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Fonck, Martin and Simonetti, Cristian (2020): Resonancias geológicas: Aprendiendo a ser afectados por las fuerzas de la tierra en el Antropoceno. In: Aibr-Revista De Antropologia Iberoamericana, Vol. 15, No. 1: pp. 157-178

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Abstract

The Anthropocene - term proposed recently to designate the current geological epoch - is framed under the question of human impact on earth processes at a planetary scale. Addressed simultaneously to everyone and no one, the Anthropocene interpellates a global human, impossible to find anywhere. Such a narrative would coincide with a general trend in modern science to access knowledge through an epistemic distance from nature. This narrative would come into tension with the ways in which geological knowledge is founded. Based on ethnographic work with geologists involved in the extraction of limestone - the central ingredient in the production of cement, the binder of concrete - this article reflects on how experts in earth history are affected by the trajectories of the materials they study. Contrary to the disaffection that the image of the Anthropocene entails, the article shows how geologists - as well as the engineers and miners with whom they collaborate - tend to resonate affectively with the trajectories of the materials they study. This would coincide with the way geologists refer to the properties of the earth by referring to the body, a mode of understanding that goes back to the origins of the discipline, which suggests an epistemic intimacy between earth and body in geological knowledge.

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