Mobility and environmental intimacy in Italian volcanic zones

Megan Louise McQuaid, Austin, The University Of Texas At, Austin, The University Of Texas At, Sturm, Circe, 1967-
2020
This thesis explores human and environmental movement and mobility in various Italian volcanic zones. Places and sites are typically thought of as stable, locatable in a specific location, pin-pointable. Places are not generally considered "mobile." Stromboli, Italy and other volcanic sites force the ethnographer to reconcile a certain tension between movement and place. Volcanic sites are worlds that are materially and socially constituted through movement. How tectonic plates move creates
more » ... anic activity, how lava moves up and out of the volcano transforms the landscape, and how people move to, from, around, through, up and down the volcano creates a volcanic social world. How do humans navigate this environment, and how does the environment agentially present itself as a force to be circumnavigated? Movement and mobility serve as a framework for theorizing human social relations with their environment and other non-humans. Thinking through mobility captures the unique limits and affordances that volcanic environments offer to their human, plant, and animal residents. Scholars differ on whether or not we can call a landscape "alive," "lively," or "vibrant." This thesis argues that the answer to this question is based in observations about movement. That we can, in fact, locate agential capability in the way that a subject moves. The ability to move is the condition for agency.
doi:10.26153/tsw/7277 fatcat:xxd7tbqhzng6tljxek7aknt2ny