Making time: metabolisms, crises, fixes, critique
Ingrid Behrsin, University of California, Davis Kevin Surprise, Mount Holyoke College
This session seeks to link core themes in nature-society geography – capitalist crises, metabolism(s), and spatial/socio-ecological fixes – through the variable of time (and its cognates temporality, tempo, rhythm, rate, etc.), querying how time shapes various attempts to “fix” and/or transcend capitalism’s metabolic rifts and ecological crises. Analyses of capitalist crises and spatio-temporality have, of course, long been foundational (e.g. Harvey 1982). Relationships between temporality, nature, and accumulation have generated fresh insights (e.g. Henderson 1998; Boyd et al. 2001), and continue to provoke new questions – e.g. Moore’s (2015) notion of ‘negative-value’ and the temporal mismatch between ecological crisis and capitalist fixes, and Ekers and Prudham’s (2017) work linking urban metabolisms and socio-ecological fixes. Moreover, the emergence of the Anthropocene has generated questions of geologic/deep time in geographical analysis (Yusoff 2013), and emergent movements such as degrowth and accelerationism place time – particularly relationships between temporality, scale, and technology – at the core of their politics (D’Alisa et al. 2014; Srnicek and Williams 2015).
Questions of time in the above analyses tend to center on the capacity to defer capitalist crises, increase turnover time via the production of space and nature, and to slow down or speed up as a form of politics. While these approaches are crucial, what other temporalities might be at play? As the rates of myriad socio-ecological disasters increase, how do the temporal complexities of various socio-ecological metabolisms shape, disrupt, or otherwise condition “fixes”? How can an emphasis on the connections between time and metabolic processes expand current understandings of capitalist natures and the limits/possibilities of fixes? How does temporality figure into anti-/post-capitalist critique and politics?
This session explores evolving relationships between socio-ecological metabolisms, capitalist crises, time, fixes, and politics – potential topics include but are not limited to:
- Metabolic rift theory
- Urban metabolisms
- Natural cycles and fixes (e.g. carbon)
- Rate of climatic change and green capitalism
- Formal and real subsumption of nature
- Genetic engineering
- Waste and technology
- Preemption, precaution, deterrence
- Discourses and politics of urgency
Please send abstracts of 250 words to Ingrid Behrsin (email@example.com) and Kevin Surprise (firstname.lastname@example.org) by October 16th.
Boyd, W., Prudham, W. S., & Schurman, R. A. (2001). Industrial dynamics and the problem of nature. Society & Natural Resources, 14(7), 555-570.
D'Alisa, G., Demaria, F., & Kallis, G. (Eds.). (2014). Degrowth: a vocabulary for a new era. Routledge.
Ekers, M., & Prudham, S. (2017). The Metabolism of Socioecological Fixes: Capital Switching, Spatial Fixes, and the Production of Nature. Annals of the American Association of Geographers, 1-19.
Harvey, D. (1982). The limits to capital. Blackwell.
Henderson, G. (1998). Nature and fictitious capital: the historical geography of an agrarian question. Antipode, 30(2), 73-118.
Moore, J. W. (2015). Capitalism in the Web of Life: Ecology and the Accumulation of Capital. Verso Books.
Srnicek, N., & Williams, A. (2015). Inventing the future: Postcapitalism and a world without work. Verso Books.
Yusoff, K. (2013). Geologic life: Prehistory, climate, futures in the Anthropocene. Environment and Planning D: Society and Space, 31(5), 779-795.
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