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Author Lyons, Kristina M. (Kristina Marie), 1979- author.

Title Vital decomposition : soil practitioners + life politics / Kristina M. Lyons
Published Durham : Duke University Press, 2020
Online access available from:
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Description 1 online resource (xii, 218 pages) illustrations
Contents Introduction. Life in the midst of poison -- From aerial spaces to litter layers -- The theater of life is also a stage of death -- Partial alliances among minor practices warning : highly toxic experiments -- Decomposition as life politics border crossing -- Resonating farms and vital spaces : a person and his concepts -- Conclusion. Which soils? Where soils? Why soils?
Summary "In Colombia, decades of social and armed conflict and the US-led war on drugs have created a seemingly untenable situation for scientists and rural communities as they attempt to care for forests and grow non-illicit crops. In Vital Decomposition Kristina M. Lyons presents an ethnography of human-soil relations. She follows state soil scientists and peasants across labs, greenhouses, forests, and farms and attends to the struggles and collaborations between farmers, agrarian movements, state officials, and scientists over the meanings of peace, productivity, rural development, and sustainability in Colombia. In particular, Lyons examines the practices and philosophies of rural farmers who value the decomposing layers of leaves, which make the soils that sustain life in the Amazon, and shows how the study and stewardship of the soil point to alternative frameworks for living and dying. In outlining the life-making processes that compose and decompose into soil, Lyons theorizes how life can thrive in the face of the violence, criminalization, and poisoning produced by militarized, growth-oriented development."-- Provided by publisher
"VITAL DECOMPOSITION is an experimental ethnography of soil-- not only as object, but as subject and collaborator-- set in southern Colombia, particularly in the Amazonian state of Putumayo. Kristina Lyons theorizes the relationships between life and death and between materiality and politics under conditions of militarization and armed conflict. In what ways, she asks, do human-soil relations take on political importance in the complex nexus of anti-drug policy, development agendas, agri-environmental sciences, and daily life under military duress? By focusing on farmers' attunement to the workings of the hojarasca (the decomposing layers of leaves used as compost), Lyons explores the kinds of propositional life-making processes being actualized in the midst of chemically degraded ecologies. In other words, she highlights the ways that farmers cultivate gardens, care for the forest, and grow food in a criminalized and chemically assaulted world, and also the potentialities embedded in these practices.... This book will be of interest to students and scholars in anthropology, environmental studies, science studies, and Latin American studies"-- Provided by publisher
Bibliography Includes bibliographical references and index
Notes Description based on online resource; title from digital title page (viewed on April 06, 2020)
Subject Environmental degradation -- Colombia -- Putumayo (Department)
Nature -- Effect of human beings on -- Colombia -- Putumayo (Department)
Soil degradation -- Colombia -- Putumayo (Department)
Environmental degradation.
Nature -- Effect of human beings on.
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Anthropology / Cultural
Soil degradation.
Putumayo (Colombia : Department) -- Environmental conditions
Colombia -- Putumayo (Department)
Form Electronic book
LC no. 2019032479
ISBN 1478009209
Other Titles Vital decomposition : soil practitioners & life politics
Vital decomposition : soil practitioners and life politics