Roads, bridges, dams and ports: what does the turn to infrastructure (both empirical and theoretical) mean for Latin American environmental geographies?: States & Spaces

Type: Virtual Paper
Theme:
Sponsor Groups:
Poster #:
Day: 4/11/2021
Start / End Time: 9:35 AM / 10:50 AM (PDT)
Room: Virtual 32
Organizers: Jessica Hope, Murat Arsel
Chairs: Jessica Hope

Call for Submissions

Latin America’s contested environmental geographies remain globally significant, in particular for the negotiation and analysis of predatory extractive frontiers and for fertile decolonising agendas that include claims for territory, plurality and ontological multiplicity. Yet, commitments to new infrastructure both connect and complicate extractive and decolonising agendas, with implications for Latin American political ecologies and their analysis. Plans for new infrastructure include new highways, waterways, railways, ports, dams, and power stations, including in the Amazon basin (Bebbington et al 2020). These plans extend a wider turn to infrastructure-led development (Dodson 2017), support the region’s extractive imperative (Arsel et al 2019) and are entangled with global agendas for sustainable development (Hope 2020).

Within social science, an infrastructural turn has brought changes to contemporary conceptualisations of infrastructure that go beyond physical materiality to examine infrastructures as a manifestation of social and technological processes (Lemanski 2019:3; Larkin 2013; Von Schnitzler 2008), revealing how infrastructure is implicated in citizenship (Lemanski 2020), post-colonial politics (Cowen 2019; Enns & Bersaglio 2020), authoritarian developmentalism (Arsel et al. forthcoming), and political ecology (Anand 2017; Bebbington 2020; Hope forthcoming). In this 3 session panel, papers examine what this turn to infrastructure means, both empirically and theoretically, for our understanding and analysis of Latin American environmental geographies. The panels are organised by themes of States & Spaces; Subjectivities & Identities; and Knowledges & Territories.


Description

Latin America’s contested environmental geographies remain globally significant, in particular for the negotiation and analysis of predatory extractive frontiers and for fertile decolonising agendas that include claims for territory, plurality and ontological multiplicity. Yet, commitments to new infrastructure both connect and complicate extractive and decolonising agendas, with implications for Latin American political ecologies and their analysis. Plans for new infrastructure include new highways, waterways, railways, ports, dams, and power stations, including in the Amazon basin (Bebbington et al 2020). These plans extend a wider turn to infrastructure-led development (Dodson 2017), support the region’s extractive imperative (Arsel et al 2019) and are entangled with global agendas for sustainable development (Hope 2020).

Within social science, an infrastructural turn has brought changes to contemporary conceptualisations of infrastructure that go beyond physical materiality to examine infrastructures as a manifestation of social and technological processes (Lemanski 2019:3; Larkin 2013; Von Schnitzler 2008), revealing how infrastructure is implicated in citizenship (Lemanski 2020), post-colonial politics (Cowen 2019; Enns & Bersaglio 2020), authoritarian developmentalism (Arsel et al. forthcoming), and political ecology (Anand 2017; Bebbington 2020; Hope forthcoming). In this 3 session panel, papers examine what this turn to infrastructure means, both empirically and theoretically, for our understanding and analysis of Latin American environmental geographies. The panels are organised by themes of States & Spaces; Subjectivities & Identities; and Knowledges & Territories.


Agenda

Type Details Minutes Start Time
Presenter Maria Eugenia Giraudo*, University of Durham, Development corridors and the spatio-temporal matrix of the soybean boom 15 9:35 AM
Presenter Gustavo Oliveira*, University of California - Irvine, Fluvial ports, Amazonian entrepôts, and the infrastructure of a global sacrifice zone 15 9:50 AM
Presenter Murat Arsel*, International Institute of Social Studies - Erasmus University Rotterdam, Lorenzo Pellegrini, International Institute of Social Studies - Erasmus University Rotterdam, State and Infrastructural Power in Latin America 15 10:05 AM
Presenter Diana Aguiar*, Universidade Federal Do Rio De Janeiro, In the way of soy: territorial tensions in Amazonian frontiers 15 10:20 AM
Presenter Angus McNelly*, Queen Mary University of London, Joshua Kirshner*, University of York, Infrastructure and Nationalising Projects in South America and Sub-Saharan Africa 15 10:35 AM

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