By Patrick Bresnihan and Naomi Millner
The More-than-Human Commons and the Politics of Knowledge
The papers in this session take as their starting point a post-colonial politics of knowledge that embraces material and nonhuman forces as critical allies in the struggle to determine more expansive ways of organizing in common. The concept of the more-than-human commons attempts to articulate a relationship between limits and possibility, relationality and agency, human and non-human that moves beyond humanist, or dualist, ways of thinking and doing politics. The more-than-human commons consequently provides a counterpoint not only to what anthropologist Arturo Escobar calls the “analytic of finitude,” a “cultural order in which we are forever condemned to labor under the iron law of scarcity,” but also to techno-utopian fantasies of infinite growth that tend to ignore material questions of reproduction (1999, 6). Disrupting the binaries of social and natural, human and non-human, that undergird the history of capitalist enclosure and biopolitical control, the more-than-human commons foregrounds conflicts over what ecologies are visible and how they count within new regulatory and economic regimes (de la Cadeña 2010). We invite empirical and theoretical contributions that:
- Develop the more-than-human commons as a concept that can help to “formulate a politics of ecological contestation that is neither survivalist nor techno-utopian in its solutions” (Cooper 2008, 50);
- Explore historic or contemporary conflicts that bring to the fore a disagreement over what ecologies count and who is capable of speaking for them.
(Post) colonial ecology, knowledge/power, commons, feminism & posthumanism
Cooper, Melinda. Life as surplus: Biotechnology and capitalism in the neoliberal era. University of Washington Press, 2008.
Escobar, Arturo. "After nature: steps to an antiessentialist political ecology 1." Current anthropology 40.1 (1999): 1-30.
De la Cadena, Marisol. "Indigenous cosmopolitics in the Andes: Conceptual reflections beyond “politics”." Cultural anthropology 25.2 (2010): 334-370.
The Conference is organized by the European Network of Political Ecology (ENTITLE), the Center for Social Studies of the University of Coimbra and the Environmental Humanities Laboratory of the KTH Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm.
Expressions of interest can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com
Deadline Friday, 25th September, 2015