Performing enclosures (Great arenas won’t lie fallow)

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Through productive disagreement with Bruno Latour, Timothy Morton and Michel Foucault, in this paper I observe some of the core dynamics of archaic world-making combining archaeology and theories of entanglement, anthropology and material studies. I generally don’t do vibrant matter or deep time, and on this occasion too I have got primarily the present in mind. In what amounts to a personal manifesto, I have exploited the book stacks that made my lockdown bearable to understand why it is that I wish that I could work in my spare time; I have looked into my long domestication as a white westerner to avoid kidding myself that the concentrationary husbandry may one day be over; I have spoken from a complete lack of trust in the one symbolic WIPP (Waste Isolation Pilot Project) where dominant debates would like us to put all the trash and do all our deep future confessing; I have challenged the fuzzy super construct of the Great Divide between Western Modernity and the “Rest”, and turned to pre-western sites of human domestication – the Caves of the Last Ice and the Monumentality of the Earliest Neolithic – to note how through the vertiginous alliance of fabrility and belief we have mobilised ourselves out of the chance of changing the way we change. As over the eons of time a light foot has been among the net gains of a bipedalism obsessed with hands and handiwork, I have tried to drive a set of pretty tough questions and still give a light-hearted reply. As well as a short paper with plenty of footnote work, this is of course a story rather than a history, as I can only leave that lightheadness to others.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)160-174
Number of pages15
Publication statusPublished - 20 Nov 2021


  • ecocriticism
  • material culture
  • western modernity
  • Neolithisation
  • ice cave art
  • Neolithic monumentality
  • extinctionism
  • deep future confessing
  • anthropocene


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