*A commentary on Part II of our Engagement thematic series, The Nature of Infrastructure. By Bettina Stoetzer, Massachusetts Institute of Technology § In the past few years, the keyword “infrastructure” has proliferated within anthropological literature. Many ethnographies have taken a close look at the ways in which physical networks, such as roads, canals, trains, sewage … More Infrastructure – Peripheral Visions and Bodies that Matter: A Commentary
By James Maguire, IT University of Copenhagen § Walking through the Hengill volcanic zone (figure 1) with my geologist companions in the southwest of Iceland is a powerful experience. Dark basaltic lava-encrusted rocks are strewn all about us. Diminutive craggy structures blend together like multi-layered mobius strips such that it’s hard to distinguish where one rock … More Infrastructural Recursions: Volcanic Landscapes, Instability and Energy Production
By Jeremy Trombley, University of Maryland, College Park § My research looks at the entities and interactions that constitute the Chesapeake Bay watershed – specifically the role that computational models have played in the process. In this post – departing somewhat from my comfort zone talking about lines and knots and rhizomes – I want to engage … More Excavating the Chesapeake: Exploring the Intersecting Geological, Political, and Technical Layers that Constitute a Watershed
By Barbara Quimby, San Diego State- UC Santa Barbara § The coral reefs and islands of Pulau Banyak Barat (West Pulau Banyak) To enter the village of Haloban, a fishing community of about 1,500 people in the islands of Pulau Banyak in Aceh, Indonesia, you must step from your swaying boat onto the stable wooden planks … More Walking over Water: Piers, Docks, and Coastal Infrastructure
By Angela Storey, University of Arizona § Milk crates are a common sight when walking the narrow paths of informal settlements in Khayelitsha, a Cape Town suburb where more than half of the area’s 400,000 residents live in shacks on squatted land. Set upside down into the ground, the plastic latticework of a crate’s base … More In the Sand: Water, Land, and Infrastructure in Informality
By Madhuri Karak, CUNY Graduate Center § Walking in Niyamgiri, in Odisha, India, never ceased to be a sensorial onslaught for me. There are no asphalt roads, only trails and paths flanked by dense forests. During the monsoons, even these disappear under streams of mud. People commonly distinguish between raasta – road – and jongol raasta, roads in the … More Choosing Paths, Not Roads
*A commentary on Part I of our Engagement thematic series, The Nature of Infrastructure. By Ashley Carse, Vanderbilt University § I am honored to have an opportunity to comment on this captivating series of blog posts on The Nature of Infrastructure. Though brief, each piece brings us into an infrastructural world. We learn about coastal … More The Anthropology of the Built Environment: What Can Environmental Anthropology Learn from Infrastructure Studies (and Vice Versa)?