The Knot of Ecological Time: An Outlet, an Election, and an Irrigation Office

By Maira Hayat, Stanford University § In 2015, local elections were held in Pakistan, ten years after the previous ones in 2005 during General Pervez Musharraf’s military rule. Local government elections have long been associated in Pakistan with military rule. For instance, attempts at “controlled democracy” such as General Ayub Khan’s, ushered in by the […]

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The Sacrifice Zones of American “Energy Independence”: Pipeline and Refinery Expansion in the Chicago Region

By Graham Pickren, Roosevelt University § The United States is seemingly on its way to “energy independence.” Since the oil price increases and gas lines of the 1970s shocked the sensibilities of an American population blissfully unaware of the inter-dependencies that structured their everyday lives, both Democratic and Republican regimes have aggressively pursued domestic energy production […]

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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 […]

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

By Janelle Marie Baker, 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 photograph or […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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