Keynote Speaker

Professor Jon Carter.

Peacock's Feather on Ethnographic Research and Environmental Defense

Friday, March 22, 2024 at 12:00 pm
The Alfond Inn - Park 3

Dr. Jon Carter

Dr. Jon Carter is an Associate Professor of Anthropology at Appalachian State University. As a sociocultural anthropologist, he is interested in criminality, aesthetics, and politics, particularly in Honduras, where cartel violence and state corruption have forced tens of thousands to flee the country as refugees and undocumented migrants.

For many years now, environmental defenders in Honduras have taken great risks to resist large-scale energy and extraction projects backed by state military and paramilitary forces. Herein I will examine how the material conditions of these resistance efforts have not only disrupted extractivist projects, but have also disrupted familiar notions of self, community, and ecology in Honduras. Seen this way, an "occupation" is not just confined to a particular situation unfolding at a particular time, but becomes a collective project with the potential for reframing ideas of citizenship, family, and landscape in Honduras--at the very moment that the contradictions of late-liberalism would banish them to wastelands of violence, incarceration, and ecocide.

For this talk, I will organize my thoughts around two questions: (a) What futures become thinkable, when such occupations are experienced as a process of socio-environmental experimentation? (b) How might the creative and nimble practices of these very occupations also destabilize the ethnographer, enlivening the senses, attention, and awareness subsumed within the stale term "methods”?

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