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Shiv Ganesh: “Strands of Value: Organic Cotton and the Project of Transparency”
February 25, 2021 @ 3:30 pm - 5:00 pm CST
Shiv Ganesh (Professor of Communications, UT Austin) will give a talk titled “Strands of Value: Organic Cotton and the Project of Transparency” as part of the Spring 2021 South Asia Seminar Series, with discussant Sharmila Rudrappa (Professor of Sociology and SAI Director, UT Austin). The seminar theme is “Life, Death, and Value.”
This presentation outlines some ongoing ethnographic work with organic cotton producers in South India to assess how they co-opt, reproduce and resist the extractive logics of global capitalism. It does so by focusing on transparency practices in supply chains, examining a range of accounting practices designed to produce transparency as a communicative phenomenon. I unpack four broad assumptions about how transparency is procured that highlight its centrality to visibility politics that underlie capitalist modernity, and outline how organic cotton producers significantly complicate these assumptions. I conclude with an open question about whether and how transparency can be part of a truly sustainable production ethic.
Sponsored by the South Asia Institute
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