The Sacrifice Zones of American “Energy Independence”: Pipeline and Refinery Expansion in the Chicago Region

By Graham Pickren, Roosevelt University § The United States is seemingly on its way to “energy independence.” Since the oil price increases and gas lines of the 1970s shocked the sensibilities of an American population blissfully unaware of the inter-dependencies that structured their everyday lives, both Democratic and Republican regimes have aggressively pursued domestic energy production […]

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Commentary: Toxic Bodies, Part II

By Kristina Lyons, University of California, Santa Cruz § The president of the communal action committee whom I call Doña Marta ushered me to a more secluded corner behind the schoolhouse. She spoke in a low tone about the worsening water quality of the river flowing behind us. Over the last four years, downstream communities in […]

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Commentary: Toxic Bodies, Part I

By Mónica Salas Landa, Lafayette College § ‘‘How do you feel living right across from the oil and gas complex?’’ I asked Ms. Dora, a few days after I settled into her home in Poza Rica, Veracruz, a city transformed by the industrial apparatus of oil. ‘‘We have gotten used to smelling the gas and seeing all […]

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Reclaiming Nature? Indigenous Homeland and Oil Sands Territory

By Tara Joly, University of Aberdeen § Settler colonial relations construct the Athabasca region as extractive oil sands territory, yet the region remains homeland for Indigenous peoples, including Métis individuals. In my doctoral research, I argue that oil sands reclamation – the process of cleaning up extractive spaces by returning the land to a “productive” or […]

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Anthropology on Blair Mountain

By Brandon Nida, University of California at Berkeley § I find it somewhat difficult to think and write about central Appalachia without falling into the use of essentialisms and stereotypes. Even though I am from West Virginia it is hard to escape the traditional narratives, the mountain-folksy caricatures, the one-dimensional portrayals of Appalachian culture. Those […]

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