Click the star to add/remove an item to/from your individual schedule.
You need to be logged in to avail of this functionality, and to see the links to virtual rooms.

Accepted Paper:

Commoning the Transnational: agrarian hope and cooperativist futures between Salvadorans and their lands, from Central America to Arkansas to Northern California  
Miranda Hallett (University of Dayton)

Paper short abstract:

This paper examines the ways Salvadorans, both in the diaspora and in El Salvador, draw on ideals and practices of commoning and cooperativism as they navigate the landscape of late capitalism.

Paper long abstract:

In the Americas, the neoliberalization of the world system has manifested as a condition of rupture, displacement, and precarity for many Salvadorans, as for most other descendants of indigenous Americans. Despite their perpetual experiences of risk and rupture, nonetheless, a number of Salvadoran communities organize collectively and engage in improvisational (agri)cultural practices based on ideals and knowledge rooted in collectivism and the commons.

To explore these dynamics, the paper draws on materials from the author’s longstanding (20+ years) yet intermittent (often conducted over short term trips) fieldwork with diverse Salvadoran communities engaged in agrarian collective projects both formal and informal. From the development of a permaculture cooperative on lands abandoned by a plantation owner south of San Salvador, to backyard gardens and seed-exchange networks among Salvadoran immigrants in Sacramento, California, the ethnographic data show the centrality of transformative agrarian practices to Salvadorans’ praxis and to their critical navigation of the hyper-commodified landscapes of late capitalism.

Salvadorans often engage in this work mindful of its ecological and political dimensions and their interrelatedness, using material practices to unsettle forces of privatization as well as utilitarian relationships to plants. They also specifically work on cooperation and the commons as a way to move towards a more livable future for humans and our non-human interlocutors. In sum, drawing on the philosophical and political logics of informants themselves, the paper argues that Salvadorans engage in building the commons not only for the sake of basic survival, but as a practice of hope and social transformation.

Panel P019b
The everyday politics of the commons and social movements II
  Session 1 Friday 29 July, 2022, -