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When Mines are Like Women and Men are Like Mercury: Riddling Human-Environmental Relations

Date: September 23, 2019
Time: 3:35-5:00pm
Address: Alumni Building, Room 308

Ruth Goldstein is an Assistant Professor of Global and International Studies at the University of California, Irvine. Her research interests are in environmental, medical, and feminist anthropology. Her current book project, Life in Traffic: Women, Plants, and Gold Along the Interoceanic Highway, examines the socio-environmental consequences of transnational infrastructure projects and climate change along Latin America’s recently-constructed thoroughfare, La Interoceánica, with a particular focus on intersections of race, indigeneity, cis and trans women’s health, and “earth” rights in Brazil, Peru, and Bolivia. Her subsequent research project examines and contests the racialized violence propagated by elemental mercury, the toxic and highly mobile global pollutant that is the key instrument of artisanal gold mining and a main contaminant of ocean-life. She interrogates how international efforts to ban the heavy metal have framed migrant labor populations from the Amazon to the Arctic, often indigenous, as socially, mentally, and physically contaminated.