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More-than-human nationalisms in Catalonia and Scotland

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If you have a question about this talk, please contact Rogelio Luque-Lora.

Geographical and cognate disciplines have thoroughly studied the intertwining of ideas of nature and nationhood. This work covers topics such as the social construction of nature; the intersections between nationalist and environmentalist political agendas; and the national discourses of ownership, control, and identity of natural resources. Mostly unseen within this broader picture are nations without a state and nonhuman lives that do not constitute authentic or national natures. Catalonia and Scotland are two cases that perfectly illustrate this: two European stateless nations where recent political turmoil is still altering what it is to be Catalan or Scottish. Even if the connections between nature and nationalism have been studied in both cases, animals have mostly appeared circumstantially or as passive symbolic objects within contested rural landscapes. My research, therefore, revolves around these gaps and seeks to simultaneously chart two convergent trajectories in this body of work: expanding how we understand nature and how we discursively construct the nation. Drawing on insights from previous fieldwork in the Pyrenees and ongoing research on pig farming in Catalonia and salmon aquaculture in Scotland, this presentation looks at those large numbers of nonhumans both hidden but radically ‘entangled’ in the machinations of the nation.

This talk is part of the Political Ecology Group meetings series.

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