Oscar Pedraza Vargas

Grant Type

Dissertation Fieldwork Grant

Institutional Affiliation

New York, Hunter College, City U. of

Grant number

Gr. 9267

Approve Date

April 11, 2016

Project Title

Pedraza 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

Preliminary abstract: 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 will investigate human rights violations associated with mining and the processes through which human rights cases 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 and human rights activists with the economies, materialities and epistemologies of natural resources´ law and rights; and the activists’ relations with human rights and natural resources extraction networks It will do 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.