AAA/CASCA 2019 "The Nature of Capitalist Time"

Dear Colleagues,
Call for Papers: We are looking for one more paper to complete our double-panel session “The Nature of Capitalist Time” at the meeting of the AAA/CASCA 2019 in Vancouver, 20-24 November 2019.
The Nature of Capitalist Time
Economic anthropologists have contributed greatly to our understanding of the temporal dimensions of capitalist production, exchange, and consumption. Meanwhile, environmental anthropologists have analyzed the centrality of time to ecological processes, seasonal and climatic change, and associated human ways of being in the world. But aside from a few exceptions, which tend to pivot on big concepts like the Capitalocene and the Anthropocene, these parallel bodies of scholarship have yet to engage in sustained conversation about the degree to which capitalist time is facilitated, impeded, or otherwise shaped by “nature.” This panel is animated by a number of broad questions: How exactly does nature mediate the temporality of capitalism? In what ways does capitalist time depend on nature as idiom, as object, or as force? How do the ongoing transformations of both capitalism and nature reconfigure the temporal contours of social and political life? What kind of more-than-human collaborations emerge in these contexts?

Participants will focus on the discursive and material linkages between economy, ecology, and temporality in specific sites and situations. Possible areas of inquiry include the temporal rhythms characteristic of mineral extraction; the influence of evolutionary timelines on the formation of racialized labor regimes; the ways in which seasonal changes may hinder or facilitate resource production and trade; the toxic afterlives of technological waste; or climatic fluctuations integral to the generation of alternative energies. While we highlight the need to think across the boundaries of economic and environmental anthropology, our effort to unite these different strands of research will neither aspire to a singular theory about the nature of capitalist time nor settle for an eclectic inventory of infinite variation. Rather the objective is to account for the diverse but patterned temporal registers in which the relationship between nature and capitalism is expressed (e.g., accelerations, compressions, disruptions, delays, pauses, bursts, crises, cycles). This panel invites contributions that engage ethnographically with any aspect of capitalism (e.g., labor, financialization, neoliberalism, trade, investment, debt, extraction, and wages) in relation to nature broadly conceived (e.g., microbes, hurricanes, insects, glaciers, genes, wind, oil, sunlight, gold, carbon, gravity, and water). We welcome contributions that draw on cross-disciplinary and decolonizing approaches in order to move anthropological discussion forward.
Please, send your abstract (250 words) to the panel conveners, Gisa Weszkalnys (<>) and Austin Zeiderman (<>), by 22 March 2019.

Contact Info

Canadian Anthropology Society (CASCA)
c/o Karli Whitmore
125 rue Jean de la Londe, #301
Baie d'Urfe (Québec) H9X 3T8