Seminar : “La mine un affaire d’Etat?” Marseille, october 2018-february 2019

An interesting seminar about French mining history will begin soon in Marseille (France). Here a brief description:

The mine, i.e. the vast field of mining operations and the social, economic, political and cultural phenomena associated with them, constitutes a broad scientific object that has attracted renewed interest from the social sciences in recent years. But, if different disciplines are attached to the mine, they have so far done so on their own, with quite different points of view and terrain. This fragmentation of mining studies has the disadvantage of allowing blind spots to persist and preventing the renewal of a whole series of questions.

The aim of this seminar, which will bring together historians and anthropologists, will therefore be to implement an interdisciplinary dialogue, putting periods, terrains and cases into perspective in order to propose a political approach to mining phenomena. In particular, through the case of mines, it will be a question, at different scales, of the borders that separate – or sometimes confuse – the company and the public institution and, more broadly, of taking up the mining case, in all its ambiguities, as a way of questioning the public / private border at different times and in different places.

Three main lines of investigation will be followed to this end. The mine will be explored from the perspective of resource control and, more generally, as a disputed element of the political sovereignty of States (here we will focus on mining nationalisms, transnationals and indigenous movements). At the same time, the mine will be examined as a local political actor, as a company or institution registered in a localized territory, likely to act and influence, sometimes in a considerable way, the social and political life of this territory (from paternalism to corporate social responsibility) to the point of sometimes transforming its social relations. The mine is seen here as a place of sovereignty. The third approach will consist in analysing the opposite, yet complementary, aspect, i.e. the mine as an enclave, as an exceptional and exceptional place, as a place of relative disconnection from the local (and reconnection to other levels), focusing less on the economic than on the social and political aspect of the issue.

In a transversal way, it will also be a question of asking how labour relations and the treatment of a – often foreign – workforce on the mine can prove to be paradigmatic or not of the structuring of both the workers’ worlds and the societies that host these enterprises, within the framework of a tension between social relations of production and compensation.

More informations here: https://enseignements-2018.ehess.fr/2018/ue/2911/

https://enseignements-2018.ehess.fr/2018/ue/2911/


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