John A. Burns Hall, Room 3121/3125 (3rd Floor)
This talk will examine how the war to rule in Burma – the fight to bring rebel frontier landscapes and ethnic minority populations under control of the lowland military state – has continued during the country’s celebrated opening to global capital by “turning land into capital” and “battlefields to marketplaces.” Field case studies on rubber, maize and timber investments reveal how market-based reforms have led to nationalized natures and consolidated state territorial power and authority in the rebel frontier. These violent agrarian changes have set the stage for the state to exclude certain racialized populations from the state’s imaginary of the nation, thereby paving new pathways in subject-making.
Kevin Woods recently completed his Ph.D. in political ecology at UC-Berkeley’s Environmental Science, Policy and Management (ESPM) Department, where he studied the politics of land and resource reforms in rebel territory in the Sino-Burma borderlands. Dr. Woods has fifteen years of experience working on resource politics and ethnic armed conflict in Burma, and he has penned numerous academic publications and policy reports on related topics. He is currently a visiting scholar at the East-West Center.