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Environmentalism and social sciences appear to be in a period of disorientation and perhaps transition. In this innovative collection, leading international thinkers explore the notion that one explanation for the current malaise of the “politics of ecology” is that we increasingly find ourselves negotiating “technonatural” space/times. International contributors map the political ecologies of our technonatural present and indicate possible paths for technonatural futures.

The term “technonatures” is in debt to a long line of environmental cultural theory from Raymond Williams onwards, problematizing the idea that a politics of the environment can be usefully grounded in terms of the rhetoric of defending the pure, the authentic, or an idealized past solely in terms of the ecological or the natural. In using the term “technonatures” as an organizing myth and metaphor for thinking about the politics of nature in contemporary times, this collection seeks to explore one increasingly pronounced dimension of the social natures discussion. Technonatures highlights a growing range of voices considering the claim that we are not only inhabiting diverse social natures but that within such natures our knowledge of our worlds is ever more technologically mediated, produced, enacted, and contested.



Publié par
Date de parution 05 avril 2010
Nombre de lectures 0
EAN13 9781554588206
Langue English
Poids de l'ouvrage 1 Mo

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Environments, Technologies, Spaces, and Places in the Twenty-first Century
Damian F. White and Chris Wilbert, editors
We acknowledge the financial support of the Government of Canada through the Book Publishing Industry Development Program for our publishing activities.
Library and Archives Canada Cataloguing in Publication
Technonatures : environments, technologies, spaces, and places in the twenty-first century / edited by Damian F. White and Chris Wilbert.
(Environmental humanities series)
Includes bibliographical references and index.
ISBN 978-1-55458-150-4
1. Environmental sciences-Philosophy. 2. Nature-Effect of human beings on. 3. Environmentalism-Philosophy. 4. Political ecology-Philosophy. I. White, Damian F., 1967- II. Wilbert, Chris, [date] III. Series: Environmental humanities series
GE40.T42 2009 333.701 C2008-907972-8
2009 Wilfrid Laurier University Press
Waterloo, Ontario, Canada
The cover photograph shows a sculpture by Rosario L pez Parra titled Guatavita 04 (2007). The sculptor was born in Bogat in 1970 and is a professor in the Fine Arts Department at the Universidad Nacional de Columbia. Cover design by David Drummond. Text design by Daiva Villa, Chris Rowat Design.

This book is printed on Ancient Forest Friendly paper (100% post-consumer recycled).
Printed in Canada
Every reasonable effort has been made to acquire permission for copyright material used in this text and to acknowledge all such indebtedness accurately. Any errors and omissions called to the publisher s attention will be corrected in future printings.
No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system or transmitted, in any form or by any means, without the prior written consent of the publisher or a licence from The Canadian Copyright Licensing Agency (Access Copyright). For an Access Copyright licence, visit or call toll free to 1-800-893-5777.
Inhabiting Technonatural Time/Spaces
Damian F. White and Chris Wilbert
Part One Conceptualizing Technonatural Time/Spaces
Chapter One
Governing Global Environmental Flows: Ecological Modernization in Technonatural Time/Spaces
Peter Oosterveer
Chapter Two
Circulations and Metabolisms: (Hybrid) Natures and (Cyborg) Cities
Erik Swyngedouw
Chapter Three
The Cellphone-in-the-Countryside: On Some of the Ironic Spatialities of Technonatures
Mike Michael
Chapter Four
Living Cities: Toward a Politics of Conviviality
Steve Hinchliffe and Sarah Whatmore
Part Two Experiencing Technonatural Cultures
Chapter Five
Boundaries and Border Wars: DES, Technology, and Environmental Justice
Julie Sze
Chapter Six
Critical Mass: How Built Bodies Can Help Forge Environmental Futures
Fletcher Linder
Chapter Seven
Living Between Nature and Technology: The Suburban Constitution of Environmentalism in Australia
Aidan Davison
Part Three Technonatural Present-Futures
Chapter Eight
The Property Boundaries/Boundary Properties in Technonature Studies: Inventing the Future
Timothy W. Luke
Chapter Nine
Fluid Architectures: Ecologies of Hybrid Urbanism
Simon Guy
Chapter Ten
A Post-Industrial Green Economy: The New Productive Forces and the Crisis of the Academic Left
Brian Milani
Environmentalism and the environmental social sciences appear to be in a period of disorientation and even transition. This collection draws together leading international thinkers to explore the notion that perhaps one explanation for the current malaise of the politics of ecology is that we increasingly find ourselves negotiating technonatural time/spaces.
Technonatures provides a definitive mapping of a series of new political ecologies that are unfolding in the environmental social sciences, the environmental humanities, and technology studies, leaving anxieties and consternation in their wake. Contributors variously argue that a technonatural sensibility can be found in attempts to grapple with the environmental consequences of emerging informational capitalism and network societies, as well as in growing concerns about the rise of biopolitical economies and the technological colonization of fleshy bodies. That same sensibility can be found in attempts to map the shifting relations between humans and non-humans and in ongoing debates about the future of humanism for environmental analysis. Technonatures , though, does not simply outline a narrative of disenchantment. Contributors also suggest that from the growing interest in ecotechnology, industrial ecology, and sustainable architecture to hybrid aesthetics, from debates about cosmopolitics to recent attempts to recover the city as the ultimate technological-natural-social entity, multiple possibilities exist for constructing alternative technonatural futures.
Many of the themes addressed in this collection may be dismissed by traditional environmentalists as merely symptomatic of a colonizing technological idealism. Yet all the contributors to this collection argue in different ways that there has been a discernable shift in the imaginative horizons of the environmental debate of late. A central structure of feeling of technonatural time/spaces is that neither the environmental social sciences, nor the environmental humanities, nor environmentalism as a broad and diverse social movement, can understand or transform our social-ecological worlds in more egalitarian or just fashions by premising their narratives on a fictitious organic past or on nostalgic normative visions of purified ecological futures.
This book sketches out the contours and tensions of emerging technonatural political ecologies with the aid of contributions from a broad range of writers situated in a variety of disciplines and theoretical traditions. Technonatures brings together contributions, from authors variously influenced by Frankfurt School critical theory to those influenced by the sociologies of ecological modernization; from eco-Marxism to Deleuzian currents and actor network theory; from environmental justice, feminist, and anti-racist scholars to authors influenced by post-industrial and ecotechnological discourses, to demonstrate how a variety of perspectives are addressing technonatural time/spaces.
As is the case with many collective academic endeavours, this book emerged from a mixture of motives: the boredom that comes with a long summer spent reading exciting new materials but having few broader allies to engage with; a desire to think beyond the isolation and often narcissism of much academic life; and the hope of creating a context for thinking and acting collectively to build alliances that would allow us to more effectively act politically. The first manifestation of this urge arose back in 2001, at what was somewhat pretentiously called the New Political Economy Reading Group, an interdisciplinary group of sociologists, geographers, and ecologists who met in the summer of 2001 at City University, London, out of a desire to engage with political economy, cultures, and natures. A number of themes dominated discussions at this group. Initially, there was a collective desire to read about and come to grips with a range of currents then surging though the environmental social sciences-currents inspired variously by the work of Henri Lefebvre, Bruno Latour, Doreen Massey, John Urry, Neil Smith, David Harvey, and Erik Swyngedouw. Soon the work of Gilles Deleuze, Donna Haraway, Andrew Barry, Sarah Whatmore, David Hess, and Bruno Latour, and developments in science and technology studies more generally, forced their way onto the agenda. Our practising ecologists suggested that we attend to the interesting work emerging from non-equilibrium ecologists; others suggested that social theory, political ecology, and STS were all very well but that someone should be keeping an eye on exciting developments occurring outside the social sciences, in industrial ecology and sustainable architecture. But the group settled most notably on a collective appreciation of the work of Noel Castree and Bruce Braun. Yet if one defining theme of this group was excitement over this innovative literature, which seemed to be allowing us to think the politics of nature in all kinds of promising new ways, there was equally a certain dismay at the extent to which this exciting intellectual culture of ferment over the politics of nature seemed to be entirely unrepresented in the increasingly conservative public discourse of environmentalism. As the energies of summer became overtaken by the demands of work and teaching, this forum fell apart; even so, the interest and concerns continued and were reworked and rethought in different contexts. And at one of the many conferences in the circuits of academe we decided to develop some events with the goal of working toward a different, more open, and more questioning politics of environmentalism.
Most notably, these thoughts were channelled across four Technonatures conferences that were held respectively at the Department of Sociology, Goldsmith s College, University of London in 2003; the Department of Geography, Oxford University, in 2004; the International Sociological Association Annual Meeting in Stockholm, in 2005; and the American Association of Geographers in Chicago, in 2006. In all four places the conversations continued. This book is largely the product of them.
As is often the case with such a long journ

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