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“Mississippi. An Anthropocene River” Field Station #5: Commodity Exploitation

August 12, 2019

© Hannah Schaedler

Mississippi. An Anthropocene River takes the concept of the Anthropocene – the period of history during which humans have been the dominant influence on climate and the environment – into the field. The project investigates the Mississippi River as an exemplary landscape of global environmental change. Until November 2019, five Field Stations investigate, highlight, and share historical and contemporary issues of their respective region.

The Upper Delta region—stretching from Memphis, Tennessee, all the way to New Orleans, Louisiana—is shaped intensively by environmental forces, the dynamics of evolving multiracial identities in the American South, as well as inherently global economic forces.

Field Station #5 approaches this region in a two-fold manner. On the one hand, it focuses on the spatial politics of both urban and rural sites between Memphis, Jackson, and New Orleans, investigating its major ramifications on human bodies and the broader landscape. It explores how the politics of spatiality contribute to the human footprint economically, socially, politically, and environmentally. Further on, a project in Natchez, Mississippi, will engage in the town’s local history, ethnography, and eco research, exposing the entanglement of white settler colonialism and chattel slavery with questions about human impact. 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.

To stay updated, visit anthropocene-curriculum.org and see our previous blog on the project.

“Mississippi. An Anthropocene River” is organized by Haus der Kulturen der Welt, Berlin, with the Max Planck Institute for History, Berlin, and many partners in the US and internationally.

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