As palm oil travels from oil, to seed, to market, this controversial substance becomes associated with moral notions of ‘purity’. We take a multi-temporal and multi-scalar approach to understanding this process: examining current and historical literatures on economic botany and lipid chemistry, we unfold the tactics by which these palms and their oils are purified, and identify how these are reproduced in current marketing trends. Purity, this reveals, is a dream. Though this dream is unattainable, it has shaped plants and their oils, human bodies, and ecosystems, all the while masking the troubling consequences of its doing so.
Contemporary nativist logics, evident in the Right’s responses to coronavirus, stand poised to converge with a budding conservative climate politics that conveniently pitches the militarization of borders as a core piece of “our” contribution to combating a warming and unsteady world. Climate change looms as a powerful frame in the nativist politics of the future, and anti-immigrant sentiment is likely to flourish in the conservative environmentalism to come.
The genesis and spread of the novel coronavirus COVID-19 have transformed urban social life across the world. In this essay, I show how COVID-19 epitomizes but does not exclusively define global reach of China's cities, which is weaving new interconnections between humans and non-humans, including viruses and endangered wildlife.
Throughout this volume, infrastructure is revealed as a site of uneven development and exploitation, wherein progress for some is achieved through violence toward others. However, this important feature of infrastructure is not consistently highlighted by the volume’s contributors.
On August 3, 2019 Patrick Crusius opened fire in a crowded WalMart, killing 22 people and injuring 24 more. The killer left behind a manifesto in which he justified his actions as a defense against the “replacement” of white Americans by Latinx people, a threat exacerbated, he explains, by climate change.
The devastating impacts of Hurricanes Irma and Maria across the Caribbean (especially in Barbuda, Dominica, Puerto Rico, St Martin/St Maarten, and parts of the British and US Virgin Islands) are haunting harbingers of a world of climate disaster, halting recovery, and impossible futures. Here, we are fortunate to be able to publish responses from Sharlene Mollet, Beverley Mullings, Marion Werner, and Mimi Sheller.
On 10 May 2013, 400 parts per million of CO2 concentration in the atmosphere was recorded at the Mauna Loa Observatory, Hawaii. In light of these potentially seismic changes in the atmosphere and society, Society and Space invited some interdisciplinary reflections on 400 ppm.
This paper explores the policy concept and community enactments of ‘shared responsibility’ for disaster resilience in the context of wildfires in Victoria, Australia.
Hannah Arendt developed a twofold account of ‘being earthbound’ directly relevant to Anthropocene debates regarding the political. For Arendt, both senses of ‘being earthbound’ arose as humans began to act into nature, not merely upon it.
In this article I examine the enlistment of Arctic ice to tell grand, universal stories about humanity’s origins and endings. To upend temperate-normative ideals of landscape and livelihood, I analyze a poem titled “Exceeding Beringia” by Joan Naviyuk Kane (Inupiaq) wherein Inupiaq relations to more-than-human kin articulate transit and migration as a mutual, obligatory responsibility.
Using Paraguay as a site of genealogical engagement, this paper by Kregg Hetherington explores agribiopolitical relations through three phases of the Green Revolution, culminating in the current age of monocrops.
By attending to chemicals through the mundane work of removal, Angeliki Balayannis' paper opens up different lines of inquiry for studies of waste, and enriches understandings of materiality by considering how visual representations make a difference.
Writings that critically engage the ongoing conditions of coloniality and its effects. Entries in this section may also speculate on intellectual, political and organizational tactics that work to resist coloniality, colonization and colonialism’s effects in the present.
Examines the evolving social, ecological, cultural and geopolitical impacts of energy systems and resource extraction, with particular emphasis on the spatial relationships that structure the extraction, production, distribution and consumption of energy and other natural resources and raw materials
Chronicles past, present, and potential impacts of technoscientific development on the production of space. Provides critical looks into how scientific disciplines and industries influence how we analyze, categorize, experience, interpret, navigate, and represent that which we call space.
Investigates the spatial implications of the mass production, consumption, and disposal of digital media. Core areas of study include the environmental impacts, industrial landscapes, infrastructures, political transformations, social activities, and subjectivities particular to the digital age.
Charts the role that maps and various other forms of geo-visualisation play in the production of space. Offers a critical forum for investigating older modes of cartographic representation as well as newer approaches to big data and the politics of algorithmic and other data-driven processes.
Investigates relations between policing (narrowly and broadly understood), incarceration, and the production of space and spatial knowledge. Borders, criminalized neighborhoods, detention centers, heavily securitized areas, internment camps, jails, prisons, rendition sites, and the spatial relations that they rely on and produce are explored as sites of power and subversion.