Clifford Geertz Commemorative Lecture: Anna Tsing

Stop Blaming Global Warming: A Pinball Model of Chronic Flooding in Sorong, West Papua
Mar 30, 2023, 4:30 pm6:30 pm



Event Description

Anna Lowenhaupt Tsing is an American anthropologist. She is a professor in the Anthropology Department at the University of California, Santa Cruz. In 2018, she was awarded the Huxley Memorial Medal of the Royal Anthropological Institute.

Discussant: Rob Nixon, Thomas A. and Currie C. Barron Family Professor in Humanities and the Environment. Professor of English and the Princeton Environmental Institute

Does landscape form generate society? Of course, just for an ephemeral moment. Yes, more-than-human society.

In the oil-and-gas frontier town of Sorong, Indonesia, concrete infrastructure switches and blocks the flow of muddy water in a still active swamp. Tracking the relationships among flow, deposition, and infrastructure, this talk explores the power of landscape form to create conditions for sociality, human and nonhuman. Turning Geertz’s search for cultural patterns on its head, this anthro-bio-geomorphology enlivens an emerging scholarly field in which nonhuman modes of sociality take their place beside human relationships and meanings.

Sorong, West Papua











Clifford Geertz

Clifford Geertz was an American anthropologist who is remembered mostly for his strong support for and influence on the practice of symbolic anthropology, and who was considered "for three decades...the single most influential cultural anthropologist in the United States."[1] He served until his death as professor emeritus at the Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton.

1. Geertz, Clifford, Shweder, R. A., & Good, B. (2005). Clifford Geertz by his colleagues. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.