Sedimentation: Extraction, Soil and Memory
(seeking papers re: Agriculture, Food Commodities)
Serena Stein, PhD Candidate, Princeton University
Andrew Ofstehage, PhD Candidate, UNC-Chapel Hill
Land is often mobilized discursively as wastelands (Voyles, 2015) or zones of hidden potential and promise for capitalist development (Yeh, 2013) to justify frontier expansions worldwide. Land, landscapes and soil are also increasingly recognized as powerful actors in agrarian narratives and encounters, as agentive materials that help create their own history and futures (Kawa, 2016). This panel centers upon the encounters, memories, and afterlives of soil, putting forward the analytic of ‘sedimentation’ to recognize, reconsider and unsettle the dust upon which we tread in so-called development contexts of extraction. In particular, sedimentation, as a social analytic, aims to rethink processes and potential shapes of accumulation in extractive spaces, in terms of strata (tempo, order, verticality); accretion (formation, connection, growth); and provenience (origins, indigeneity, and future archaeologies) of resources taken from the earth, as well as the (im)material objects, spaces, imaginaries, and discursive remains. Presenters will draw on multi-species and actor/non-actor encounters (Haraway, 2007; Ingold, 2000; Raffles, 2002; Tsing, 2015), materiality of things (Stoler, 2016; Bennett 2010), and memories and afterlives of land and soil encounters (Gordillo, 2014) to examine the placeness, temporalities and relationalities of encounters in and through land, with attention to disparate histories, political projects, and livelihoods in the Global South that help to constitute the material and narrative lives of soil.