Caterina Scaramelli, "How to Make a Wetland: Water and Moral Ecology in Turkey" (Stanford UP, 2021)

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How to Make a Wetland: Water and Moral Ecology in Turkey (Stanford UP, 2021) tells the story of two Turkish coastal areas, both shaped by ecological change and political uncertainty. On the Black Sea coast and the shores of the Aegean, farmers, scientists, fishermen, and families grapple with livelihoods in transition, as their environment is bound up in national and international conservation projects. Bridges and drainage canals, apartment buildings and highways—as well as the birds, water buffalo, and various animals of the regions—all inform a moral ecology in the making.

Drawing on six years of fieldwork in wetlands and deltas, Caterina Scaramelli offers an anthropological understanding of sweeping environmental and infrastructural change, and the moral claims made on livability and materiality in Turkey, and beyond. Beginning from a moral ecological position, she takes into account the notion that politics is not simply projected onto animals, plants, soil, water, sediments, rocks, and other non-human beings and materials. Rather, people make politics through them. With this book, she highlights the aspirations, moral relations, and care practices in constant play in contestations and alliances over environmental change.

Caterina Scaramelli is Research Assistant Professor of Anthropology and Earth & Environment at Boston University.

Alize Arıcan holds a PhD in Anthropology from the University of Illinois at Chicago, and is an incoming Postdoctoral Fellow at Rutgers University's Center for Cultural Analysis. Her research focuses on urban renewal, futurity, care, and migration in Istanbul, Turkey. Her work has been featured in Current Anthropology, City & Society, Radical Housing Journal, and entanglements: experiments in multimodal ethnography.

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