May 22, 2023: InfraNorth Workshop “Ethnographies of Infrastructure”

After a decade of rising popularity of treating infrastructure anthropologically, the time seems ripe to look at how we have been studying infrastructure. This workshop intends to address three critical questions in that respect:

1) What are the theoretical and methodological tools anthropology brings to the table when studying infrastructure?

2) How can the traditional anthropological focus on the spoken word and observed behavior capture human and non-human entanglements with material and non-material infrastructures?

3) How can we make use of ethnographies of local communities in a global world of infrastructure, where political and economic decisions are typically being made by external actors?

The workshop is being organized by the InfraNorth project and will bring invited scholars of infrastructure into conversation with project researchers.

University of Vienna, Marietta-Blau-Saal
Universitätsring 1, 1010 Vienna


Workshop Flyer

Presentation Abstracts_pdf

Central European Summer Time (CEST)

09:30-11:00: Session 1

  • Peter Schweitzer, University of Vienna, InfraNorth: Introduction: InfraNorth and Ethnographies of Infrastructure
  • Ashley Carse, Vanderbilt University: Life support: Global Shipping in the Age of Ecology
  • Johanna Markkula, Central European University: The Ship as a Methodological and Theoretical Tool in the Anthropological Study of Infrastructure

11:00-11:30: Coffee Break

11:30-13:00: Session 2 (Moderation Alexis Sancho Reinoso)

  • Janina Priebe, Umea University: The Power of Unbuilt Energy Infrastructure in the Arctic: Visions of Hydropower in Greenland
  • Till Mostowlansky, Geneva Graduate Institute: Life on the Road: Between Long-term Mobility and Patchwork Ethnography
  • Olga Povoroznyuk, University of Vienna, InfraNorth: Arctic Coastal Communities and Global Connectivity: Towards an Ethnography of Maritime Infrastructure

13:00-14:30: Lunch

14:30-16:00: Session 3 (Moderation Ria Adams)

  • Jolynna Sinanan, Manchester University: The Moral Economy of Infrastructures in Everest Tourism
  • Geoff Aung, University of Vienna: Disassembling the Social: Connection and Disconnection on a Capitalist Frontier
  • Philipp Budka, University of Vienna, InfraNorth: Digital and Transport Infrastructures in Remote Canada: Notes on Ownership and Control

16:00-16:15: Coffee Break

16:15-17:45: Session 4 (Moderation Philipp Budka and Olga Povoroznyuk)

  • Panel Discussion: How to Study Infrastructures Ethnographically
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