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Research Article

Geological Afterlives of Sand in the Taiwan Strait


Chencong Zhu

Cornell University, US
About Chencong
Chencong Zhu is a PhD student in sociocultural anthropology at Cornell University.
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This essay foregrounds the processes and ramifications of sand’s extraction, displacement, and reassembly as critical material and political junctures to unfold the cross-strait geo-political impasse between the “two Chinas.” These processes, termed “geological afterlives of sand,” brought the gulf of waters between Xiamen and Kinmen to the fore. In this fluid space where border is ideologically fraught, sand has become a critical bordering entity that enables the encounter between geology and cross-strait politics. By focusing on sand’s mobile and malleable agency in rearranging geo-political order in this region, this essay draws on cartographic technology and documentary depiction of sand’s multifaceted metamorphoses to present and negotiate what it means for human and nonhuman actors to live through sand's afterlives of displacement.
How to Cite: Zhu, C., 2021. Geological Afterlives of Sand in the Taiwan Strait. Latin American Literary Review, 48(96). DOI:
Published on 03 Aug 2021.
Peer Reviewed


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