Land01
Large-scale resource extraction projects and moral encounters

Convenors:
Monica Minnegal (University of Melbourne)
Erin Fitz-Henry (University of Melbourne)
Peter Dwyer (University of Melbourne)
Discussant:
Phillip Guddemi
Stream:
Landscapes, resources and value
Location:
Old Arts-129 (Theatre B)
Start time:
3 December, 2015 at 11:00
Session slots:
3

Short abstract:

Major resource extraction projects may pose deep moral dilemmas for all involved, whether landowners and their neighbours, miners and loggers, or shareholders. We welcome theoretical and ethnographic papers that explore such projects, with a preference for papers that emphasise issues of morality.

Long abstract:

When large-scale resource extraction projects - timber, minerals, oil, gas - take place on others' lands those people are confronted by, and may ultimately be encompassed within, different ways of knowing the world. As they accommodate to these differences, perhaps waiting in expectation of benefits that may accrue or deleterious outcomes that may result, networks of relationships within and beyond their own group of familiars, and with beings of the natural, spiritual and mythological worlds, may expand or contract. The land, resources and labour of host communities are, to different degrees, embedded within a chain of increasingly anonymous interactions that ultimately reach to stock markets and to shareholders whose lifeways centre on those markets. These encounters, however, are often framed by deep asymmetries of power and influence. The things of the world and the ways of knowing those things that prevail in communities of resource companies, stock markets and shareholders progressively infiltrate the lifeways of the people on whose land the developments are taking place. The ontological and epistemological encounters that accompany any major resource extraction project, and particularly their implications for the multiple moralities and moral dilemmas experienced by all actors, are the central concern of this panel. We welcome theoretical and ethnographic papers that explore such encounters, with a preference for papers that give emphasis to issues of morality.