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Markets & the Environment II: Markets in the Land

Fri, April 12, 10:30am to 12:00pm, Hyatt Regency Columbus, Marion

Session Submission Type: Panel

Abstract

What is the relationship between Capitalist markets and natural and human landscapes? Environmental historians and others have documented the ways in which markets subsume and damage both people and nature. This panel expands our understanding by examining ways that natural and human landscapes shaped, drove, and resisted market Capitalism itself. Jason Newton’s paper illustrates how markets, in this case conceived as networks, developed over the contours of the natural riparian landscape, thus giving nature a driving role in the advance of industrial Capitalism. Tina Peabody’s case study of garbage in New York City reveals that waste was first conceived not as a problem of Capitalism, but rather as an opportunity for it. The myriad ways that waste became valuable later conflicted with notions of garbage as an environmental and health hazard. Finally, James Murton’s paper interrogates landscapes that resisted integration into to Capitalist markets and ultimately played an important role in the lived experience of global Capitalist agriculture for many rural Nova Scotians. Together, these papers present a historically complicated picture of markets and landscapes that illuminates changing relationships across time and space.

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