Engaging resources: anthropological perspectives on the formation and contestation of natural resource environments

Gisa Weszkalnys (London School of Economics)
Tanya Richardson (Wilfrid Laurier University)
Humanities Large Seminar Room 2
Start time:
26 August, 2010 at 11:30
Session slots:


This workshop seeks to develop an anthropological perspective on people's engagements with a range of different natural resource environments, including extraction and exploitation, management and entitlement, waste and conservation, expectation and violence. We aim to move across different scales, from the smallest entities (human bodies, animals, plants, etc.), to distinct practices of use and interference, to large organisations and global projects. Together they constitute natural resource environments - such as forests, deltas, rivers, or mines - as terrains of governance, protection, and contestation. This involves processes of naming, framing, and translating between different knowledges, and intense battles between residents, experts, and transnational institution, each enacting these environments in distinctive ways. The participants in this workshop draw on the tools of ethnography, political ecology, STS, and history, whilst trying to understand how, as anthropologists, we can account for the formation of natural resources as a key site of contemporary cultural struggle.