Oral Presentation Session
Reviewed by: Society for Latin American and Caribbean Anthropology
Of interest to: Students
Primary Theme: The Political
Secondary Theme: Indigeneity
This panel interrogates processes of territorialization in Latin America, exploring the contention and struggles involved in producing territory in contexts shaped by ongoing colonial relations of violence and dispossession. The papers in this session account for both the strategies by which states produce themselves as territorial sovereigns and the practices through which Indigenous, Afro-descendant, and peasant communities territorialize their own claims to lands and livelihoods.
• How does the language of territory figure in these struggles? What are the implications of territory’s genealogical relation to the sovereign nation state (Elden 2013) in contemporary conflicts over land and autonomy? If state-sanctioned discourses on property or resources have worked to render “the terrain, its products, and its workforce more legible – and hence manipulable – from above and from the center” (Scott 1998), how has the idea of territory been positioned in relation the concepts of property and resources and with what effects?
• What are the practices by which territoriality is established? How do these practices relate to changing property regimes in neoliberal and post-neoliberal contexts and to the political economy and political ecology of contemporary Latin American capitalisms, including a return to extractivism?
• If states have been constituted as territorial sovereigns via the application of “the law and the violence on which it rests” (Hansen and Stepputat 2006), to what extent is this constitutive capacity of law and violence challenged or undermined by contemporary assertions of rights on the part of Indigenous, Afro-descendant, and peasant communities?
• How do the ontologies of Indigenous, Afro-descendant, and peasant communities challenge or confound state productions of territory? How are these distinct -- yet intersecting – productions of territory and socio-natures entangled with one another?
Elden, Stuart. 2013. The Birth of Territory. University of Chicago Press.
Hansen, Thomas Blom, and Finn Stepputat. 2006. Sovereignty Revisited. Annual Review of Anthropology 35(1): 295–315.
Scott, James C. 1998. Seeing like a State: How Certain Schemes to Improve the Human Condition Have Failed. Yale University Press.