Nancy Peluso is a Henry J. Vaux Distinguished Professor of Forest Policy at University of California, Berkeley. In her current position, Dr. Peluso teaches courses on environmental science, policy and management. Her primary research areas look at how social difference—such as ethnic identity, class, and gender—affect resource access and control. Her publications include Rich Forests, Poor People: Resource Control and Resistance in Java; Violent Environments; Borneo in Transition: People, Forests, Conservation, and Development. Nancy Peluso’s current projects include the History of Political Forests in Southeast Asia and Violence, Territorialization, and the Production of Landscape.
Her keynote speech is entitled “The Plantation and the Mine: Political Ecologies of Order and Chaos.”
Below is an abstract of her talk:
Plantations and Mines were cornerstones of colonial political economic strategy and policy: two kinds of land based extraction from the colony and a transfer of wealth to the “mother” country. In Indonesia today, plantations and mines are critical contributors to the nation’s economy, and to national politics about the distribution of wealth (revenues) and power. Plantations represent the order preferred by colonial and contemporary governments, while small scale gold mines are threatening—chaotic and difficult to control—not to mention illegal in most contexts. The social and socio-natural dynamics constituting relations around plantations and mines shows that land politics are still critical to national politics. This presentation will compare the property, labor, and land use relations observed in contemporary small scale gold mining and plantation production to those of mining and plantation production in colonial moments and sites where capitalist production and trade were expanding under colonialism in Indonesia.