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„Chemical Affects: Engaging Substances in Life-Death Worlds” (EASST-4S Conference, Amsterdam)

Datum
16. Juli – 19. Juli 2024 

CfP „Chem­i­cal Affects: Engag­ing Sub­stances in Life-Death Worlds” (P041), for the upcom­ing EASST-4S Con­fer­ence in Ams­ter­dam (16–19 July 2023).


CfP „Chem­i­cal Affects: Engag­ing Sub­stances in Life-Death Worlds” (P041)
EASST-4S Con­fer­ence, Amsterdam
16–19 July 2023
CfP dead­line: Feb­ru­ary 12 2024 (sub­mit your paper here)

Abstract:
Chem­i­cals are ambiva­lent mat­ters, engaged in the dis­tri­b­u­tion of life and death across geo­gra­phies, organ­isms, and bod­ies. As indus­tri­al prod­ucts they car­ry the his­to­ry of cap­i­tal­ist and envi­ron­men­tal exploita­tion. As effec­tive sub­stances they fos­ter growth and plea­sure, pro­duce kin­ship and belong­ing, or induce harm and suf­fer­ing. As endur­ing par­ti­cles they shape our geo­log­i­cal era, while unequal­ly expos­ing peo­ple to tox­i­cants along the geopo­lit­i­cal lines of class and race (Agard-Jones 2013).
Indus­tri­al chem­i­cals and their by-prod­ucts have become indis­pens­able to human and more-than-human life, act­ing on and trans­form­ing ter­ri­to­ries and bod­ies in ways that are destruc­tive and ben­e­fi­cial to plan­e­tary and human health. In this cur­rent con­di­tion of alter­life (Mur­phy 2017), the his­to­ries of chem­i­cals, their (side) effects as well as their after­lives and spec­u­la­tive futures per­me­ate life-death affec­tive­ly and mate­ri­al­ly. As such, STS schol­ars fol­low chem­i­cals ethno­graph­i­cal­ly (Shapiro and Kirk­sey 2017) and take into account their agency, by allow­ing sub­stances to sur­prise and enthrall (Dumit 2022, Gomart 2004).
This pan­el gath­ers schol­ars work­ing on and with sub­stances in dif­fer­ent dis­ci­plines and local­i­ties to explore the pol­i­tics, ethics and affects of liv­ing and dying in rela­tion to chem­i­cals. It expands exist­ing dis­cus­sions with a focus on how spe­cif­ic chem­i­cals – phar­ma­ceu­ti­cals, pes­ti­cides and oth­er com­pounds – in their respec­tive form, prop­er­ty and use are engaged in the pro­duc­tion and gov­er­nance of life and death, but also how they blur the lines between those worlds.

The Anthro­pol­o­gy Mat­ters net­work invites papers that:

- trace chem­i­cals in their live­ly and dead­ly poten­tials and method­olog­i­cal­ly attune to their mate­r­i­al-affec­tive capacities.

- crit­i­cal­ly inves­ti­gate prac­tices of inhab­it­ing tox­ic worlds (Nad­ing 2020) as well as the post/colonial inequal­i­ties inscribed in them.

- explore avenues of col­lab­o­ra­tive­ly inter­ven­ing in “chem­i­cal vio­lence” (Mur­phy 2017) to strive for decolo­nial futures.

- ques­tion eth­i­cal imper­a­tives of liv­ing and dying in chem­i­cal­ly altered times.

Con­tact:
Mar­cos Freire de Andrade Neves (Freie Uni­ver­sität Berlin)
Max Schnepf (Freie Uni­ver­sität Berlin)
Gior­gio Broc­co (Uni­ver­si­ty of Vienna)