A Future History of Water

A Future History of Water
Book Pages: 248 Illustrations: 14 illustrations Published: June 2019

Subjects
Anthropology, Latin American Studies, Science and Technology Studies > Feminist Science Studies

Based on fieldwork among state officials, NGOs, politicians, and activists in Costa Rica and Brazil, A Future History of Water traces the unspectacular work necessary to make water access a human right and a human right something different from a commodity. Andrea Ballestero shows how these ephemeral distinctions are made through four techno-legal devices—formula, index, list and pact. She argues that what is at stake in these devices is not the making of a distinct future, but what counts as the future in the first place. A Future History of Water is an ethnographically rich and conceptually charged journey into ant-filled water meters, fantastical water taxonomies, promises captured on slips of paper, and statistical maneuvers that dissolve the human of human rights. Ultimately, Ballestero demonstrates what happens when instead of trying to fix its meaning, we make water’s changing form the precondition of our analyses.

Praise

“Andrea Ballestero masterfully brings analytic complexity to wide ranging fields, while simultaneously showing us that these fields are not as separate as they first seem. If this sounds like ethnographic magic, that's because it is: the magic of a most creative method carefully and brilliantly pursued to provide awareness of scholarly habits of thought and, in the process, offers alter-inspiration.” — Marisol de la Cadena, author of Earth Beings: Ecologies of Practice across Andean Worlds


“Andrea Ballestero is one of the most eloquent environmental ethnographers of her generation and one of the most important ethnographers of scientific practice that I have ever encountered. Her writing is beautiful, her theoretical and analytic ability are stunning, and the connections that she makes between her empirical evidence and larger conversations in the social sciences are breathtaking. While there are other anthropologists who write about the kinds of techniques that Ballestero dissects, historicizes, and theorizes, nobody does it while always grounding them in social relations and social reproduction.” — Paige West, author of Dispossession and the Environment: Rhetoric and Inequality in Papua New Guinea


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Author/Editor Bios Back to Top

Andrea Ballestero is Assistant Professor of Anthropology at Rice University and Director of The Ethnography Studio.

Table of Contents Back to Top
Preface
Acknowledgments
Introduction
1. Formula
2. Index
3. List
4. Pact
Conclusion
Notes
References
Index
Sales/Territorial Rights: World

Rights and licensing
Additional InformationBack to Top
Paper: 978-1-4780-0389-2 / Cloth: 978-1-4780-0359-5
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