Situated Natures and the Politics of Knowing

Type: Paper
Sponsor Groups:
Poster #:
Day: 4/3/2019
Start / End Time: 8:00 AM / 9:40 AM (Eastern Standard Time)
Room: Cabinet Room, Omni, West
Organizers: Mara Dicenta, Peter Klepeis
Chairs: Mara Dicenta

Call for Submissions


STS scholars criticize the role of modernity, or the “empire of reason,” in artificially dividing science from society, as if the first were not embedded in politics and power (Haraway 1997; Latour 1993; Stengers 1997). Scholars from the Global South argue that the process of separating “modern/non-modern” regions is linked to colonialism by virtue of its placing western knowledge as the science while relegating other knowledges to the realm of culture (Escobar, 1998; Mignolo, 2012; Subramaniam et al., 2017). As the classic case of the 1960’s Green Revolution shows, replications of western technologies in other contexts often fail (Mbembe, 2001; Vandana Shiva, 1989). At the same time, the artificial separation between science and society allows scientific projects of modernization to be established in the Global South through antidemocratic and violent strategies that are legitimated in the name of progress (Albornoz, 2009; Nandy, 1989). Besides, some studies have shown how some projects of modernity, while offering new possibilities for interventions, might be contributing degradation (Orlowska and Klepeis, 2018).

This panel investigates histories of nature modernization, its desires, possibilities, disavowals and failures. It uses empirical cases but also includes theoretical papers that theorize modern geographies and its natures. We particularly welcome papers addressing but not limited to:

- Projects of nature engineering
- Indigenous knowledges and forms of stewardship
- Landscapes of modernity
- Landscapes of abandonment, ruination, degradation
- Decolonial/de-modernization projects


Type Details Minutes Start Time
Discussant Peter Klepeis Colgate University 20 8:00 AM
Presenter Peter Klepeis*, Colgate University, Church Forests, Scientific Imaginaries, and Modernity 20 8:20 AM
Presenter Consuelo Guayara Sanchez*, The University of Iowa, Climate change and Indigenous organic coffee production: ways of knowing, experiencing and influencing social and environmental change 20 8:40 AM
Presenter Sibyl Diver*, Stanford University, Networked sovereignties: Indigenous science and water governance in the Klamath River Basin (California, US) 20 9:00 AM

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