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Mineral Incorporations: Life with Minerals and Politics in Peru's Neoextractivist Era

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Tuesday, February 26, 2019
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3:00 pm - 4:15 pm
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Stefanie Graeter

Stefanie Graeter is a cultural anthropologist interested in ethnographic questions of embodiment, materiality, knowledge, and the political with a geographic focus on Peru and the Americas. Her work draws upon diverse scholarly fields, especially environmental and medical anthropology, science and technology studies, studies of racial capitalism, and political theory. Her research examines how lead toxicity is operationalized politically within social projects that resist--or support-- Peru's large-scale extractive industries. Informed by long-term fieldwork in two emblematic leaded ecologies, in her current book manuscript, Mineral Incorporations, she argues that while toxicological sciences deliver ethical weight to public health, human rights, and environmental activism, neoliberal labor reforms in Peru make human exposures to heavy metals a requisite to diverse forms of economic livelihood and collective survival. Through an ethnographic examination of the social and material processes that bring bodies and minerals into relation, her work conceptualizes the politics of environmentalism, health, and human rights within the noxious environs of racial extractive capitalism and post-anthropocene worlds.