A World of Many Worlds

Book Pages: 232 Illustrations: 7 illustrations Published: November 2018

Anthropology > Cultural Anthropology, Native and Indigenous Studies, Science and Technology Studies

A World of Many Worlds is a search into the possibilities that may emerge from conversations between indigenous collectives and the study of science's philosophical production. The contributors explore how divergent knowledges and practices make worlds. They work with difference and sameness, recursion, divergence, political ontology, cosmopolitics, and relations, using them as concepts, methods, and analytics to open up possibilities for a pluriverse: a cosmos composed through divergent political practices that do not need to become the same.

Contributors. Mario Blaser, Alberto Corsín Jiménez, Déborah Danowski, Marisol de la Cadena, John Law, Marianne Lien, Isabelle Stengers, Marilyn Strathern, Helen Verran, Eduardo Viveiros de Castro


"The strength of this book is its presentation and varied discussion of the omission of all of the 'other-than-human-persons' who comprise the heterogeneity of cultures that form worlds beyond the Anthropocene. . . . This book provides excellent fodder for readers to reflexively consider their individual roles in the global knowledge-making process, the outcomes they create (and are creating), and the frames within which they dwell." — Sally A. Applin, Journal of International and Global Studies

“In general terms, this book is composed of highly abstract reflections elaborated by some of the most recognized authors in contemporary social sciences. Although we find frequent allusions to diverse, concrete ethnographic situations (above all in Helen Verran’s chapter), the central objective that lends unity to the book is the critique of the given concepts and usual interpretative frameworks of certain analytical traditions. It is in regard to this critique that A World of Many Worlds proposes certain postulates, preoccupations, and proposals…” (Translated from Spanish) — Juan Javier Rivera Andía, Anthropos

A World of Many Worlds is one of the most original, forceful, and intellectually exciting statements by critical social theorists in a long time. Readers will be left with the distinct feeling that the epistemic earth has shaken under their feet. Not only that, they will feel better equipped to live in and contribute to building worlds otherwise.” — Arturo Escobar

“It is not easy not to know in advance, not to make objects from one's knowledge as subjects. But a genuine heterogeneous pluriverse—i.e., reconstituted worlds from the ruins of extractive, extinctionist, anthropocenic, one-world modernity—requires opening to caring and knowing differently. This book teaches how not to propose one's own common sense, in order to effect uncommoning and so to be part of reconstituting worlds in which encounters can, in the words of the introduction, become 'the opportunity for the creation of concepts different from those every participating knower brought with them.’ No one becomes ‘the other,’ but also no one remains only who they were before engaging the difficult, urgent political ecology of practices to craft worlds powerful enough to defeat the Anthropocene.” — Donna J. Haraway


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Author/Editor Bios Back to Top

Marisol de la Cadena is Professor of Anthropology at the University of California, Davis, and the author of Earth Beings: Ecologies of Practice across Andean Worlds, also published by Duke University Press.

Mario Blaser is Associate Professor of Geography and Archaeology at the Memorial University of Newfoundland and the author of Storytelling Globalization from the Chaco and Beyond, also published by Duke University Press.

Table of Contents Back to Top
Acknowledgments  vii
Introduction. Pluriverse: Proposals for a World of Many Worlds / Mario Blaser and Marisol de la Cadena  1
1. Opening Up Relations / Marilyn Strathern  23
2. Spiderweb Anthropologies: Ecologies, Infrastructures, Entanglements / Alberto Corsín Jiménez  53
3. The Challenge of Ontological Politics / Isabelle Stengers  83
4. The Politics of Working Cosmologies Together While Keeping Them Separate / Helen Verran  112
5. Denaturalizing Nature / John Law and Marianne Lien  131
6. Humans and Terrans in the Gaia War / Eduardo Viveiros de Castro and Deborah Danowski  172
Contributors  205
Index  209
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Additional InformationBack to Top
Paper ISBN: 978-1-4780-0295-6 / Cloth ISBN: 978-1-4780-0136-2
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