Friday, Jan 20th
Politics Below the Surface: A Political Ecology of Mineral Rights and Land Tenure Struggles in Appalachia and the Andes
Lindsay Shade, PhD Candidate
University of Kentucky Dept of Geography
Room 114 Whitehall Classroom Building
This talk focuses how confusion and lack of access to information about subsurface property rights facilitates the rapid acquisition of rights by mining interests, leaving those who live 'above the surface' to contend with complicated corporate and bureaucratic apparatuses. It examines the first proposed state-run large scale mining project in Ecuador, believed to contain copper ores, and the natural gas hydrofracking industry in three counties in north central West Virginia. The comparison allows consideration of how subsurface governance patterns across legal and cultural systems contribute to the long-term persistence of absentee ownership and control over land in Ecuador and West Virginia, and likewise is implicated in larger scale violences and silences in resource conflicts.
Lindsay Shade is a political ecologist and legal geographer who works with groups and individuals who are directly impacted by extractive industries. Through their collaboration and support, she studies land tenure and mining rights with an emphasis on social and environmental justice issues in the Americas.