Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg


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David Kananizadeh

David Kananizadeh


Supervisor:Prof. Dr. Richard Rottenburg

Project: Translations of Care in Changing Ecologies of Human-Forest-Relations in Sierra Leone

David’s dissertation project follows the un/making of forested landscapes in eastern Sierra Leone. There, at the nexus of subsistence-oriented forest cultivation and global ventures of extracting timber, gold and diamonds, practices of care, control and exploitation are overlapping and mutually dependent on each other. David follows local actors in their attempts to shape the future within this complex assemblage by asking: how were promises of progress locally negotiated? How were exploitative practices resisted? David adds depth to these questions by investigating these negotiations for their underlying concepts of care and well-being. By asking how they relate to globally circulating notions of forest conservation, he inquires translations of care in changing ecologies of human-forest-relations.

Personal profile

David is a PhD student at the University of Halle. His dissertation project investigates the un/making of forested landscapes in eastern Sierra Leone through overlapping and mutually dependent practices of subsistence agriculture, timber cutting and the extraction of gold and diamonds. He pays special attention to the human-forest-relations these practices foster and their moralizations as care, control, or exploitation.

David studied social and cultural anthropology at the University of Halle, where he received his MA with a thesis entitled “Governing by disaster: The production of space through humanitarian technologies in the aftermath of the August 14-Mudslide in Freetown, Sierra Leone”, in which he looked at how overlapping and conflicting regimes of accountability shaped the disaster response to a devastating mudslide in Freetown.

His research interests include work in pragmatism and phenomenology, STS human-nonhuman entanglements, and questions of care and ethics.

In 2019, he co-organized the LOST-summer school “From disaster to planetary care” with Sung-Joon Park, Sylvanus Spencer and Susan Erikson, funded by the Volkswagen Foundation’s “Knowledge for Tomorrow” program. In 2021, he co-organized the Workshop “Patronage and the State as ‘Politics in Conjunction’” with Jamal Ali Bashir at the Graduate School “Society and Culture in Motion” at the University of Halle.

He is a member of the LOST Research Network   .