Antonia Walford and I have a panel at this year’s Association of Social Anthropologists conference in Durham exploring the idea of Digital Enviromentalisms. Deadline for paper proposals is the 15th February and proposals should be submitted here:
P18 Digital Environmentalisms
Environment and energy crises have brought anthropological questions about how humans relate to nature into conversation with concerns to explore the material bases of contemporary political and economic life. Anthropologists working on this interface have shown that such global processes are the outcome of multi-scalar interactions between dynamic material arrangements, human and non-human relationalities, and industries, societies and economies. However, importantly, these global environmental processes are increasingly materialised, manipulated, and mediated by complex informational infrastructures. Digital sensors and databases measure, order and evidence environments in complex and unstable ways; models shape environmental presents, futures and pasts; and environmental data visualisations and products are called upon by diverse stakeholders, from climate sceptics to indigenous activists to anthropologists themselves. This panel will explore what happens to anthropological approaches to energy and the environment when we pay attention to the role of digital technologies in the process of human-environmental becoming.
What part do digital techniques play in the way in which people imagine and engage environmental processes?
How does an attention to digital environmentalism provide a way into a more nuanced description of the interplay between ontology and epistemology, materials and symbols, or humans and natures?
Can the study of digital technologies and practices in other social settings help us understand the processes we confront in digital environmentalism?
And finally, how does an attention to digital technologies disrupt and re-situate claims as to the role that anthropology should play in the study of environmental and energetic crises?