PRIZE FOR EXEMPLARY CROSS-FIELD SCHOLARSHIP
Gabrielle Hecht is this year’s winner of the GAD Prize for Exemplary Cross-Field Scholarship for her article “Interscalar Vehicles for an African Anthropocene: On Waste, Temporality, and Violence,” in Cultural Anthropology, Vol. 33, Issue 1 (2018), pp. 109–141.
Hecht takes on the scalar enormity of the Anthropocene—a new geologic time period marked by human impact on the Earth over millennia—in an analysis of uranium mining in Gabon. Hecht conceives of “interscalar vehicles” (such as uranium- bearing rocks) as a way to connect disparate scales and stories. Approaching the “Anthropocene as the apotheosis of waste,” she seeks to remind us of the violence associated with this waste and the fact it is not merely planetary but has differentiated impacts on particular places, lives, and bodies. Arguing that scalar choices are both analytical and political, the essay holds both aspects in productive tension by looking at the scalar claims of historical actors and projects. In making their selection, the Awards Committee noted the article’s timeliness, broad theoretical sweep, and interdisciplinary span of anthropology, science and technology studies, and environmental studies.