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Ruth Goldstein, ‘When Mines are Like Women and Men are Like Mercury: Riddling Human-Environmental Relations’
September 23, 2019 at 3:35 pm - 5:00 pm
Ruth Goldstein is 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.