Infrastructure, Environment, and Life in the Anthropocene

Book Pages: 312 Illustrations: 37 illustrations Published: February 2019

Anthropology > Cultural Anthropology, Environmental Studies, Geography

Infrastructure, Environment, and Life in the Anthropocene explores life in the age of climate change through a series of infrastructural puzzles—sites at which it has become impossible to disentangle the natural from the built environment. With topics ranging from breakwaters built of oysters, underground rivers made by leaky pipes, and architecture gone weedy to neighborhoods partially submerged by rising tides, the contributors explore situations that destabilize the concepts we once relied on to address environmental challenges. They take up the challenge that the Anthropocene poses both to life on the planet and to our social-scientific understanding of it by showing how past conceptions of environment and progress have become unmoored and what this means for how we imagine the future.

Contributors. Nikhil Anand, Andrea Ballestero, Bruce Braun, Ashley Carse, Gastón R. Gordillo, Kregg Hetherington, Casper Bruun Jensen, Joseph Masco, Shaylih Muehlmann, Natasha Myers, Stephanie Wakefield, Austin Zeiderman


"For anthropologists, cultural geographers, scientists, planners, activists, and artists, the volume elucidates collective human actions and how they are related to engineering, nature, art, subjectivity and the aesthetics of control." — Stephanie Kane, PoLAR

"... this volume offers an insightful evaluation of infrastructural complexity and an excellent starting point for thinking about amendatory futures." — Melanie Ford, Anthropos

Infrastructure, Environment, and Life in the Anthropocene is an ambitious and brilliant work of ethnographic analysis…. The book is a solid source for critical scholars working on the Anthropocene, offering ways to grasp such a complex concept through those of infrastructure, environment and life.”

— Semra Akay, Local Environment

“When the evidence of pollution and infrastructural decay is abundant, what kinds of critical response are relevant? The contributors to this outstanding collection demonstrate how insightful ethnographic research has the capacity to reveal pervasive and localized symptoms of environmental deterioration and, in the midst of these, is also able to detect the signs of possibility. The result is a compelling intervention in the debate about the planetary condition.” — Andrew Barry, University College, London

"Offering an original approach to contemporary concerns about infrastructures at a time of devastating environmental change, this impressive volume focuses on the political implications of the ways in which environments and infrastructures are conflated or kept apart. Through close attention to the shifting relations between figure and ground on which infrastructural politics ultimately depend, this outstanding intervention will shape critical discussions in anthropology, science and technology studies, and cultural geography." — Penny Harvey, coeditor of Anthropos and the Material


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Price: $27.95

Open Access

Author/Editor Bios Back to Top

Kregg Hetherington is Associate Professor of Sociology and Anthropology at Concordia University and the author of Guerrilla Auditors: The Politics of Transparency in Neoliberal Paraguay, also published by Duke University Press.

Table of Contents Back to Top
Acknowledgments  vii
Introduction. Keywords of the Anthropocene / Kregg Hetherington  1
Part I. Reckoning with Ground
1. The Underground as Infrastructure? Water, Figure/Ground Reversals, and Dissolution in Sardinal / Andrea Ballestero  17
2. Clandestine Infrastructures: Illicit Connectivities in the U.S.-Mexico Borderlands / Shaylih Muehlmann  45
3. The Metropolis: The Infrastructure of the Anthropocene / Gastón Gordillo  66
Part II: Lively Infrastructures
4. Dirty Landscapes: How Weediness Indexes State Disinvestment and Global Disconnection / Ashley Carse  97
5. From Edenic Apocalypse to Gardens against Eden: Plants and People in and after the Anthropocene / Natasha Myers  115
6. Leaking Lines / Nikhil Anand  149
Part III: Histories of Progress
7. Low Tide: Submerged Humanism in a Colombian Port / Austin Zeiderman  171
8. Oysterstructure: Infrastructure, Profanation, and the Sacred Figure of the Human / Stephanie Wakefield & Bruce Braun  193
9. Here Comes the Sun?: Experimenting with Cambodian Energy Infrastructures / Casper Bruun Jensen  216
10. The Crisis in Crisis / Joseph Masco  236
References  261
Contributors  293
Index  297
Sales/Territorial Rights: World

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Additional InformationBack to Top
Paper ISBN: 978-1-4780-0148-5 / Cloth ISBN: 978-1-4780-0113-3
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