Ursula K. Le Guin opening keynote on the Anthropocene

In case this doesn’t embed properly, the lecture is here – and the other lectures from this conference on the Arts of Living on a Damaged Planet are here.

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Sanjay Subrahmanyam – Beyond the Civilization Paradigm: Reflections on the Indian Ocean (and Elsewhere), 1400-1800

Audio only, but certainly an interesting talk:

Grasping Sustainability: A Debate on Resilience Theory versus Political Ecology

This is an interesting debate between Garry Peterson (Stockholm Resilience Centre) and Alf Hornborg (Lund).

Ian Hacking “The new me: what biotechnology may do to personal identity”

Max Boykoff: Climate Science and Mass Media in the United States and United Kingdom

This is one of a number of interesting talks from the Situating Science Network’s event “Trust in Science.”

Social science meets social policy: anthropology and American water management

I’ll be giving the first talk based on my new book today in the speaker’s series here at Dalhousie (Sociology and Social Anthropology at 2:30 today if you’re in Halifax). It will cover the role of a largely forgotten group of anthropologists in convincing Theodore Roosevelt to adopt the model of conservation that infused the Progressive Era of natural resource planning in early 20th century America. I’m looking forward to the opportunity to get public feedback on some of these ideas. Several generous colleagues have offered criticisms of the written work by reading the whole book, and it will be interesting to compare their impressions with those who get the version I’ve distilled for this talk. Here is the abstract:

ABSTRACT: “At the turn of the 20th century, resource conservation and multi-purpose river basin planning were central to American social policy, and both ideas were shaped by a small group of anthropologists in Washington D.C. that had previously worked in the U.S. Geological Survey. As such, ideas of geologic evolution frequently, and often explicitly, shaped their ethnological explanations. At this intersection of geology and anthropology water’s agency became the key-log that linked physical and social evolution to the U.S. state. In this talk I show how these ideas came together under the presidency of Theodore Roosevelt and ultimately formed the basis for American water management.”

News of Erik Swyngedouw’s new book. Liquid Power: Contested hydro-modernities in 20th century Spain

An advanced description of Erik Swyngedouw’s new book from the MIT Press website. Looks like the book is due out in the new year at some point:

“In this book, Erik Swyngedouw explores how water becomes part of the tumultuous processes of modernization and development. Using the experience of Spain as a lens to view the interplay of modernity and environmental transformation, Swyngedouw shows that every political project is also an environmental project.

In 1898, Spain lost its last overseas colony, triggering a period of post-imperialist turmoil still referred to as El Disastre. Turning inward, the nation embarked on “regeneration” and modernization. Water played a central role in this; during a turbulent period from the twentieth century into the twenty-first—through the Franco years and into the new era of liberal democracy—Spain’s waterscapes were completely transformed, with large-scale projects that ranged from dam construction to irrigation to desalinization. Swyngedouw describes the contested political-ecological process that marked this transformation, showing that the Spain’s diverse and contested paths to modernization were predicated on particular trajectories of environmental transformation.

After laying out his theoretical perspectives, Swyngedouw analyzes three periods of Spain’s political-ecological modernization: the aspirations and stalled modernization of the early twentieth century; the accelerated efforts under the authoritarian Franco regime—which included six hundred dams, expanded hydroelectricity, and massive irrigation; and the changing hydro-social landscape under social democracy. Offering an innovative perspective on the relationship of nature and society, Liquid Power illuminates the political nature of nature.”

Sandra Postel: The Aral Sea, water innovation and global policy

Gabriella Coleman on her new Anonymous Book: Hacker, Hoaxer, Whistleblower, Spy

9781781685839_Hacker__hoaxer-max_221-294b89cbd6b3950d9cdbfb0e39e66884The new book by Gabriella Coleman can be found here, it looks fascinating and is getting strong reviews. Here is an interview on it:

Tim Ingold: On Human Correspondence