MA Seminar: Social Life in Capitalist Ruins

Dienstag, 10.03.2020

Recent ethnographies document the social and environmental crises that accompany the expansion of neo-liberal capitalism, especially in the Global South. These crises provoke growing criticism among disaffected populations worldwide, as well as increasingly urgent calls for, and experiments with, alternative economies, so that some already see the near „End of Capitalism“ (Gibson-Graham 2006). In the meantime, though, neo-liberal capitalism is still capable to reproduce itself and to create new capitalist frontiers. Anna Tsing showed in „Friction“ (2007) and Tania Li confirmed in „Land’s End“ (2014) how the establishment of capitalist relations not only leads to, but actually coincides with, social and environmental crises. In contrast to Li’s pessimistic analysis of how indigenous populations are, at least in part, dispossessed and marginalized through these processes, while profits are accumulated in national and global centres, Tsing points to the resilience of the marginalized and their capability to cope with capitalism and make a living in its ruins (“The Mushroom at the End of the World” 2015). In the seminar, we will read extended parts of these influential four books by anthropologists and social geographers. As the books converse with each other we will enter the discussion and theorize “on the possibility of life in capitalist ruins” (Tsing 2015) not only in the Global South but everywhere, as well as on the possibility of anthropology to become a transformative science capable of contributing to the construction of alternative economies. Literature: J. K. Gibson-Graham 2006, The End of Capitalism (As We Knew It): A Feminist Critique of Political Economy. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press. Tsing, Anna Lowenhaupt 2007, Friction: An Ethnography of Global Connection. New Jersey: Princeton University Press. Murray Li 2014, Land’s End. Capitalist Relations on an Indigenous Frontier. Durham: Duke University Press. Tsing, Anna Lowenhaupt 2015. The Mushroom at the End of the World. On the Possibility of Life in Capitalist Ruins. New Jersey: Princeton University Press.

Dozierende(r): Prof. Dr. Heinzpeter Znoj
10.03.2020:14:15 - 16:00
Ort: EG, F 006, Seminarraum
Lerchenweg 32-36

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