Author Archives: Timothy Neale

Timothy Neale is a DECRA Senior Research Fellow, Senior Lecturer in Anthropology and Convener of the Deakin Science and Society Network at Deakin University. A settler-descendant (pakeha) from Aotearoa New Zealand, his research concerns the intersections between biopolitics, settler-Indigenous relations, and environmental governance. He is the author of Wild articulations: environmentalism and indigeneity in northern Australia (University of Hawai’i Press, 2017), a producer of the Conversations in Anthropology podcast, and an editor of the journal Science, Technology & Human Values.
Large stacks of yellow, white, and red crates and drums are piled neatly in a massive sandy pit, set against a low mountainous landscape.

Reactions and Ruptures: Ethnographies of Nuclear Life

In one sense, nuclear materials direct our attention to the vibrancy and reactivity of all material life. Nuclear elements such as uranium, radium, thorium, and plutonium regularly leak electrons during the process known as radioactive decay or nuclear disintegration, intra-acting and transforming themselves and others in unpredictable ways (see Barad 2007). At the same time, nuclear events and places are also often framed as ruptures, whether in the form of nuclear weapons detonations, nuclear disaster inquiries, the creation of new nuclear power or waste projects, or the founding of new mines to unearth nuclear elements. From this perspective, nuclear events such as the 2011 Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster somehow signal a break, implying that before, the Fukushima region was untouched by disruptive energies and effects of the nuclear. A nuclear actor enters, causes a break, and leaves worlds permanently altered. (read more...)