PANEL 11: Emptied landscapes and stranger items

PANEL 11: Emptied landscapes and stranger items: Erasures, non-relationaility and reimaginations

SALSA XII Sesquiannual Conference – Vienna, 2019


Emptied landscapesOrganizers:
Stine Krøijer, Department of Anthropology, University of Copenhagen, Denmark
María A. Guzmán-Gallegos, University of Oslo, Norway

Chair: Stine Krøijer
Discussant: Harry Walker, London School of Economics and Political Science, UK

For the last two decades, anthropological scholarship has proposed that relationality is a central characteristic of Native Amazonian worlds. Viveiros de Castro suggests that entities named by substantives like fish or snakes are not defined in terms of their intrinsic properties. They are conceived of as relational pointers – similar to kinship terms – that are defined in terms of their relations to something else. This panel asks if, how and when non-relational entities, that is entities which it is not possible or not desirable to relate to, emerge in lowland South America. In Naturalism and the Invention of Identity (2017) Strathern discusses how notions of persons as self-contained entities has gradually stabilized in Europe since the late 1700 C. Concomitantly, it became common in modern Europe to conceptualize such self-contained persons as relating to each other through external relations. In this panel we follow Strathern’s insights about how notions of relationality change over time and her idea of ‘cutting the network’, for example due the recognition of individual property rights. This panel explores what we can learn about notions of relationality and the constitution of entities if we focus on the ongoing transformations of landscapes in the Amazon such as the establishment of plantations, resource extraction and infrastructural development, and practices around stranger items and consumer goods. We invite contributions that describe persons, things and landscapes that are perceived as non-relational entities and which may entail radically different imaginations of the social. We have in mind items and landscapes that perceived as empty or detached, which withstand efforts of relating, operate outside human control or actively produce erasures or detachments.

Panel Schedule

Saturday, 29 June, KHM Vortragssaal
Session 1
16:40 17:00 María A. Guzmán-Gallegos. Small scale gold mining and barren landscapes in Southern Ecuadorian Amazonia.
17:00 17:05 Questions and Comments (Stine Krøjer)
17:05 17:25 Rob Davenport. Between the “wild” and the enslaved: Amazonian cacao landscapes in the Anthropocene.
17:25 17:30 Questions and Comments (Andrea Sempertegui)
17:30 17:40 Harry Walker (discussant)
Sunday, 30 June, KHM Vortragssaal
Session 2
10:00 10:20 Stine Krøijer. Oil Palms and Emptiness: The Clearcutting of Tree Spirits in Northeastern Ecuador.
10:20 10:25 Questions and Comments (Rob Davenport)
10:25 10:45 Andrea Sempertegui. Amazonian Women and Ecofeminists in Ecuador: A Partially Connected Allyship.
10:45 10:50 Questions and Comments (Andrea Bravo)
10:50 11:10 Andrea Bravo Diaz. Stories of networks that infrastructures tell.
11:10 11:15 Questions and Comments (María A. Guzmán)
11:15 11:40 Harry Walker (discussant)

SALSA 2019 Panels