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Between the Plough and the Pick »

Informal, artisanal and small-scale mining in the contemporary world

Publication date: March 2018
Between the Plough and the Pick deepens our understanding of informal, artisanal and small-scale mining, popularly known as ASM. The book engages with wider scholarly conceptualisations of contemporary global social, agrarian and political changes, whilst underlining the roles that local social‑political-historical contexts play in shaping mineral extractive processes and practices. It shows that the people who are engaged in these mining practices are often the poorest and most exploited labourers—erstwhile peasants caught in the vortex of global change, who perform the most insecure and dangerous tasks. Although these people are located at the margins of mainstream economic life, they collectively produce enormous amounts of diverse material commodities and find a livelihood (and often a pathway out of oppressive poverty). The contributions to this book bring these people to the forefront of debates on resource politics. The contributors are international scholars and practitioners who explore the complexities in the histories, in labour and production practices, the forces driving such mining, the creative agency and capacities of these miners, as well as the human and environmental costs of ASM. They show how these informal, artisanal and small‑scale miners are inextricably engaged with, or bound to, global commodity values, are intimately involved in the production of new extractive territories and rural economies, and how their labour reshapes agrarian communities and landscapes of resource access and control. This book drives home the understanding that, collectively, this social and economic milieu redefines our conceptualisation of resource politics, mineral‑dependent livelihoods, extractive geographies of resources and commodities, and their multiple meanings.
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Islands of Inquiry »

Colonisation, seafaring and the archaeology of maritime landscapes

Edited by: Geoffrey Clark, Foss Leach, Sue O'Connor
Publication date: June 2008
This collection makes a substantial contribution to several highly topical areas of archaeological inquiry. Many of the papers present new and innovative research into the processes of maritime colonisation, processes that affect archaeological contexts from islands to continents. Others shift focus from process to the archaeology of maritime places from the Bering to the Torres Straits, providing highly detailed discussions of how living by and with the sea is woven into all elements of human life from subsistence to trade and to ritual. Of equal importance are more abstract discussions of islands as natural places refashioned by human occupation, either through the introduction of new organisms or new systems of production and consumption. These transformation stories gain further texture (and variety) through close examinations of some of the more significant consequences of colonisation and migration, particularly the creation of new cultural identities. A final set of papers explores the ways in which the techniques of archaeological science have provided insights into the fauna of islands and the human history of such places. Islands of Inquiry highlights the importance of an archaeologically informed history of landmasses in the oceans and seas of the world.
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The Poetic Power of Place »

Comparative Perspectives on Austronesian Ideas of Locality

Edited by: James J. Fox
Publication date: September 2006
This collection of papers is the fourth in a series of volumes on the work of the Comparative Austronesian Project. Each paper describes a specific Austronesian locality and offers an ethnographic account of the way in which social knowledge is vested, maintained and transformed in a particular landscape. The intention of the volume is to consider common patterns in the representation of place among Austronesian-speaking populations.
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