Jane Calderbank studies anthropology at Reed College. Reflecting on her experiences transitioning from a student of Science Technology Engineering and Math to a student of anthropology, her approach explores how identity and discipline coalesce to privilege certain modes of knowledge creation over others. She focuses on epistemological discrepancies between environmentally-centered disciplines to dissect environmental discourse.
In previous anthropological work, Calderbank interrogated the lexicons used by environmental disciplines in climate change discourse. Her epistemological examination revealed the prevailing capitalist and colonialist attitudes in the academy and their ramifications on environmental politics. As a poet, Calderbank transformed her findings into ethnographic poetry to empower alternate conceptions of being, space, and knowledge.
Jane seeks to illuminate the entanglements of the Fish Imaginary— its celebrated symbolism, storied traditions, and colonialist substrate. Materially and ideologically, how does the activity of consumers, policymakers, and fisherfolk comprise salmon species? What impact do extractive and exploitative fish institutions have on Pacific Northwest stakeholder concepts of ecosystem and homeland? Jane will examine the social and semiotic functions of salmon to underscore how fish are politically mobilized.