Histories of Extraction and Mining

Explores the period after the Industrial Revolution, with a geographic emphasis on the United States, a major mineral producer and seeker in the wider world. Surveys mineral components of the lithosphere that became valued for an array of purposes above ground. Follows miners, geologists, engineers, investors, policymakers, and canaries into mines from the continental United States to Asia, Africa, and Latin America. Extends beyond political territories to zones of activity, from the oceans to the Arctic to outer space. Asks how mining, unfolding at the local level, interacted with global processes, including the Anthropocene, the latest planetary-scale transformation. Examines the relationship between economic activity and environmental wellbeing, and the consequences of this relationship. Open to advanced undergraduates with permission of instructor. Limited to 15.

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Offered Fall 2024

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