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Precarious Places: Shifting Ground in the Anthropocene

Susannah Crockford (Ghent University)
Joshua Mullenite (Wagner College)
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Short abstract:

How are the ecological impacts of human activity exacerbating social inequities? Critically re-evaluating the concept of the Anthropocene, this panel centres on the theme of place-making given the destabilisation of environments due to the impacts of human activity.

Long abstract:

How are the ecological impacts of human activity exacerbating social inequities? The concept of the Anthropocene speaks to the destabilising of the Earth's geological, climatological, and ecological systems by human activities. One consequence of this destabilisation is the increasing precarity of the spaces and places within which these activities occur and of the people who take part in them. This panel calls for papers that speak to this feedback loop, particularly the difficulties of making place in a time when the locations and locales in which people live, work, rest, and otherwise take part in everyday life are being disrupted by multiple simultaneous climatological and ecological transformations, many of which have the potential to be disastrous for human survivability. Situated methodologically at an intersection of anthropology and geography, this panel centres on the theme of place-making in the Anthropocene, including through critical approaches which challenge the Anthropocene as an unproblematic interpretive frame for understanding destabilising processes. In particular, the assumption of human control over the Earth's systems forecloses productive thinking about ongoing negotiations between humans and non-humans in the places they cohabit. In what new ways does place come to matter in the Anthropocene? What longer term processes are occluded through the deployment of the term, Anthropocene? How long can places persist given the multiplying threats associated with climate change? The discussion will act as an entry point for thinking through these questions and others, which will be accomplished through case studies focused on human-environment interactions and place making among vulnerable communities.

This Panel has so far received 1 paper proposal(s).
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