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College of Humanities & Sciences

School of World Studies

Video now available for "Water Violence, Water Autonomy and the Defense of Territory in Guatemala"

October 26, 2020

Nicholas Copeland, Ph.D., associate professor of sociology at Virginia Tech, presented his ongoing research on extractive development (via mining) and its impact on water quality and political communities in Mayan Guatemala. Through his interdisciplinary research as a cultural anthropologist, he has helped bring scientists from the U.S. into collaboration with local communities on the ground, using innovative technologies to test water samples in order to determine if extractive mining operations had caused a deterioration in water quality. Collaborating both across disciplines, as well as across cultures, that is, working with and learning from the indigenous communities that were operating politically on the ground, against a neoliberal state working hand-in-hand with multinational capital, Copeland’s talk foregrounded extractive "development" as a main driver of community resistance and political violence in Guatemala.

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