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This panel brings together anthropologists and geographers to discuss how different approaches to toxicity - from looking at how toxic flows circulate and leak through different scales to the lived experiences of toxic entanglements with bodies and the environment - may inform each other.
Societal concerns over the 'toxic' have become ubiquitous today as human and environmental entanglements with toxicity, at all scales, are ever-increasing. Things that are toxic pose a risk. When the toxic is contained, the risk is reduced but rarely eradicated as it is moved to a different place. Containing the leaching flows of the toxic across diverse boundaries - from the air, water and soil, to state and basin boundaries - are spatio-temporal in character and produce particular types of spaces and scales. This panel brings together geographers and anthropologists to learn how each of the disciplines are approaching the toxic and toxicity to imagine new theoretical questions and political possibilities. We invite papers that conceptually and methodologically engage with: What are toxic flows? How do political, economic, social, and environmental forces manage these flows, and to what extent do [global] inequalities underpin the lack of toxic containment? How do we research these flows across space and time? What are the different scales at which we engage with questions of toxicity and its movement across land- and waterscapes, through human other-than-human bodies? How does this enable us to assess and understand differing forms of toxicity? From looking at how toxic flows circulate through different scales and spaces, to focusing on the everyday lived experiences of these toxic consequences on health, social reproduction and environmental degradation, this panel seeks to reimagine toxic flows - their containment, leakages and social and material effects- to encourage cross-disciplinary dialogues on these urgent issues.