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Unsettling the Land

Indigeneity, Ontology, and Hybridity in Settler Colonialism

Paul Berne Burow, Samara Brock, and Michael R. Dove

What are the stakes of different ontologies of land in settler colonialism and Indigenous movements for decolonization and environmental justice? Settler colonialism describes a structure of exogenous domination in which Indigenous inhabitants of a

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Righting Names

The Importance of Native American Philosophies of Naming for Environmental Justice

Rebekah Sinclair

connected to a particular ontology that understands individuals as the fundamental units of reality and thus of ecology, biology, anthropology, politics, ethics, law, and so on. Why is this important for thinking about environmental management from an

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Archaeology and Animal Persons

Toward a Prehistory of Human-Animal Relations

Erica Hill

The discipline of archaeology has long engaged with animals in a utilitarian mode, constructing animals as objects to be hunted, manipulated, domesticated, and consumed. Only recently, in tandem with the rising interest in animals in the humanities and the development of interdisciplinary animal studies research, has archaeology begun to systematically engage with animals as subjects. This article describes some of the ways in which archaeologists are reconstructing human engagements with animals in the past, focusing on relational modes of interaction documented in many hunting and gathering societies. Among the most productive lines of evidence for human-animal relations in the past are animal burials and structured deposits of animal bones. These archaeological features provide material evidence for relational ontologies in which animals, like humans, were vested with sentience and agency.

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“Litigation Is Our Last Resort”

Addressing Uncertainty, Undone Science, and Bias in Court to Assert Indigenous Rights

Bindu Panikkar

. The application of diverse epistemic and ontological multiplicities is weak in science and law. This research looks into dominant epistemic paradigms—expertise barriers, scientific universalism, undone science, lack of representation—that contribute to

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Toying with Animism

How Learning to Play Might Help Us Get Serious About the Environment

Timothy Stacey

will require a loosening up of the boundaries between East and West, South and North, Abrahamic and animist that are over-reified by the use of divisive and exclusionary terms like “spirituality,” “religion,” “sacred,” and “ontology.” The use of such

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The Metrics of Making Ecosystem Services

Pamela McElwee

and Planning A 47 ( 9 ): 1787 – 1804 . doi:10.1068/a130275p . 10.1068/a130275p Cooper , Nigel , Emily Brady , Helen Steen , and Rosalind Bryce . 2016 . “ Aesthetic and Spiritual Values of Ecosystems: Recognising the Ontological and

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Materiality and Social Life

Theodore Schatzki

An important issue in contemporary social theory is how social thought can systematically take materiality into account. This article suggests that one way social theory can do so is by working with an ontology that treats materiality as part of society. The article presents one such ontology, according to which social phenomena consist in nexuses of human practices and material arrangements. This ontology (1) recognizes three ways materiality is part of social phenomena, (2) holds that most social phenomena are intercalated constellations of practices, technology, and materiality, and (3) opens up consideration of relations between practices and material arrangements. A brief practice-material history of the Kentucky Bluegrass region where the author resides illustrates the idea that social phenomena evince changing material configurations over time.

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Mapping Biotechnology: From Epistemic Artifacts to Geographies of Control

Michael S. Carolan

This article maps key epistemological and ontological terrains associated with biotechnology. Beginning with the epistemological, a comparison is made between the scientific representations of today, particularly as found in the genomic sciences, and the scientific representations of the past. In doing this, we find these representations have changed over the centuries, which has been of significant consequence in terms of giving shape to today's global political economy. In the following section, the sociopolitical effects of biotechnology are discussed, particularly in terms of how the aforementioned representations give shape to global path dependencies. By examining the epistemological and ontological assumptions that give shape to the global distribution of informational and biological resources, this article seeks to add to our understanding of today's bioeconomy and the geographies of control it helps to create.

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Anthropological Engagement with the Anthropocene

A Critical Review

Hannah Gibson and Sita Venkateswar

The Anthropocene refers to the planetary scale of anthropogenic influences on the composition and function of Earth ecosystems and life forms. Socio-political and geographic responses frame the uneven topographies of climate change, while efforts to adapt and mitigate its impact extend across social and natural sciences. This review of anthropology's evolving engagement with the Anthropocene contemplates multifarious approaches to research. The emergence of multispecies ethnographic research highlights entanglements of humans with other life forms. New ontological considerations are reflected in Kohn's “Anthropology of Life,” ethnographic research that moves beyond an isolated focus on the human to consider other life processes and entities as research participants. Examples of critical engagement discussed include anthropology beyond disciplinary borders, queries writing in the Anthropocene, and anthropology of climate change. We demonstrate the diverse positions of anthropologists within this juncture in relation to our central trope of entanglements threaded through our discussion in this review.

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Old Philosophy, New Movement: The Rise of the Islamic Ecological Paradigm in the Discourse of Environmentalism

Md Saidul Islam

Contesting the U.S.-centric bias of modern environmentalism, this essay uncovers an “old“ paradigm of environmentalism found in the medieval Islamic tradition, the Islamic Ecological Paradigm (IEP)—which, in many respects, is tantamount to many ideologies of modern environmentalism. According to IEP, human beings are a part of, and not above, nature, and have the responsibility to preserve nature. Many paradigms of modern environmentalism have largely embraced this ideology, though they do not necessarily trace their origin to IEP. This essay also analyzes Muslim environmental activism today by focusing on how its proponents are inspired by modern environmentalism while grounding their activism in IEP. Despite substantial variance and occasional tension, the author argues that both modern environmentalism and IEP can form an ontological alliance, an alliance that is of paramount importance to addressing environmental problems that transcend physical and cultural borders.