Author Archives: Hannah Eisler Burnett

Hannah Eisler Burnett is a PhD Candidate in Anthropology at the University of Chicago. Her dissertation research examines how plans for ecosystem restoration in the Mississippi River Delta affect coastal communities, and the different histories that inform these projects and how they are understood. She has also collaborated on various art and video projects related to themes of water, toxicity, global trade, and capital.
Photo of a closed door on the exterior breezeway of a cargo ship, painted white with red lettering stenciled onto it that reads, "Suez Crew Room."

Cargo Ships and Comrades: On the Occasion of the Beached Ever Given

In 2018, we took a cargo ship from Barcelona to New York City and made a short film called Slop Chest [1] about the blurry distinction between work and leisure when you live where you work—and can’t leave. Here, we describe some of our experiences on board, drawing resonances between the labor practices in international shipping and in Amazon’s warehouses. Writing while the cargo ship Ever Given is blocking all trade through the Suez Canal and while Amazon employees in Bessemer, Alabama, are preparing to count votes in favor of unionization, we speculate about how these two events resonate. What are contours of this conjuncture? There are three separate crews on board our ship: the officers, the engineers, and the deck crew who are responsible for maintaining the ship and keeping watch. The captain is Polish and the officers are similarly white and eastern European. The engineers are mostly the (read more...)

Drawing of a cargo ship viewed from behind. The drawing and text are black against a teal background. Ship is called "BURNOUT." Below the ship, handwritten text reads "a zine about academia, travel, & climate change."

Burnout

Clara del Junco and Mathilde Gerbelli-Gauthier In this post, we’re sharing some excerpts from Burnout: a zine about academia, travel, and climate change that we put together over the course of the past months, in the time freed up by the hiatus in travel. The excerpts we’ve chosen for Platypus include 1)  Our C*****n F*******t Calculator, along with our reflections on the limited utility of any carbon footprint tool; 2) Part of an essay by Riley Linebaugh, putting academic air travel into the context of global inequalities perpetuated by academic institutions; 3) A comic by Hannah Eisler Burnett that documents her transatlantic trip on a cargo ship. (read more...)