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PhD thesis defense
PhD thesis defense — Not there and (not) yet. The spatio-temporal politics of oil and gas development in the Canadian North. Valeria Guerrieri defends her PhD thesis.
Date & Time:
South Campus, room 21.0.54 (‘Multisalen’)
Department of Cross-Cultural and Regional Studies
Valeria Guerrieri defends her PhD thesis: Not there and (not) yet. The spatio-temporal politics of oil and gas development in the Canadian North.
Associate professor Frank Sejersen
Associate Professor Rasmus Christian Elling, chair (University of Copenhagen)
Professor Mark Nuttall (University of Alberta)
Associate Professor Berit Kristoffersen (The Arctic University of Norway)
Although the discussion on the social and environmental impacts of energy development in the Arctic is rapidly growing in many countries, the spatial and temporal significance of this development is not yet fully acknowledged.
The PhD thesis Not there and (not) yet. The spatio-temporal politics of oil and gas development in the Canadian North aims at exploring the impacts of hydrocarbon exploration and extraction on the negotiation of geographies, rights and identities in the North of Canada over the last fifty years. By combining theoretical inputs from a variety of disciplines, the project investigates the spatial and temporal dynamics of Canadian energy development, i.e. how the different energy stakeholders, and particularly aboriginal people, both produce and inhabit continuously changing energy landscapes, and how they expect, envision and anticipate multiple and potentially contrasting energy futures.
In this regard, the failed construction of a natural gas pipeline, the Mackenzie Valley Pipeline (1974-2017), is chosen as a main case study in order to show how – although not there, not yet, and probably, not anymore – this kind of megaprojects manages to trigger a series of long-lasting and long-distance transformations, affecting people’s behaviors, memories and narratives across time and space. Through the lens of the Dene testimonies presented in two separate and particularly extensive rounds of community hearings – the Berger Inquiry (1974-1977) and the Joint Review Panel hearings (2006-2007) – aboriginal perceptions, experiences and productions of space and time are explored, and, together with them, also the power relations underpinning space-time engagements.
Ultimately, the aim of this research is to contribute to the study of energy development and extractivism, currently developing at great speed in many scholarly and non-scholarly environments. Differently from much of the existing literature, the project approaches places, people and events “relationally”, i.e. as if these were in a constant interaction and interrelation with each other, and in a process of becoming, rather than something to be taken for granted.