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ANTHROPOLOGY-MATTERS  June 2012

ANTHROPOLOGY-MATTERS June 2012

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Subject:

CfP IUAES 2013: Reproducing Disorder Energetically: Oil, Capitalism & Crisis

From:

Andrea Behrends <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

Andrea Behrends <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Mon, 11 Jun 2012 10:33:54 +0200

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Dear list members,

The 17th World Congress of the International Union of Anthropological and Ethnological Sciences (IUAES) with the overall theme "Evolving Humanity, Emerging Worlds" will take place at the University of Manchester, UK from the 5th-10th August 2013. 

If you would like to submit a proposal for our panel on: REPRODUCING DISORDER ENERGETICALLY: OIL; CAPITALISM & CRISIS - please go to this website:

http://www.iuaes2013.org/ 

Reproducing Disorder Energetically: Oil, Capitalism & Crisis
Andrea Behrends, Stephen P. Reyna, Nikolaus Schareika 

A particular conjuncture provides the rationale for the proposed IUAES symposium concerning the anthropology of oil. The conjuncture is as follows. First, it is a moment of Great Recession, when globally there is economic tribulation, especially in advanced centers of capitalism in the West. Second, it is a moment when both Global Warming and Peak Oil are being, or are about to be, experienced; both of which promise extreme economic and ecological distress. Third, intellectually, it is a moment when the reigning postmodern paradigm, a conceptual framework that has been essential to understanding the human condition, is being debated.

 

So the particular conjuncture of our times is crisis concerning the fundamentals of human survival conjoined with theoretical weakening regarding the intellectual tool to explain and understand this crisis. At the same time, as a corollary to the waning of former paradigms, we observe a regrounding in materiality, as for example in the materiality of resources. Oil, and other petroleum products, are central to current, interrelated crises. Oil is the sine qua non of capitalist enterprise. The consumption of petroleum products is the chief contributor to increased CO2 concentrations in the atmosphere, itself a major basis for global warming. Massive, and rising, demand for oil will, or has, produced Peak Oil, and the resulting increasing scarcity of petroleum products. Analysis of oil within an anthropological context, exemplified by the recent volume, Crude Domination: An Anthropology of Oil (2011), has begun to flourish. Given the coalescing of anthropology of oil into a distinct subfield of a broader anthropology of resources, and given the economic-ecological crisis, conjoined with the intellectual one, it is appropriate to organize a gathering to review what is known anthropologically about oil and to formulate theoretical approaches both to account for existing knowledge, and to stimulate research into what is unknown and needs to be known to address tribulations of the current conjuncture. Participants in this symposium have been asked to participate in this ‘Oil, Crisis, and Theory' project. Because events involving oil have a global reach, and because anthropologists are concerned with social and cultural phenomena, participants have been asked to place their analyses within global structural and/or cultural contexts. Some participants have been asked to present general conceptual reviews of different approaches to the study of oil. Others have been asked to present empirical specifics from their particular research sites; to place these specifics within existing theoretical accounts of them; and based upon the evidence of their cases to warrant a particular theoretical position. Finally, still others have been asked to reflect upon the different contributions of the participants and to speculate upon what they imply for the current, particular conjuncture of crisis and theory.

 



Dr. Andrea Behrends
http://www.ethnologie.uni-halle.de/personal/dr_andrea_behrends/?lang=en















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