January 1, 2017 at 5:30 pm

Geography Colloquium | Grounding Traffic: How Cocaine Commodity Chain Transforms Lives and Land in Rural Central America, Jan. 27

The Geography Department Colloquium Series presents Dr. Kendra McSweeney on “Grounding traffic: how the cocaine commodity chain transforms lives and land in rural Central America” on Friday, Jan. 27, from 3:05 to 4 p.m. in Clippinger 119.

Kendra McSweeney

Kendra McSweeney

McSweeney is Professor of Geography at Ohio State University, with over 20 years of research among indigenous societies of eastern Honduras. She is currently exploring how and why the illicit traffic of cocaine through Central America’s most biodiverse forests is associated with social and ecological devastation. Her other research has drawn attention to the links between indigenous population growth and ethno-territorial persistence in Latin America; she also studies human-forest interaction in Appalachian Ohio. Her research has been funded by the Open Society Foundations, the National Geographic Society and the National Science Foundation.

Abstract: Across Latin America, the ongoing “grabbing” of land and natural resources by domestic elites and multinational corporations has received considerable academic attention. Little work, however, has explored the degree to which the widespread trafficking of cocaine through rural regions articulates on the ground with land grabs and rural dispossession. In this presentation, I unpack the functioning of a single rural transshipment node in the global cocaine trade, tracing the ways in which cocaine transit embeds in the social and ecological worlds of eastern Honduras’ Moskitia region, and with what implications for agrarian change, conservation, and drug policy reform.

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