New Proposed Sessions
Sovereignties & Dispossessions
(Formerly Cultivated Sovereignties/ Agricultural Sovereignties)
We wrapped up our third year of meeting about this topic. Our goals were to examine the tensions between sovereignty and dispossession in the contemporary Pacific. One of the fundamental aspects of contemporary neoliberal political economic processes is what David Harvey has called “accumulation by dispossession” and what Saskia Sassen has referred to as “exclusions.” Both of these frameworks extend Marx’s original concept of “so-called primitive accumulation” in which capitalism’s origins are traced to expropriating the subsistence base (i.e., land) from agricultural producers. New understandings of accumulation and exclusion see these as on-going processes and also extend dispossession to something more than just land and capitalist endeavor. In short, dispossession and sovereignty work at both material and immaterial levels. In this session, we examined a wide suite of dispossessions and the ways that sovereignties are being contested across the Pacific. Participants for 2017 included Emily Donaldson, Jerry Jacka, Fiona McCormack, Tiara Na’puti, Fele Uperesa, Toon van Meijl, and Paige West.
Jerry Jacka, University of Colorado–Boulder