The University of Melbourne is delighted to invite you to the next seminar in the Anthropology and Development Studies series with Dr. Eli Elinoff from Victoria University of Wellington. He will be presenting a paper titled Anthropologies of and in Disastrous Times: From Dust to COVID-19 in Thailand’s Quotidian Anthropocene, answering the question: How can Anthropology help make sense of a volatile moment of planetary transformation like the one we are currently living through?
In this talk, Dr. Elinoff considers this question by returning to two parallel fields of anthropological investigation that he has been involved in—the anthropology of environmental change and the anthropology of disaster—to consider how ethnographic attention to the everyday can ground inquiry into the disarray of a transforming planet.
Dr. Elinoff pursues this line of thinking in two ways: First, he describes a framework developed by Tyson Vaughan and himself called the “Quotidian Anthropocene,” which aims to generate insights into epochal, planetary change by casting attention towards routinized, normal, and banal experiences of and struggles over life on a changing planet.
Second, he describes the emergence of COVID-19 within Thailand’s ongoing debates over air pollution to reveal how the country’s response to the pandemic is inseparable from the pre-existing conflicts over dust and small-particle pollution. In taking up this argument, he shows how attention to quotidian ways of knowing, sensing, governing, and disagreeing that shaped the debates over the air became critical for Thais in making sense of the uncertainty of the pandemic in its earliest days.
This seminar will be held online through Zoom on Wednesday 5 August, from 3.30-5.00pm. Registration is essential.