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23 May 2011

Moving Forward

Sorry for my absence, everyone.  It's been a physically, mentally, and emotionally draining month for me.  But I'm happy to announce, that I am officially a Master of Applied Anthropology!

Me (bottom right) and my fellow MAA Graduates.
Now it's on to my Ph.D. for which I'll be continuing on at the University of Maryland, College Park.  Over the summer, I'll be working on a proposal for an NSF grant to study the Chesapeake Bay water quality model, and I'll be working with Michael on an invasive species project.  It should be an interesting summer. 

As I've promised, I'll have a whole lot more to post in the coming months.  I hope to get a number of projects going on this blog including a series of posts on Bateson's Mind and Nature: A Necessary Unity, and a set of posts outlining some thoughts on the practice of anthropology and activism.  Hope some of you have held on through this unexpected hiatus, and are eagerly anticipating my summer bump in activity!  :)

04 May 2011

Homi Bhabha and Nature/Culture

I'm working on a paper now for my Theories of the Past class which explores golf courses as representative of the modern relationship to the natural world.  What I'm doing with the paper is applying Homi Bhabha's concepts of the Third Space, hybridity, and translation to the nature/culture relationship.  The argument is that nature and culture form hybrids in the spaces where they meet (i.e. golf courses), that these hybridities are new forms and generate new possibilities for articulation.  Furthermore, it's in these hybridities where a new - potentially more sustainable - relationship can emerge.

Why can't I find anyone who has already done this?  It seems to make sense, and Bhabha's theories accord well with nature/culture theorists such as Latour, Haraway, Whatmore, and others.  I can't be the first to have seen the relevance and similarities here - I know I'm not that original.  Maybe I'm just not looking in the right place?  Maybe the whole project is completely misguided?  Any thoughts or suggestions?

02 May 2011

A Not-So-Recent Insight, Recently Put Into Aphorism Form...


Okay, so the aphorism isn't quite perfected yet, but here goes:

Nothing exists except that some work* has been done to make it so, and nothing continues to exist unless some work is done to maintain it.**
  
This seems like the foundation of both process-relational and object oriented ontologies as I understand them.  I think it has deep implications for our theories of society and for our understanding of our relationship to non-human entities.  

* I want to note that the work can be done either within the entity (autopoiesis) or by another entity acting upon it (allopoiesis).
** There is a complement to this aphorism: All work either creates something new or maintains something that already existed.
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