Nils Bubandt, Professor, School of Culture and Society, Aarhus University

Stone Crazy in the Anthropocene. Indonesian Dreams of Wealth and the Magic of Geology

In the last couple of years, people in Indonesia have become obsessed with stones. Across the country, certain stones - ordinary and extraordinary, worthless and priceless at the same time - fuel dreams of magical protection, political power, and economic wealth. The presentation seeks to locate this phenomenon within, and allow it to off-set, another perhaps larger phenomenon, namely the notion that humans have become a force of nature on a geological scale in the time of historically unprecedented environmental disturbance sometimes referred to as the Anthropocene. In a time where humans are becoming a geological force, anthropology - so the presentation suggests - can learn a great deal by paying attention to stones.

Nils Bubandt is Professor of Anthropology at Aarhus University and co-editor-in-chief - with Mark Graham - of Ethnos. His publications include: Democracy, Corruption and the Politics of Spirits in Contemporary Indonesia (Routledge 2014) and The Empty Seashell: Witchcraft and Doubt on an Indonesian Island (Cornell University Press, 2014). The anthology Arts of Living on a Damaged Planet. Stories from the More-than-Human Anthropocene (co-edited with Heather Swanson, Anna Tsing, and Elaine Gan) is forthcoming with Island Press.

All seminars in the series.