material and imagined "social lives", exploring the meanings, within ecological systems, of how these entities are used, circulated, exchanged and mobilized across various social and cultural settings. Drawing on varied data, concepts, methods, and contexts, papers here will discuss the everyday social and cultural dynamics of matter, and their material infrastructures and ecological interventions, which together provide fodder for global food security, biodiversity conservation, climate change mitigation, and futuremaking in the Anthropocene. For example, papers might consider the processes and practices behind global seed vaults, plant genomics laboratories, meat factories, organic farms, or even space station biospheres; or they might look at how the material elements of environmental change (i.e., permafrost melting, soil degrading, water rising) alter relationalities of species and built/non-built environments in designing human and more-than-human futures. In line with 'transformative' thinking on Wicked problems, we encourage authors to consider transdisciplinary modes of anthropological engagement (e.g. incorporation of other disciplines' concepts/methods; knowledge and practices of local/Indigenous communities; interventions with artistic or activist forms). The panel champions emerging work on beyond-human ecologies, infrastructure studies, environmental archives, biosemiotics, and planetary futures.

Accepted papers:

Session 1 Wednesday 27 July, 2022, -