Reclaiming Nature? Indigenous Homeland and Oil Sands Territory

By Tara Joly, University of Aberdeen § Settler colonial relations construct the Athabasca region as extractive oil sands territory, yet the region remains homeland for Indigenous peoples, including Métis individuals. In my doctoral research, I argue that oil sands reclamation – the process of cleaning up extractive spaces by returning the land to a “productive” or … More Reclaiming Nature? Indigenous Homeland and Oil Sands Territory

Harvesting Ruins: The Im/Permanence of Work Camps and Reclaiming Colonized Landscapes in the Northern Alberta Oil Sands

By Janelle Marie Baker, Anthropology McGill University § *All photos taken by Janelle Marie Baker My Nehiwayak (Cree) friends who have the patience and kindness to take me out to the “bush” or Canadian subarctic boreal forest often ask me to film and photograph their activities, but on this particular summer day I am careful to not … More Harvesting Ruins: The Im/Permanence of Work Camps and Reclaiming Colonized Landscapes in the Northern Alberta Oil Sands

Infrastructure – Peripheral Visions and Bodies that Matter: A Commentary

*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

Infrastructural Recursions: Volcanic Landscapes, Instability and Energy Production

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

Excavating the Chesapeake: Exploring the Intersecting Geological, Political, and Technical Layers that Constitute a Watershed

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

Walking over Water: Piers, Docks, and Coastal Infrastructure

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

In the Sand: Water, Land, and Infrastructure in Informality

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