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Jour Fixe on Human-Soil Affections

Jan 15, 2016

The Jour Fixe took place on Thursday, January 21, from 4 to 6 pm at the Karl Jaspers Centre where Maria Puig de la Bellacasa (Leicester) gave a talk about “Soils Enlivened. Transforming human-soil affections”. The lecture was chaired by Daniel Münster.

“In a sense we are unique moist packages of animated soil”. These are the alluring words of Francis D. Hole, renowned for his efforts in propagating love for the soil and promoting understanding of its vital importance for humankind. In this paper I engage with moments in scientific, activist and cultural practice in which soils are perceived as ‘coming alive’, revealing the life within them, or even their spirit, altering the perception of soil as inert matter subjected to human use and inviting to transformative human-soil affections. I read these instances of transformative human-soil relationalities against the general background of anthropocenic alarm in which soils appear as yet another objectified natural resource brought to exhaustion by a dominant productionist ethos. In contrast, these moments of soil enlivening offer glimpses of alternative existential timescapes at the heart of technoscience, where a sense of human-soil interdependency is intensified, drawing practitioners into ecopoietic co-involvements.

Dr. Maria Puig de la Bellacasa teaches at the University of Leicester. Her latest book "Matters of care. Speculative ethics in more than human worlds", is forthcoming with University of Minnesota Press.

Dr. Daniel Münster is Junior Research Group Leader of C15 "Agrarian Alternatives: Agrarian Crisis, Global Concerns and the Contested Agro-Ecological Futures in South Asia".

The Jour Fixe is an event taking place regularly at the Cluster. It is organised in turns by the four research areas A "Government and Administration", B "Public Spheres", C "Knowledge Systems" and D "Historicities and Heritage".



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