← Zurück zum Kalender

Troubled Knowledge: Health, Harm and the Environment in late Industrialism

25. Juli – 28. Juli 2023 

Pan­el at the DGSKA (Deutsche Gesel­len­schaft für Sozial- und Kul­tur­an­thro­polo­gie) con­fer­ence in Munich

Over the last decades, a grow­ing num­ber of schol­ars in the nat­ur­al and
social sci­ences have shown the dev­as­tat­ing health effects of
envi­ron­men­tal pol­lu­tion on humans and oth­er liv­ing beings. Hydrocarbon
extrac­tion, chem­i­cal pol­lu­tants with­in exten­sive plan­ta­tion regimes as
well as the envi­ron­men­tal effects of glob­al sup­ply-chains are only some
exam­ples of con­tem­po­rary eco­nom­ic, indus­tri­al, agri­cul­tur­al and medical
activ­i­ties, which are deeply gen­dered and racial­ized. All this has
con­tributed to envi­ron­men­tal degra­da­tion, the break­down of biological
and social sys­tems as well as the increase of chron­ic health problems,
hit­ting par­tic­u­lar­ly the most pre­car­i­ous, in both the Glob­al South and
North. While numer­ous pub­lic actors cor­rob­o­rate the valid­i­ty of such
knowl­edge, oth­er actors, how­ev­er, con­test not only the intertwinements
between envi­ron­men­tal pol­lu­tion and health issues but also its
We wish to dis­cuss in how far anthro­po­log­i­cal meth­ods pro­vide the
nec­es­sary time and depth to fur­ther knowl­edge on expe­ri­ences and
rela­tions through which grow­ing lev­els of tox­i­c­i­ty, pol­lu­tion, and
atmos­pher­ic warm­ing man­i­fest as health is-sues, as well as to understand
the con­tro­ver­sial and infor­mal forms of knowl­edge pro­duc­tion that
sur­round this. There­fore, we ask: Through which knowl­edge prac­tices do
eco­nom­ic and polit­i­cal actors try to obfus­cate the con­nec­tions between
pol­lu­tion, tox­i­c­i­ties and human and more-than-human dis­ease? Which role
does anthro­po­log­i­cal knowl­edge play in ongo­ing debates about the health
effects of late indus­tri­al­ism? How do peo­ple and activists on the ground
pro­duce and spread de-colo­nial, anti-ableist, par­tic­i­pa­to­ry and
col­lab­o­ra­tive knowl­edge about the rela­tions between health and
envi­ron­ments? In which ways do dai­ly liv­ing expe­ri­ences, that
anthro­po­log­i­cal knowl­edge is based on, chal­lenge and com­pli­cate existing
causative mod­els about the dis/juncture between envi­ron­men­tal pollution
and health effects in human afterlives?
Please send a text of max. 200 words direct­ly to the workshop
orga­niz­ers. Dead­line: 15 Decem­ber 2022
Gior­gio Brocco
Depart­ment of Social and Cul­tur­al Anthropology
Uni­ver­si­ty of Vienna
Uni­ver­sitätsstraße 7 (NIG)
1010 Wien
Raum: C0412
T: +43–1‑4277–49535