Jan Bartsch

Metabolic Apparatusses in or of the Anthropocene. The Political Ecology of Aquaponics

My Research is concerned with metabolic apparatuses in or of the Anthropocene. More specifically I am working on the Political Ecology of Aquaponics. Aquaponics is an experimental technology in which seemingly natural metabolic cycles between fish and plants are used to produce food. Against this background, I address the seemingly contradictory relationship between economic rationalities and ecological sustainability within alternative food production. I try to grasp this relation with the term metabolism in order to show immanent power relations on the one hand and to trace the diverse entanglements of human and other-than-human worlds on the other hand. Through an ethnographically informed understanding of metabolism, it is possible to show how new forms of urban food production imply political factors and at the same time entail contingencies and unpredictable outcomes.

Research interests
  • Urban Political Ecology
  • Science and Technology Studies
  • More-than-human ethnography
  • Metabolism Studies
  • Environmental Sociology
  • Since 2020
    PhD  Scholarship holder of the Rosa Luxemburg Foundation. 
  • 2016 – 2019
    M.A. Cultural- and Social anthropology at the Philipps-University of Marburg.
  • 2010 – 2016
    B.A. Political Science and Cultural Studies at the University of Bremen.
Talks, Workshops, and Events
  • Talk Metabolic Apparatuses in Urban food production. The Political Ecology of Aquaponics
  • 2022 Conference Exploring Unruly Sites of more-than-human Entanglements. Workshop AG Environmental Anthropology 19.05-20.05.2022.
  • Talk Metabolizing Ethnography. Aquaponics and the Anthropocene.
  • 2022 Conference METABOLISM STUDIES: MATERIALITY AND RELATIONALITY IN THE ANTHROPOCENE. Scientific research symposium. 28.06-30.06.2022 in Lyon, France.

Events with the RTG

l’illusion d’une unité

“Foucault speaks of contradiction as l’illusion d’une unité.”

Ingo H. Warnke
every day

“Living in contradictions is what we experience every day. Why do we know so little about it?”

Gisela Febel
power and resistance

“Michel Foucault says: “Where there is power, there is resistance, and […] this resistance is never in a position of exteriority in relation to power” (History of Sexuality I, The Will to Knowledge, 1976, p. 95)”

Gisela Febel
problem to be solved

“Contradiction is not primarily a problem to be solved but a motor we cannot do without.”

Martin Nonhoff

“The contradiction of law in Derrida lies in the interstice that separates the impossibility of deconstructing justice from the possibility of deconstructing law.”

Andreas Fischer-Lescano