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Timely Assets

The Politics of Resources and Their Temporalities

Edited by Elizabeth Emma Ferry and Mandana E. Limbert

Oil is running out. What’s more, its final depletion, once relegated to a misty future, now seems imminent. In all the more or less apocalyptic discussions of oil and similar depleted resources, nature, labor, and time converge. This volume focuses on how resources, resource-making, and resource-claiming are entangled with experiences of time. Particular expressions of “resource imaginations” often have a strongly temporal aspect: they frame the past, present, and future in certain ways; they propose or preclude certain kinds of time reckoning; they inscribe teleologies; they are imbued with affects of time: nostalgia, hope, dread, spontaneity, and so on. Examining resources as various as silver in Mexico, “diversity” in an American university, and historical documents in Indonesia, the contributors to this volume ask several questions: Under what conditions and with what consequences do people find something to be a resource? What kinds of temporal experiences, concepts, or narratives does thinking of things as resources entail? How does the making and imagining of resources assume or condition particular understandings of past, present, and future? How do understandings of time shape the ways resources are named, managed, or allocated?

2008. 298 pp., 18 illustrations, notes, references, index, 6 x 9

Contributors: Courtney Childs, Paul K. Eiss, Elizabeth Emma Ferry, Richard Handler, Mandana E. Limbert, Celia Lowe, Erik Mueggler, Paul E. Nadasdy, Huong Nguyen, Karen Strassler

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  1. Introduction
    Elizabeth Emma Ferry and Mandana E. Limbert
  2. Depleted Futures: Anticipating the End of Oil in Oman
    Mandana E. Limbert
  3. Rocks of Ages: Temporal Trajectories of Mexican Mined Substances
    Elizabeth Emma Ferry
  4. Wildlife as Renewable Resource: Competing Conceptions of Wildlife, Time, and Management in the Yukon
    Paul E. Nadasdy
  5. Extinction Is Forever: Temporalities of Science, Nation, and State in Indonesia
    Celia Lowe
  6. George Forrest’s Rhododendron Paradise
    Erik Mueggler
  7. The Temporal and Spatial Politics of Student “Diversity” at an American University
    Courtney Childs, Huong Nguyen, and Richard Handler
  8. The Claims of El Pueblo: Possessions, Politics, and Histories
    Paul K. Eiss
  9. Material Resources of the Historical Imagination: Documents and the Future of the Past in Post-Suharto Indonesia
    Karen Strassler

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