Moral horizons of land and place
Victoria Stead (Deakin University)
Michele Dominy (Bard College)
Landscapes, resources and value
Old Arts-129 (Theatre B)
Start time:
2 December, 2015 at 11:00 (UTC+0)
Session slots:

Short abstract:

Changing forms of connection to land and place prompt complex and often intractable moral dilemmas. The panel explores the moral dimensions of human connection to land, including in relation to land disputes, modernising processes, mobility, labour, leisure, and the interventions of anthropologists.

Long abstract:

The ways in which people connect to land and place at once reflect and inform their moralities. The entanglements of different forms of connection to land and place in turn bring different moral horizons into complex, shifting, and sometimes intractable encounters. In a context of global change land is variously—often simultaneously—articulated as property, territory, birthright, resource, cultural heritage, homeland, a site and object of belonging, a site of memory and identity. These multiple articulations give rise to multiple moral discourses, practices, and imaginings.

This panel invites papers that engage with the moral dimensions of land and place. The shifting moral horizons to which presenters might respond include, but need not be limited to:

- The moral dimensions and imaginings of land disputes;

- The moralities claimed by, or ascribed to, different human roles in relation to land, including customary landowner, investor, owner, guardian, producer, indigene, defender, exploiter;

- The shifting moral horizons created as experiences of mobility transform the relationships which people have to the lands and places they leave, as well as to the lands and places they encounter;

- The visions of the good life which people seek to realise through their engagement with land as a site of labour and leisure;

- The moral dilemmas that emerge through anthropologists' interventions into land and place, including as codifiers or describers of forms of connection to land, and as allies or interlocutors in indigenous struggles for land rights.