Ph.D., University of Toronto, 2006
Fairchild 120 | (603) 646-0404
I am a Scholar-Activist who looks at the ways racial thinking is imbued within development policy and practice and spurs environmental conflicts in Central America. Theoretically, I situate my work between postcolonial political ecology and critical racial studies. Currently, I have two ongoing and overlapping projects.
In Honduras, my doctoral work examined the way racial ideology shapes natural resource management and indigenous and Afro-indigenous land struggles inside the Rio Platano Biosphere Reserve. Through ethnographic research in Miskito and Garífuna communities, my work revealed the multiple ways race and property rights are mutually constituted.
More recent fieldwork in Honduras (2007 & 2008) draws new insights from an ethnographic mapping project to question the emancipatory power of indigenous counter-mapping strategies. In this vein, I make theoretical challenges to geography's complicated relationship with race and whiteness. I also draw upon 2008 fieldwork to spark debate in the subfield of feminist political ecology. Here I look for ways we can "mess" with gender by illustrating the way race and gender are mutually entangled in the production of space and environmental struggles.
In December 2012, I return to Honduras to begin a new phase of this project. I look to unweave the entanglements of post-coup racial and environmental politics through the investigation of two state agencies directly involved in Indigenous and Afro-Honduran land regularization, namely the newly created Secretariat de los Pueblos Indígenas y Afro-Hondureños, and the reformed Instituto de Conservación Forestal (ICF-PROTEP). Preliminary research questions how the state, through these "new" institutions, will accommodate indigenous and Afro-Honduran collective land and territorial interests, particularly in the context of a ubiquitously racialized, neoliberal and violent development arena.
Since 2007 a second new project in Panama looks at the ways in which national development plans to prioritize coastal tourism spurs inter/intra-cultural land and natural resource conflicts, I examine two spaces along the coast, namely the border region of Colon province and Kuna Yala Comarca and the Bocas del Toro Archipelago. In both regions indigenous and Afro-Panamanian communities are enmeshed in a number of tensions over land, labor equality and food security resulting in changes to customary tenure regimes made in the name of development.
Mollett, S. 2011 Racial Narratives: Miskito and colono land struggles in the Honduran Mosquitia, Cultural Geographies, 18(1): 43-62.
Mollett, S. 2011 Miskito Customary Property Rights and State Conservation: Miskito-colono contests in the Rio Plátano Biosphere Reserve. In W. Coleman (ed.) Property, Territory, Globalization: Struggles over Autonomy. Vancouver: University of British Columbia Press.
Asher, K., Baptiste, B., Diamond, N., Harris, L., Hawkins, R., Mollett, S., Nightingale, A., Ojeda, D. A., Rocheleau, D. Seager, J., Sultana, F. 2011 Gender and the Environment: Critical Tradition and New Challenges. Environment and Planning D. Society and Space, 29(2): 237-253.
Mollett, S. 2010 Esta Listo (Are you ready)? Gender, race and land registration in the Río Plátano Biosphere Reserve. Gender, Place and Culture, 17(3):357-375.
Mollett, S. 2006 Race and Natural Resource Conflicts in Honduras: The Miskito and Garifuna Struggle for Lasa Pulan. Latin American Research Review, 41 (1):76-101.
Mollett, S. 2006 Entanglements: Campesinos and Indigenous Tenure Insecurities on the Honduran North Coast. In P. Vandergeest, P. Idahosa & P. Bose (eds.) Development's Displacements: Ecologies, Economies and Cultures at Risk. Vancouver: University of British Columbia Press. pp. 229-252.
Mollett, S. Mapping Deception: The politics of mapping Miskito and Garifuna space in Honduras. Annals of the Association of American Geographers.
Mollett, S. and Faria, C. Messing with Gender in Feminist Political Ecology. Geoforum.
Last Updated: 10/19/12