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Hennebach Lecture: Using Mixed Methods to Understand the Political Economy of Small-Scale Gold Mining in Ghana
February 23 @ 5:00 pmFree
Join us in welcoming Dr. Heidi Hausermann, an Associate Professor of Geography at Colorado State University. Her expertise is in landscape change, disease dynamics, politics of extraction and mixed methods.
Artisanal and small-scale gold mining activities hugely expanded in the wake of the 2008 economic recession and, most recently, the global pandemic. Based on 10 years of mixed methods research, this talk explores the political, environmental and health dimensions of gold mining in Ghana. I argue while foreign “small-scale” mining is often framed as “illegal,” these activities are enabled through complicated political and development relations between Ghana and China. Combining remote sensing, ethnography, and quantitative techniques, I argue there is nothing “small-scale” about Ghana’s recent mining boom: from spatial extent to impacts on food security and malaria, recent mining activities have profoundly reshaped rural landscapes and everyday life in Central Region. The talk concludes with examples of how this research informs environmental justice practices and policy in Ghana.
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