Making Post/Anthropocentric Futures in Agrobiodiversity Conservation

in Nature and Culture
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  • 1 Faculty of Social Sciences, Goethe-University Frankfurt, Germany verschuer@soz.uni-frankfurt.de
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Abstract

Since the mid-twentieth century global modernization of agriculture, seed banking has become a core technoscientific strategy to counteract agrobiodiversity loss and ensure future food security. This article develops a post-anthropocentric reading of the Svalbard Global Seed Vault as a nodal point of global ex situ conservation efforts. Based on qualitative expert interviews, I explore the rationality of crisis and salvation that underlies these efforts and discuss its roots in an anthropocentric relation to nature as a resource. By arguing that the latter produces the crises that conservation measures intend to counteract, I show how the Seed Vault conserves this resource-orientation. I then illustrate a concurrent unruliness of more-than-human worldly becoming the embracing of which, I argue, is a way for conservationism to cultivate different, non-crisic futures.

Contributor Notes

Franziska von Verschuer is a research associate in the “Biotechnologies, Nature and Society” Research Group at the Faculty of Social Sciences at Goethe-University Frankfurt in Germany. She studied Sociology and Psychology at the Universities of Freiburg and Frankfurt. Her research interests include feminist theory and epistemology, social studies of science and technology, as well as post-anthropocentric and decolonial theory. She is currently working on her PhD project, which investigates ex situ agrobiodiversity conservation and the ways it produces, governs, and cares for naturalcultural futures. ORCID: 0000-0001-6293-8254. E-mail: verschuer@soz.uni-frankfurt.de

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