Epilogue: Through the Forest of Time
Keywords:community studies, commons, tar sands/oil sands, multitude, subaltern, class
AbstractThis essay poses three questions with regard to the studies presented in this special issue. What lessons regarding class politics do we draw from these studies of community and its crisis in Wood Buffalo? How are we to assess and understand the prolixity of the rhetoric of community in this context? How do the crises and contradictions of tar sands development in Fort McMurray, Alberta enable us to retheorize the concept of community itself? Bringing into critical juxtaposition postcolonial studies on subalternity with the alterglobalization literature on the multitude, this essay searches for the historical content of the truth that binds political rhetoric enabling various social movements to act in solidarity in opposing tar sands development, and interrogates the community of politics that this politics of community seems to promise. In doing so, the essay argues for the importance of an Utopian social poetics of mediation to the project of a sociology of absences.
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