2015 Workshop

Infrastructure, Environment and Life in the Anthropocene

Concordia University, Hall Building (1455 de Maisonneuve West)

Room H1220


Thanks to everyone for making this happen!

On October 19-20 2015, Concordia University will host an international workshop on what happens to the concepts of infrastructure, environment and life in an age of ecological crises. The workshop brings together 16 established and emerging scholars, whose research specializes in the intersection of these concepts, for a focused two-day discussion of pre-circulated papers. The discussion is inter-disciplinary, with anthropologists, geographers, sociologists and science studies scholars participating. Anyone who wishes to read the papers ahead of time and participate in the workshop can get in touch via the contact below. There will also be a keynote lecture at 1:30 on the 19th by Kim Fortun, to which all are welcome.

The project contributes to an ongoing collaborative initiative at Concordia University and internationally on the conceptual and political relationship between infrastructure and environment in the social sciences, and will serve to inaugurate a long-term series of activities around this topic. It is made possible by contributions from Concordia University’s office of the Provost and Vice-President Academic Affairs, the Loyola College for Sustainability Research, the departments of Political Science and Sociology and Anthropology, the Japanese Society for the Promotion of Science, and the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada.

(Link to full workshop description with abstracts)

(Link to Kim Fortun Keynote)


(Link to full workshop description with abstracts)

Day 1: Monday, October 19th


9:00-9:30        Introductory Remarks and Orientation

9:30-12 Session 1: Environment

  • Bruce Braun. Environment as Infrastructure
  • Gaston Gordillo. Forests Destroyed by Bulldozers: An Affective Geometry of the Argentine Soy Boom
  • Ashley Carse. Dirty Landscapes: Infrastructure, Boundary Work, and Weediness in Panama
  • Discussion led by Kevin Gould

12-1:30            Lunch

1:30-3:00        Keynote Lecture – Kim Fortun (STS, RPI), “Infrastructural Analytics”

 3:30 – 5:20      Session 2: Infrastructure

  • Shaylih Muehlmann. Clandestine Infrastructures: Illicit Connectivities in the U.S.-Mexico Borderlands
  • Andrea Ballestero. The Underground as Infrastructure, or, what to do about the seductions of functionalism?
  • Discussion led by Kathryn Furlong

 7:00                 Dinner

Day 2: Tuesday, October 20th

9:30-12:00      Session 3: Life

  • Natasha Myer. Edenic Apocalypse Meets the Garden Against Eden: Infrastructural Excess and the Composition and Decomposition of Botanical Enclosures
  • Antina von Schnitzler. Apartheid’s Debris: Infrastructure and Temporalities of Life After Apartheid
  • Austin Zeiderman. Submergence: Precarious Politics in Colombia’s Future Port-City
  • Discussion led by Orit Halpern

 12:00-1:30      Lunch

1:30-4:00        Session 4: Epoch

  • Casper Bruun Jensen: Here Comes the Sun? Experimenting with Cambodian Energy Infrastructures
  • Nikhil Anand. Uncertain Lines: Leakage and the Infrastructures of the Anthropocene
  • Joe Masco. The Crisis In Crisis
  • Discussion led by Jill Didur

4:00-4:30        Coffee Break

 4:30-5:30        Closing Comments and discussion

  • Kim Fortun and Kregg Hetherington

 5:-30-6:00       Discussion of Publication

 7:00 DINNER