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Anthropology Speaker Andrea Muehlebach

204 Maxwell Hall

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  The Department of Anthropology Presents: Dr. Andrea Muehlebach from the University of Toronto, Department of Anthropology will give a talk titled “Water, Politics, and the  Democratic Imagination in Italy” In a historically unprecedented move in 2011, 27 million Italians rejected the commodification  of water and insisted that it be conceptualized as a “bene comune” (a common good). This talk explores Naples as a site where water has become a vehicle for novel experiments in citizenship, democratic  participation, and resource management. It is a city where new forms of political imagination have taken root and where water as right and “commons” exist in tension with dominant ideologies of the propertied individual. I thus ask how water has become a vehicle for Italians to propose designs for a better life. How are these designs fairing in a country reeling from the effects of austerity and democratic deficit? How do the meanings and materialities of water impact the very horizons of environmental and human possibility that citizens are proposing?

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