Call for Papers for the 110th American Anthropological Association Meeting
Montreal, Canada, November 16th-20th, 2011.
Managing Nature, Managing Belonging
This panel addresses the management of "nature" and its contestations. Specifically, we examine efforts to manage natural resources as operations of power that divide and define social groups. These management projects may include international conservation efforts, local community-management projects, and state-run distribution of natural resources to (different groups of) citizens, to name a few. Such management projects—and opposition to them—entrench or rearrange boundaries between groups, often in racialized or nationalized terms, and often tracing legacies of colonialism and conquest. They draw rhetorical and material distinctions between those who are more or less human, more or less indigenous, greater or lesser citizens.
In this panel, we seek not to separate natural and social realms, but rather, to examine how the lines of nature and society are policed in practice, and what these policing practices reveal about social belonging and exclusion. We are equally interested in papers that elucidate management projects and resistance to these projects. Nature management projects may have the effect of "naturalizing" certain social disparities. Why and in what circumstances has the management of natural resources been an effective tool for demarcating social groups? Does it matter which natural resource is being managed—land, water, forest resources, or oil, to name a few?
Yet, managerial control is not the whole story, as "nature" is also enlisted in campaigns (both formally organized and impromptu) that resist these management projects, rallying for greater social equity. In such campaigns, groups and individuals may attempt to naturalize the demands of social justice campaigns and denaturalize the social divisions of managerial projects. How do those excluded by natural resource management projects react to their exclusion? What does resistance look like? What unique challenges and/or benefits do subaltern groups face when they mobilize around the redistribution of natural goods, as opposed to movements framed in explicitly social terms (eg, labor movements)?
To be considered, please submit a paper title, 250-word abstract, and affiliation information by February 28th, 2011. Proposals and questions can be sent to Emily McKee (firstname.lastname@example.org). Kindly circulate this call for papers among others who might be interested.
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