Anna Zalik


May 28, 2018, 6:30-9:00pm, Centre for Social Innovation (Annex) – Room #4, 3rd Floor


Over the past decade, critical studies of extraction have highlighted the intensified exploitation of non-human natures that characterize contemporary neoliberal capitalism. This new extractivism, associated particularly with territorially-extensive mining operations, expresses a particular set of ecological contradictions associated with the late ‘anthropocene,’ or alternatively the ‘capitalocene.’ In a 2016 article entitled”Rethinking the Extractive/Productive Binary Under Neoliberalism,” Sonja Killoran McKibbin and I explored how the global division of nature persists relatively ‘productivist’ and ‘extractivist” political economies. Departing from that work, and drawing on empirical research about Canada’s role in the recent, controversial denationalization of the Mexican energy sector, this session of The Capitalism Workshop addresses two pertinent questions: 1) What does an analysis of the unique global position that Mexico’s oil sector occupied over the past 75 years suggest about the binary distinction between extraction and production that dominates contemporary studies of extractive industry? And, b) What does Canada’s role in the territorial transformation that is the contemporary Mexican energy reform reveal about the spatial fixes associated with contradictions specific to national hydrocarbon capitalism?

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Anna Zalik is an Associate Professor at York University. Her research focuses on the political economy and political ecology of oil, gas and other extractives, centering on their spatial and social relations with historical and contemporary colonialism and capitalism. She has carried out field research in Nigeria, Mexico, Canada and more recently at the International Seabed Authority.



Killoran-McKibbin and Zalik (2016) Rethinking_the_extractive_productive_binary_under_neoliberalism