′The essays in this book represent a sampling of Watts′ UC Berkeley students′ work across the four decades he served as professor, muse, and driving force for colleagues as well as students. The collection provides an entrée into this important scholar′s broad–ranging and compelling legacy that branches out and extends, like a family tree, to distant continents and global institutions. How has Michael Watts shaped Political Ecology and other subfields of Critical Human Geography? Let us count the ways.′
Nancy Lee Peluso, Professor of Society & Environment, University of California, Berkeley, USA
′This important volume is a testament to the range of scholarship inspired by Michael Watts as illustrated by the insightful contributions of his former students, who are major scholars in their own right. Together, their contributions form an exciting new contribution to political ecology and critical agrarian studies – each presenting new understandings while tracing their intellectual debt to Watts′s work.′
Matt Turner, Professor of Geography, University of Wisconsin–Madison, USA
Michael Watts is one of the most influential geographers of our time. Over the past four decades his research, writings, teaching and mentoring have relentlessly pushed boundaries, transforming his chosen field of geography and profoundly influencing many others including political ecology, agrarian studies, the political economy of development, food and famine studies, African studies and the cultural and political economy of post–colonialism. This book builds on his legacy, exploring its theoretical, analytical, and empirical implications and proposing exciting new possibilities for further explorations in the key of Watts.
Bringing together essays by an international group of distinguished scholars, the essays featured in this book span an array of interrelated topics in the field including: the political economy and ecology of African societies; governmentality and territoriality in various Southern contexts; critiques of the "resource curse"; cultural materialist expositions of capitalism, modernity and development across the postcolonial world; extensions of the classical agrarian question in the late 20th and early 21st century; and persisting questions of food security, hunger and famine.
This book is essential reading for scholars of geography and all of the fields on which Michael Watts has drawn and on which his work has had an influence, including anthropology, history, development studies, political science, sociology, environmental studies, African studies and cultural studies.
Introduction: Other Geographies, in the work of Michael Watts
Sharad Chari, Susanne Freidberg, Jesse Ribot, Wendy Wolford and Vinay Gidwani
1. Academic Journeys in the Black Atlantic: Gender, Work and Environmental Transformations
2. Getting back to our roots: Integrating critical physical and social science in the early work of Michael Watts
3. Binary narratives of capitalism and climate change: Dangers and possibilities
4. Aggregate Modernities: A Critical Natural History of Contemporary Algorithms
5. Peanuts for Cashews? Agricultural Diversification and the Limits of Adaptability in Côte d Ivoire
Thomas Bassett and Moussa Koné
6. Life itself under contract: A biopolitics of partnerships and chemical risk in California s strawberry industry
7. Commoditization, Primitive Accumulation, and the Spaces of Biodiversity Conservation
8. Stopping the Serengeti Road: Social Media and the Discursive Politics of Conservation in Tanzania
9. Privatize everything, certify everywhere: Academic assessment and value transfers
10. Oil, indigeneity and dispossession
11. Frontiers: Remembering the Forgotten Lands
12. Vibrancy of Refuse, Piety of Refusal: Infrastructures of Discard in Dakar
13. Land Reclamation as Resiliency in Post–Colonial Phnom Penh