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This panel connects critical debates on the transformation of human interactions with more-than-human selves and living beings through the forces of capitalism and neoliberalism, and considers how this jeopardizes both biological and socio-cultural diversity in a globalized world.
In this panel, we explore how the transformation of human interactions with living beings through the forces of capitalism and neoliberalism leads us into a precarious existence, jeopardizing both biological and socio-cultural diversity. Drawing from the works of Haraway (2016), Tsing (2015), and Kohn (2007, 2013), contributors to this panel are asked to re-think our connections with more-than-humans by taking guidance from local communities and Indigenous ways of co-existing with other beings. Many hybrid communities, both human and nonhuman, have developed ways for living alongside one another, including multiple species of mammal, biodiverse forms within forests, communities of fungi or plankton, or even humans existing with zoonotic diseases. We intend to critically evaluate the role of 'modern' forms of production, distribution and consumption in a globalized world. Through a multispecies anthropological approach, panellists have the opportunity to explore how materialistic, profit and market-oriented forms of engagement with more-than-humans may be in stark contrast to other kinds of co-existence with life on earth, such as mobile forms of pastoralism, or the sustenance of a community by the hunting and gathering of local species. This panel will explore how a post-industrial approach, perhaps including habitat destruction for commercial gain, Western-centric forms of conservation, intensive agriculture, or industrial-scale wet markets, can be detrimental to local socio-cultural communities while impacting species diversity. Instead of a destructive way of engaging with other beings, we could turn to different kinds of co-existence that more readily encompasses more-than-human worlds.