Oscar Pedraza Vargas
Grant TypeDissertation Fieldwork Grant
Institutional AffiliationNew York, Hunter College, City U. of
Grant numberGr. 9267
Approve DateApril 11, 2016
Project TitlePedraza Vargas, Oscar H., City U. of New York, Hunter College, New York, NY - To aid research on 'The Measure of Death in Gold: Transnational Negotiations and the Creation of Value of Human Rights Cases,' supervised by Dr. Marc Edelman
OSCAR PEDRAZA VARGAS, then a graduate student at City University of New York, Hunter College, New York, New York, received a grant in April 2016 to aid research on ‘The Measure of Death in Gold: Transnational Negotiations and the Creation of Value of Human Rights Cases,’ supervised by Dr. Marc Edelman. What makes some deaths more important than others? What is required for transnational human rights institutions, discourses and practices to consider a particular death important or emblematic? What defines the value of death for aid agencies, NGOS, social movements and human rights? The research investigates human rights violations associated with coal mining and the processes through which events of death become (or fail to become) emblematic. This project will answer these questions by studying, on the one hand, the technical procedures that produce the authority and feasibility of the case, such as the legal knowledge, technical procedures, and the gathering of documentation, forensic evidence and testimonies. On the other hand, it will also follow the cases in the transnational networks of institutions, practices, discourses and affects in which they circulate and are negotiated; The project highlights the conflicts of social movements, human rights and environmental activists with the economies, materialities and epistemologies of environmental’ law and rights; and the activists’ relations with human rights and extractivists networks. It does this by analyzing the interactions of key actors and institutions, such as human rights activists, grassroots movements, corporations, scholars, courts, documents, mining infrastructure, judges, aid agencies, government representatives and multilateral organizations.