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Pierre du Plessis


Pierre du Plessis

 As an environmental anthropologist, my research has focused on the Kalahari Desert, Botswana where, for my PhD, I explored tracking and gathering practices as modes of knowing, relating to, and theorizing more-than-human relations and landscapes. I completed parallel PhDs between Aarhus University and the University of California, Santa Cruz, during which time I was a core memeber of the Aarhus University Research on the Anthropocene (AURA) project 

I am currently an Independent Research Fund, Denmark (DFF) International Postdoctoral researcher hosted by the Anthropology Department and the Centre for Environmental Humanities at Aarhus University and the Environmental Humanities South program at the University of Cape Town.

My new project, "Enacting Contested Landscapes: Dwelling, Conservation, and Prospecting in the Kalahari Desert" is an anthropological investigation of the contrasting formulations of landscape among indigenous communities, wildlife conservationists, and natural gas prospectors in the landscapes of the Kalahari Desert. Specifically, it examines how prospectors work to turn land into a resource for Coal-Bed-Methane (CBM) extraction and the resulting conflicts with local human communities and ecologies. This project aims to describe and compare the contrasting formulations of landscape of various actors living and working in the region who similarly, but differently, track aspects of Kalahari landscapes. In doing so, this project stands to show how extractive industries situate themselves in relation to post-colonial politics and indigenous livelihood practices, issues that are central to contemporary debates about the Anthropocene.

Research areas

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