Field Station 5: Place, Space & Relations of Belongings

August 20th, 2019

The Upper Delta region is shaped by environmental forces of evolving multiracial identities and inherently global economic forces. Field Station 5 explores the spatial dynamics which formed the contemporary identity of this region.

The Upper Delta region—stretching from Memphis, Tennessee, all the way to New Orleans, Louisiana—is shaped intensively by environmental forces, the dynamics of evolving multiracial identities in the American South, as well as by inherently global economic forces. All these factors spatially construct the Upper Delta. This is as true for the social meanings and identities it confers on human bodies as it is for the actual terrain and aquatic infrastructure that has formed the topographic body of the landscape itself.

Field Station 5 is approaching this region in a two-fold manner. On the one hand, it focuses on the spacial politics of both, urban and rural sites between Memphis, Jackson and New Orleans, interrogating their major ramifications on human bodies and the broader landscape. It explores how the politics of spatiality contributed to the Anthropocene footprint, economically, socially, politically, and environmentally. Further on, a project in Natchez will engage in the town’s local history, ethnography and eco research, exposing the entanglement of white settler colonialism and chattel slavery with anthropocenic questions. Both perspectives focus on the distinct site-specific context in shaping the economic and cultural infrastructure that has produced the landscape of this broader region.

This Field Station asks how spatial dynamics formed the contemporary identity of the region and how the region’s own environmental metamorphoses contributed to the formation of the identities of human bodies that occupy and have occupied the space in various ways throughout its tumultuous history.