Infrastructure, Environment, and Life in the Anthropocene explores life in the age of climate change through a series of infrastructural puzzles—sites at which it has become impossible to disentangle the natural from the built environment. With topics ranging from breakwaters built of oysters, underground rivers made by leaky pipes, and architecture gone weedy to neighborhoods partially submerged by rising tides, the contributors explore situations that destabilize the concepts we once relied on to address environmental challenges. They take up the challenge that the Anthropocene poses both to life on the planet and to our social-scientific understanding of it by showing how past conceptions of environment and progress have become unmoored and what this means for how we imagine the future. Contributors. Nikhil Anand, Andrea Ballestero, Bruce Braun, Ashley Carse, Gastón R. Gordillo, Kregg Hetherington, Casper Bruun Jensen, Joseph Masco, Shaylih Muehlmann, Natasha Myers, Stephanie Wakefield, Austin Zeiderman
About the Author
Kregg Hetherington is Associate Professor of Sociology and Anthropology at Concordia University and the author of Guerrilla Auditors: The Politics of Transparency in Neoliberal Paraguay, also published by Duke University Press.
Table of Contents
Acknowledgments vii Introduction. Keywords of the Anthropocene / Kregg Hetherington 1 Part I. Reckoning with Ground 1. The Underground as Infrastructure? Water, Figure/Ground Reversals, and Dissolution in Sardinal / Andrea Ballestero 17 2. Clandestine Infrastructures: Illicit Connectivities in the U.S.-Mexico Borderlands / Shaylih Muehlmann 45 3. The Metropolis: The Infrastructure of the Anthropocene / Gastón Gordillo 66 Part II: Lively Infrastructures 4. Dirty Landscapes: How Weediness Indexes State Disinvestment and Global Disconnection / Ashley Carse 97 5. From Edenic Apocalypse to Gardens against Eden: Plants and People in and after the Anthropocene / Natasha Myers 115 6. Leaking Lines / Nikhil Anand 149 Part III: Histories of Progress 7. Low Tide: Submerged Humanism in a Colombian Port / Austin Zeiderman 171 8. Oysterstructure: Infrastructure, Profanation, and the Sacred Figure of the Human / Stephanie Wakefield & Bruce Braun 193 9. Here Comes the Sun?: Experimenting with Cambodian Energy Infrastructures / Casper Bruun Jensen 216 10. The Crisis in Crisis / Joseph Masco 236 References 261 Contributors 293 Index 297
What People are Saying About This
"Offering an original approach to contemporary concerns about infrastructures at a time of devastating environmental change, this impressive volume focuses on the political implications of the ways in which environments and infrastructures are conflated or kept apart. Through close attention to the shifting relations between figure and ground on which infrastructural politics ultimately depend, this outstanding intervention will shape critical discussions in anthropology, science and technology studies, and cultural geography."
“When the evidence of pollution and infrastructural decay is abundant, what kinds of critical response are relevant? The contributors to this outstanding collection demonstrate how insightful ethnographic research has the capacity to reveal pervasive and localized symptoms of environmental deterioration and, in the midst of these, is also able to detect the signs of possibility. The result is a compelling intervention in the debate about the planetary condition.”