Field Station 5 is approaching the Upper Delta region in a two-fold manner. On the one hand, it focuses on the spacial politics of both, urban and rural sites between Memphis, Jackson and New Orleans, interrogating their major ramifications on human bodies and the broader landscape. It explores how the politics of spatiality contributed to the Anthropocene footprint, economically, socially, politically, and environmentally. Further on, a project in Natchez will engage in the town’s local history, ethnography and eco research, exposing the entanglement of white settler colonialism and chattel slavery with anthropocenic questions. Both perspectives focus on the distinct site-specific context in shaping the economic and cultural infrastructure that has produced the landscape of this broader region.
This Field Station asks how spatial dynamics formed the contemporary identity of the region and how the region’s own environmental metamorphoses contributed to the formation of the identities of human bodies that occupy and have occupied the space in various ways throughout its tumultuous history.
This project will craft a historical overview of Natchez, the sites selected for research and intervention, and connect them with larger theoretical issues that relate to the overall Mississippi. An Anthropocene River project.
The project aims to offer an empirical overview to show the multiple entanglements across our research sites in context. It will argue that the central moves of mind made by White Supremacism are of a piece with the same move of mind made to legitimize ideologies of Human Supremacism, and that we cannot tell a complete and accurate story about how the Anthropocene emerges without understanding the consequential causal linkages between these conceptual positions and the work they do in rationalizing the core processes that set the Anthropocene in motion. Thus, it will argue, there is a causal connection and conceptual genealogy between the raison d’être of the white settler-colonialism, indigenous genocide, chattel slavery and the slave trade, the Plantation and Plantationocene, extractivist industrialization, “cheap nature” and the Capitalocene, on the one hand, and the rise of the Anthropocene on the other. White Supremacy and Human Supremacy, Genocide and Ecocide not only bear resonant, homological similarities, they are causally and geneaologically connected in their conceptual and pragmatic DNA.
To understand the deep causal mechanisms at work enabling the forces that have brought the Anthropocene into being, we must take stock of how these ideational and pragmatic performatively function to make ideological “word” historical, institutional, cultural, practical, and experientially lived “flesh.”