Charlas con café: "Ethnography at the Edges of a Concept: From Groundwater to Aquifers in Costa Rica"

July 13, 2023

with Dr. Andrea Ballestero

Dr. Ballestero Flyer

Join us for our second charla this Friday, February 10th, from 1-2pm! This talk will be in person, with the option to join via Zoom. We will have coffee and snacks starting at 12:30pm!

"Ethnography at the Edges of a Concept: From Groundwater to Aquifers in Costa Rica"

Groundwater efficiently conveys a sense of water as a fungible unit that can be exchanged, banked, or spent. In contrast, the figure of the aquifer activates a grounded concept whereby land, liquid, and history are inseparable. These oscillations happen at the level of political jurisdictions and more with political tactics. In this context, I ask what are the stakes of oscillating between concepts, and what kind of responsibilities for subterranean water worlds are possible along that movement?

Dr. Andrea Ballestero is an Associate Professor of Anthropology (USC). She is also Director of the Ethnography Studio. Her first book is A Future History of Water (Duke University Press, 2019). She is also co-editor of Experimenting with Ethnography: A Companion to Analysis (Duke University Press 2021). Dr. Ballestero is currently writing a book that explores cultural imaginaries of the underground in Costa Rica, focusing on how the emergence of aquifers into the public sphere is expanding the social world downwards into subterranean space.