Teresa Lozano Long Institute of Latin American Studies
Teresa Lozano Long Institute of Latin American Studies

Lecture: "Half a Million or $1000 an Ounce: Mining, Metrics, and Dubious Equivalencies in 'Post' War Guatemala"

Tue, January 22, 2013 | Hackett Room, SRH 1.313

12:00 PM - 1:30 PM

Diane Nelson, Duke University

Throughout the Americas "development" increasingly means "fair trade" and resource extraction via transnational corporations, even for apparently progressive regimes like Morales in Bolivia and Correa in Ecuador.  Diane Nelson explores the impact of a mountain-top removal open-pit mine in the western highlands of Guatemala and the efforts by local Mayan peoples to count in these vast, powerful transactions of money and ore. The tiny town of Sipakapa decided to hold a "good faith" referendum to register their refusal of the mine's destructive effects and thereby became the epicenter of what is now a national movement to make (mainly) indigenous people "count" (as in matter) through the technique of counting (adding them up).

Diane M. Nelson is Professor of Cultural Anthropology at Duke University. She wrote A Finger in the Wound: Body Politics in Quincentennial Guatemala (University of California Press, 1999) and Reckoning: The Ends of War in Guatemala (Duke University Press, 2009). She is co-editor of the forthcoming volume War By Other Means: Aftermath in Post-Genocide Guatemala.

For more information, contact Paloma Diaz.

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  • Teresa Lozano Long Institute of Latin American Studies

    University of Texas at Austin
    SRH 1.310
    2300 Red River Street D0800
    Austin, Texas 78712