Cfp: EASA 2020 conference

16th EASA Biennial Conference
New anthropological horizons in and beyond Europe
21-24 July 2020 in Lisbon
ISCTE-University Institute of Lisbon and ICS-Institute of Social Sciences, University of Lisbon

P020 At the grid edge: homes, neighbourhoods and energy markets (Energy Anthropology Network)

Convenors: Charlotte Johnson (University College London), Abhigyan Singh (Delft University of Technology (TU Delft))

Across Europe the grid edge has become a site of innovation, experimentation and legal exception. Extra-regulatory markets such as peer-to-peer energy trading are being trialled. Algorithms and control systems are being piloted to automate household appliances. Communities are becoming virtual power plants. The emerging distributed, decentralised, and off-grid energy systems profoundly challenge the universalist logic of national energy infrastructures and create an urgent role for anthropological knowledge. Anthropologists are entering these spaces to critique and to intervene. They question the assumptions supporting energy market construction and bring attention to non-market perspectives. They interrogate the inter- and intra-household dynamics that are created and destabilised as new flows of energy interact with existing gender, class and power relations. They examine the ethics, moralities, and values that are implicated and invoked. They are working in interdisciplinary ways, using interventionist approaches and are challenging the creation of binaries that pit automation against human control. In this panel we discuss this as a new horizon for anthropological inquiry. One that is provoked by the changing ways energy is being negotiated within homes, circulated through neighbourhoods, and getting entangled in local markets. We invite papers that critique ‘low carbon transition’, provide ethnographic accounts of energy, or offer methodological innovations for collaborative, experimental or interdisciplinary working. We are particularly interested in insights from global south contexts and its cross-cultural comparison with the ‘smart energy’ narrative in the global north. Overall, we invite broad critical engagement with issues raised by doing anthropology at the grid edge.

P037 Mining the Energy Transition: Technology, Resource Chains, and Extractive Encounters

Convenors:     Nikkie Wiegink (Utrecht University),     Angela Kronenburg García (UCLouvain (Belgium))

The energy transition from a fossil fuel-based system to a low-carbon future has engendered new technologies and is changing consumer patterns across the world. Less known is that the energy transition is restructuring the extractive sector due to new policies and increasing demand for metals and minerals needed in low-carbon technologies (Addison 2018). This panel explores new horizons by linking two sub-fields of anthropology: the anthropology of energy and the anthropology of mining, and invites papers to address the energy transition from the perspective of its minerals and metals. Where do the minerals come from that power the batteries from electric vehicles and make wind turbines durable? Who are the new global players in the emerging resource chains? And how can we study these global dynamics ethnographically? How do, for example, ‘energy ethics’ (Smith & High 2017) in Europe relate to ‘mining encounters’ (Pijpers & Eriksen 2019) in the global south? And what kinds of contestations do these encounters engender? We aim to build further on the discussion of ‘energopolitics’ (Boyer 2019) to illuminate and politicize the processes that tend to be obscured by the ‘good’ of the energy transition and the urgency to fight climate change. Our intention is to unravel the tensions, interconnectedness, and ambiguities of extractive encounters at different scales. We welcome submissions based on empirical work or methodological reflections that engage with the technologies, policymaking, mining realities, multi-actor encounters, resource chains and resource booms emerging at the intersections of the energy transition and the extractive industries.

P134 Energy production, environment, and human rights in the context of climate change

Convenors:     Elisabeth Moolenaar (Regis University),     Ana Isabel Afonso (FCSH-Universidade Nova de Lisboa & CICS.NOVA),     Dorle Dracklé (University of Bremen)

One of the goals of the “energy anthropology” is placing energy and the environment in cultural perspective, taking into account meaning (making), relationships, value, and agency. Using ethnography/ethnographic research on energy production can open up a dialogue on urgent matters such as environmental justice, human rights and climate change. This panel deals with struggles over energy production, debates over climate change, and the politics of natural resource extraction within broader socio-cultural contexts. Energy landscapes are sites of power and control. These sites frequently face environmental degradation, ecological disasters, and/or social disintegration or upheaval. Sites of energy production are oftentimes located in less urban areas far away from the sites where most energy is consumed, turning the former into “sacrifice zones.” Local (at times indigenous) populations are most vulnerable because they have acquired less entitlement to the natural resources, through law, economic and political systems, and/or processes of colonization. Energy production affects not only environmental quality but also human rights. Without a livable environment, human rights may become either unachievable or meaningless. Energy production intensifies challenges to populations who are unable to claim rights such as the right to self-determination, sovereignty, or mineral or traditional land rights. We welcome papers that locate environmental justice, human rights, and/or climate change within ethnographic explorations of energy production & consumption and natural resource extraction. Papers might investigate these matters for populations affected by energy production, from the perspective of the researcher, and/or as they inform each other.

P062 The political power of energy futures within and beyond Europe

Convenors:     Charlotte Bruckermann (University of Bergen, Norway),     Kirsten Endres (Max Planck Institute for Social Anthropology),     Katja Müller (Halle University)

Debates about climate change have long entered political arenas through diplomacy, bureaucracy and regulations as part of worldwide environmental governance. Although global efforts to foster greener energy increasingly supplement resource extractivism, unfolding protests point to the insufficiencies of current measures. This panel asks what political legitimacies and forms of power become possible through renewables’ development and the greening of energy systems. From top-down policymaking regarding energy access to grassroots calls for climate justice, this panel interrogates the policies and politics surrounding renewable energy, and the unintended consequences and alliances in its delivery. Ethnographic investigations in this panel will combine the intertwined complexities of greening energy with abstractions of political power at various scales. Questions could include: How does political decision-making on energy sources unfold, including expanding resource extraction, extending the grid, or developing renewables? What brute materialities of wires, cables, and power plants come into play? How do historic injustices and exclusionary legacies of extraction, production and consumption affect future energy horizons? Do imperatives of greening energy create new role models in energy matters that shift the focus within and beyond Europe? When do debates about local environmental priorities and energy rights undermine or bolster global climate targets? What new forms of precarity and scarcity do large-scale infrastructural impositions by local or international powerholders entail? We welcome contributions that investigate the contradictions and contestations between the persistence of conventional energy systems and the rise of renewables within the complex operations of political power that affect our anticipated energy futures.

Assistant Professor, Durham University

Vacancy reference: anth20-2

Department: Anthropology

Responsible to: Head of Department

Grade: 7-8

Salary range: £33,797- £49,553per annum

Working arrangements: The role is full time but we will consider requests for flexible working arrangements including potential job shares

Opening date: 27/11/2019

Closing date: 24/01/2020

Preferred start date: Successful candidates will ideally be in post by 01/09/2020

The role

We are seeking to appoint up to four Associate Professors in Social Anthropology. Applicants must demonstrate research excellence in the field of Social Anthropology, with the ability to teach our students to an exceptional standard and to fully engage in the services, citizenship and values of the University. The University provides a working and teaching environment which is inclusive and welcoming and where everyone is treated fairly with dignity and respect. Candidates will be expected to demonstrate these key principles as part of the assessment process.

We are open to outstanding applications in any area of Social Anthropology. Our department has particular research strengths in energy and environment; expertise and knowledge; aesthetics and material culture; medicine and health; and political anthropology. We are looking to appoint candidates who will complement or synergise with research in these areas.

We are also open to any regional specialisms. We particularly welcome applicants with regional specialisms in the Anthropology of China to help build our teaching, research and postgraduate supervision in this area.

Candidates will be expected to contribute to team-taught core social anthropology modules at level one and two, where our focus is on politics, economics, kinship, religion, the anthropology of health and ethnographic methods. It is expected that successful applicants will be able to contribute strongly to at least two of these areas.

Post-holders will be expected to deliver an advanced Level 3 module on a specialist topic in social anthropology, relating to their own research; they will supervise both undergraduate and postgraduate dissertations and contribute to Social Anthropology teaching at Master’s level. Successful candidates will be asked to undertake additional duties around teaching, learning and student recruitment within the Department as required. Appointed candidates may be asked to teach on one of our undergraduate field-courses, though this is not a requirement.

The Anthropology Department at Durham University has an outstanding international reputation for teaching, research and student employability. We are one of the largest Anthropology Departments in the UK, with nearly 40 permanent academic staff working across social, evolutionary and health anthropology.

The Department of Anthropology has a vibrant research culture with many visitors, seminars, global conferences and workshops. We aim to foster an intellectually inclusive environment, fostering the academic freedom and confidence to work at both the core and boundaries of anthropology in exciting and innovative ways. We were the top-ranked integrated Anthropology department in the most recent Research Excellence Framework (REF 2014); fifth in the UK for overall GPA (Times Higher Education); first equal for world-leading and internationally-excellent Impact and Research Environment, and second equal for world- leading publications.

Download the full job description as a PDF.

cfp: 10th annual NNC conference and PhD course

Environmental Asia, November 20–24, 2017, Oslo, Norway.

IKOS – Department of Culture Studies and Oriental Languages,

Oslo University and NIAS – Nordic Institute of Asian Studies

Global environmental degradation and climate change are possibly the greatest challenges of our times. They have roots in humanity’s long history of creatively making use of natural resources to generate change, often with unforeseen and unpredictable consequences. As the gravity of the world economy shifts east, Asia finds itself at the center of the global environmental crisis. It is home not just to 60 percent of the world’s population, but also to some of the world’s most rapidly expanding middle classes in the largest emerging economies. As a consequence of climate change, Asia is already feeling the social and economic impact of intensified droughts, floods, storms and pollution.

The aim of this conference is to facilitate critical discussions about Asia’s environmental pathways. What interests are at stake in current environmental policies, and who represents them? How will Asian societies deal with the double-bind of economic development and environmental protection? What roles do Asian religions and philosophies play in environmental debates? How have people reacted to and coped with major environmental changes in the past, and how do they anticipate the future? By exploring these questions, the conference aspires to promote a deeper understanding of environmental change in Asia.

Energy in Asia

How energy is produced, transmitted and consumed can have immense cultural, social, political and environmental consequences. A long-term structural change in energy systems towards increasing use of renewable energy sources – the so called ‘Energy transition’ seems inevitable to tackle contemporary global and local environmental challenges. Simultaneously, a considerable portion of Asia’s population lack access to adequate energy, resulting in health deprivation, poverty and social inequality. As the world’s most populous region, the complexities of energy in Asia are in need of further exploration that moves beyond conventional technical and economic factors. We are looking for panelists from the Social Sciences, Humanities or Inter-disciplinary Studies that are interested in exploring these issues across Asia.

Keynote Speakers

  • Georgina Drew, Lecturer, Anthropology and Development Studies, The University of Adelaide, Australia
  • Susan Darlington, Professor, Anthropology and Asian Studies, Hampshire College, USA
  • Heiner Roetz, Professor, Department of East Asian Studies, Ruhr-Universität Bochum, Germany

Commentators for the PhD Course

  • Susan Darlington, Professor, Anthropology and Asian Studies, Hampshire College
  • Heiner Roetz, Professor, Department of East Asian Studies, Ruhr-Universität Bochum
  • Georgina Drew, Lecturer, Anthropology and Development Studies, The University of Adelaide
  • Geir Helgesen, Director, NIAS – Nordic Institute of Asian Studies
  • Mette Halskov Hansen, Professor, University of Oslo
  • Arild Engelsen Ruud, Professor, University of Oslo
  • Aike Peter Rots, Associate Professor, University of Oslo
  • Rune Svaverud, Professor, University of Oslo
  • Kenneth Bo Nielsen, Researcher and Network Coordinator, University of Oslo

 

Deadline for submitting abstract 15 August 2017 (maximum 300 words) For more information, please go to the conference website: www.environmental-asia.com<http://www.environmental-asia.com/>

CFP: Eco-Frictions: Heritagization, Energopolitics and Fantasies of Environmental Sustainability

American Anthropological Association Annual Meeting 2017

Washington D.C., November 29-December 3

Organizers: Mara Benadusi (University of Catania) and Filippo Zerilli (University of Cagliari)

Environmental crises and related concerns have increased enormously over the past few decades, creating disturbances for human and non-human life on a planetary scale. And yet, simultaneously, this trend is matched by an explosion of attempts to transform exploited sites into zones recovering from ecological disaster by any means necessary. Characterized by multiples and often conflicting moral regimes and economic systems, these ‘friction zones’ are progressively changing under the pressure of two main phenomena: one that entails a re-evaluation of (cultural/natural) ‘heritage’ promoting rhetorical, pragmatic, and political manipulations of the past; the other that features sustainable environmental renewal, promoting an alternative use of natural resources. In cases where heritage status is granted, territories become ‘consecrated’ and conflicts over local politics of history and memory are disguised by a universalistic rhetoric of ‘common good’ for global collectivities. In the latter case, instead, the dimension of environmental ‘sustainability’ assumes a central position, encouraging eco-fantasies and planetary investment in and for the future. While both processes have been carefully scrutinized by recent anthropological literature, their intersections and articulations require further ethnographic as well as theoretical exploration. Heritagization, energopolitics and fantasies of environmental sustainability expose the fractures in neo-liberal economic practice, incorporating universal moral imperatives into their own discourse: in the first case encouraging the preservation of heritage, in the second imagining the safeguarding of the planet. But how do such discourses talk one to each other in actual practice, and how can we possibly grasp their often uneven, unpredictable and multi-scalar connections?

Taking inspiration from emerging ethnographic approaches to ‘global connections’ (A. Tsing), ‘assemblages’ (A. Ong, S. Collier) and strategies of ‘studying through’ (C. Shore & S. Wright), this panel proposes to scrutinize the zones of eco-friction that are formed in these spaces of collision and intersection between global and local pressures, of past and future predicaments, of commitments to protect and commitments to renew. How do politics of the past intersect and articulate with policy and politics of/for the future in these friction-ridden spaces? What specific cultural and historical paths contribute to forging ‘zones of awkward engagement’ with the environment in different ethnographic sites? And what kinds of economic and moral relations stem from the intersection between the entangled phenomena we have mentioned?

We welcome both theoretical and ethnographic contributions, specifically focusing on areas which have been object of intense environmental exploitation and are currently experiencing new forms of discursive and material investment inspired by projects and values of environmental sustainability, heritage conservation and energy-saving.

Please submit a title and 250-word abstract by Tuesday April 4, 2017 to: Mara Benadusi: mara.benadusi@unict.it and Filippo Zerilli: zerilli@unica.it