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Witchcraft, spiritual worldviews and environmental management:rationality and assemblage

Smith, Thomas Aneurin 2017. Witchcraft, spiritual worldviews and environmental management:rationality and assemblage. Environment and Planning A 49 (3) , pp. 592-611. 10.1177/0308518X16674723

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Abstract

This paper interrogates the interrelationship between witchcraft, spiritual worldviews and environmental management. Drawing on diverse literatures from anthropology, conservation science and geography, this paper explores how witchcraft and spiritual worldviews have been rationalised in order to explain their continued significance, for society as a whole and for the conservation of natural resources and biodiversity specifically. Using an assemblage framework, this paper examines how the agencies of spirits and witches are entangled with other social and material entities, drawing on examples from three communities in Tanzania. It argues that thinking through assemblage allows the agentic capacities of spirits and witchcraft to be recognised, whilst also acknowledging their inseparability from other expressive and material components of assemblages, including social organisation and more-than-human actors. Finally, this paper turns to evidence for the deterritorialisation, or breaking apart, of these assemblages around spiritual worldviews and witchcraft, and considers their future role in local conservation

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Geography and Planning (GEOPL)
Uncontrolled Keywords: Witchcraft, environmental management, assemblage, more-than-human, Tanzania, cultural landscapes
Publisher: SAGE
ISSN: 0308-518X
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 12 October 2016
Date of Acceptance: 27 September 2016
Last Modified: 07 Nov 2019 09:02
URI: http://orca.cf.ac.uk/id/eprint/95310

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