Daviken Studnicki-Gizbert, “Treasure and Commonwealth in the Long Political History of Mining in Latin America”
Wednesday, October 3, 2012, 4:30-6:30 pm
Harbour Centre Campus, Room 1600, Simon Fraser University, 515 West Hastings Street
Across Latin America a broad range of socio-ecological movements are advancing what seem to be new and radical claims to popular resource sovereignty, claiming rights of regard and control over classes of natural objects – rivers, forests, and underground mineral deposits – that have long been categorized as the patrimony of the state. The paper places these claims within a long-term historical perspective.
Focusing on mining, it describes the engagements between state-centered and popular politics during successive mining booms in the colonial, national and Neoliberal periods. “Treasure” and “Commonwealth” denote here the ideologies and political practices that confronted one other over key issues such as title, distributive justice, and subsidiary claims to other natural objects like water, forests and land.
Daviken Studnicki-Gizbert teaches Latin American and environmental history at McGill University. His main research interest is the history of extractivism in Latin America, which he is exploring in a book-length study of mining in San Luis Potosí, Mexico, as well as a comparative study of the social production of time and territory among the Ngöbé of Panama and the Innu of the Labrador Plateau. Since 2007 he has acted as coordinator of MICLA, a joint student-faculty research collective based at McGill that examines contemporary Canadian mining in Latin America.
See also Studnicki-Gizbert’s lecture on Thursday at UBC.