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Development Policies, Space And Violence In Latin America: An Interdisciplinary Discussion - 20 th July

Montreal Salle A-5020, UQAM. 10am to 5pm

Development Policies, Space And Violence In Latin America: An  Interdisciplinary Discussion

20 th July, 2017, Montreal
Salle A-5020, UQAM. 10am to 5pm

Organized by:

  • Pamela Colombo, Marie Skłodowska-Curie Research Fellow (IRIS-EHESS, Paris), visiting scholar at the Laboratoire interdisciplinaire d'études latino-américaines (LIELA-UQAM)
  • Patricia Martin, Professeure agrégée (Departement de Geographie, Université de Montreal)

Organizing institutions:

  • Département de géographie, Université de Montréal
  • L’Institut de recherche interdisciplinaire sur les enjeux sociaux (IRIS-EHESS)
  • Le Laboratoire interdisciplinaire d'études latino-américaines (LIELA-UQAM)
  • Marie Skłodowska-Curie Research Project “Strategic Village” (H2020-MSCA-IF-2014-GF, 654923)
  • The Latin American Studies Network of Montreal (RELAM)

Content of the workshop

The main objective of this workshop is to bring together researchers working from different disciplines (anthropology, sociology, political science, geography) on the spatial impact of development policies applied under authoritarian regimes in Latin America. Although the “spatial turn” is already well-established in the Social and Human Sciences, the appropriation and adaptation of this theoretical frame remains scarcely explored to reflect on State(s) violence(s). Moreover, the analysis of the spatial impact of development policies carried out in a "forced" manner in the period of dictatorships in Latin America remains also barely analysed.

During this workshop we are interested in working around the following topics: (1) the impact of development policies carried out by military regimes on both population and territory, (2) how counterinsurgency policies have modified the territory during the Cold War and the ways in which these reconfigurations endure in the uses of space today, (3) the analysis of the ways in which people live nowadays with and in the infrastructure inherited from the dictatorial regimes, (4) the link between development policies and counterinsurgency measures and their impact on the national territory, (5) the forms of resistance and/or agency of local populations facing the implementation ofthese territorial reconfiguration.


10.15 – 10.30 Presentation

10.30 – 11.30. Patricia Martin (Université de Montréal)

11.30-12.30. Kevin Gould (Concordia University)

12.30-13.30 Lunch

13.30-14.30. Pamela Colombo (Marie-Curie fellow, EHESS-Paris)

14.30-15.300. Kregg Hetherington (Concordia University)

15.30-15.45 Pause

15.45-16.45. Carlota McAllister (York University)

16.45 Conclusion


Biopics Of The Participants

Patricia Martin

Mes projets de recherche sont inspirés par trois grands thèmes en science sociale. Le premier thème est lié aux aspects différenciés du développement international. Je m’intéresse spécifiquement à la manière dont les périodes successives du développement et des restructurations inhérentes au capitalisme–depuis la période expansionniste coloniale jusqu’à la période de globalisation actuelle -ont profondément affecté les processus de construction et de déconstruction des territoires. De même, les relations entre le politique et le pouvoir est le deuxième grand thème qui inspire mes recherches. En adoptant les approches féministes du concept de pouvoir, j’envisage la dimension politique à différents niveaux, de la maison à l’espace public, en passant par l’interaction avec l’État. En fin, le troisième thème qui structure mes travaux porte sur les problématiques d’identité sociale et de subjectivité. Je m’intéresse en effet à la manière dont certaines catégories telles que le genre, la ‘race’ ou l’ethnicité sont associées aux processus de construction sociale de l’espace. De plus, je porte un intérêt à la façon dont les gens comprennent et interprètent leur place dans le monde, dans un contexte de changements économiques, sociaux et politiques.

Kevin Gould

Dr. Kevin Gould's research explores the politics of environmental and economic policy-making in the Americas. He is particularly interested in policies authorized by technical knowledge, and his current research examines how military experts framed development projects during the Cold War in ways that favored elites and reified exclusionary visions of race, nation, and nature. Building on new economic geography and political ecology literature, Dr. Gould's work investigates the politics of market-assisted land reform, post-disaster reconstruction, environmental impact assessment, and Cold War infrastructure development. Through his research, he seeks to challenge the often violent transnational processes and epistemologies that connect Canada, the United States and Guatemala. Before arriving at Concordia University, Dr. Gould received his Ph.D. in Human Geography from the University of British Columbia (2009) and spent one year as a research fellow at Dartmouth College.

Pamela Colombo

Pamela Colombo, PhD in Sociology from the University of the Basque Country (UPV), is a Marie Curie research fellow at the École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales (EHESS, Paris). Her research focuses on the relationship between space, counterinsurgency policies and the State. Her current research program examine the construction of “strategic villages” in Latin America (1970-1980). She was visiting scholar at the City University of New York, Goldsmiths College, Freie Universität Berlin, Ibero-Amerikanische Institut Berlin, Konstanz Universität, Universität Freiburg, Centro de Investigaciones Sociales, et l’Institute Francais d’Étude Andines. She was a fellow from the Fyssen Foundation, the Spanish National Research Council (CSIC), the European Research Council and the Research Executive Agency (EU). She co-organized several international symposiums on space and violence (Madrid 2012, London 2013, Paris 2016). Among her publications, she has published the book Espacios de Desparición (Miño y Dávila, forthcoming 2017), co-directed the book Space and the Memories of Violence (Palgrave Macmillan 2014), and coordinated several special issues in journals such as Human Remains And Violence, Cultures et Conflicts, and Critique Internationale.

Kregg Hetherington

Dr. Kregg Hetherington is a political anthropologist specialized in environment and infrastructure, the bureaucratic state and international development in Latin America. He has written extensively about how small farmers caught in a sweeping agrarian transition in Paraguay have experienced that country's halting transition to democracy, showing how activists create new ways of thinking and practicing government. His book, Guerrilla Auditors, is an ethnography of peasant land struggles in Paraguay, and of how rural thinking about property and information come into conflict with bureaucratic reform projects promoted by international experts. His current research focuses on regulation in the soybean boom in Latin America's southern cone is transforming the relationship between states, plants, people and territory. At Concordia he leads a research group on Infrastructure and Environment that brings together scholars working on a variety of intersections between these two key terms, including agrarian and energy transitions.

Carlota McAllister

Carlota McAllister is associate professor of anthropology and former director of the Centre for Research on Latin America and the Caribbean. A political and historical anthropologist, she studies the formation of political and moral agency in situations of conflict or crisis in agrarian communities in Guatemala and Chile, using theoretical tools drawn from the anthropology of religion, actor-network theory, feminist anthropology, and political ecology. Her work has been supported by grants from the Fulbright Institute of International Education, the Wenner-Gren Foundation, the Harry Frank Guggenheim Foundation, and the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council, among others. With Diane Nelson, she co-edited War by Other Means: Aftermath in Postgenocide Guatemala (Duke UP, 2013), a collection of papers addressing the legacy of 36 years of massive state violence in an aftermath characterized by both neoliberal restructuring and attempts at transitional justice. Her monograph The Good Road: Conscience and Consciousness in a Post-Revolutionary Mayan Village in Guatemala is forthcoming with Duke University Press. It shows how revolutionary consciousness raising, Catholic traditions of moral thought, and indigenous notions and experiences of community briefly converged to produce a Mayan revolutionary consciousness, how the Guatemalan state’s genocidal response to Mayan mobilization for revolution forced them apart again, and how this history shapes contemporary Mayan projects for the future. Her current project addresses a dam conflict in the remote Aysén region of Chilean Patagonia, where energy companies and millionaire private conservationists have clashed over the future uses to which this “last frontier” should be put. She explores how gauchos living in river valleys draw on their history as the heroic pioneers who made this difficult terrain productive, and the material legacy of this history in different forms of private property as resources for building collective responses to the dam proposal, both in favor and against.

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Sorbonne Paris Nord

Bâtiment Recherche Sud
5 cours des Humanités
93322 Aubervilliers cedex

UFR SMBH 74 rue Marcel Cachin, 93017 Bobigny cedex



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