[PAST EVENT] Anthropology Brown Bag - Dr. Caroline Schuster on Agricultural Resilience in Paraguay
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- Open to the public
Weedy finance: The political life of resilience in the Paraguayan countryside
Caroline Schuster, School of Archaeology and Anthropology, Australian National University
In August of 2018, a California jury dealt a major blow to Monsanto’s flagship weed killer, glyphosate – better known as Roundup™ — in a civil lawsuit worth $289 million. Meanwhile, in the Paraguayan countryside organic sesame is seen by development programs as an alternative to agroindustrial farming, especially GMO soy and corn, that relies on chemicals such as glyphosate. In this talk Dr. Schuster explores how seemingly ordinary struggles over weeds (malezas) and weed-killers on Paraguayan farms tell a larger story about disaster capitalism and environmental risk today. As productive processes like commercial sesame farming have been absorbed into financing structures that selectively apportion protection and damage, weeds are laden with concerns about who and what can thrive in an ever more uncertain climate.