Talk will look at how making of agro-capitalism in Burma is rooted in violence

Bagan, Burma by Corto Maltese

Speakers from Canada, the United States, Australia, the Netherlands and Thailand will share their expertise and experience on resource extraction, forestry, fisheries, agriculture and urban ecologies in Southeast Asia as a part of a year-long lecture series at the York Centre for Asian Research.

Critical Asian Political Ecologies Seminars (CAPES) will feature seminars on agro-capitalism in Burma, fisheries in Vietnam, dam building in Lao PDR and ecosystem services in Thailand, among others.

Peter Vandergeest
Peter Vandergeest

The series is organized by Peter Vandergeest in the Department of Geography along with geography colleague Robin Roth, whose research project New Directions in Environmental Governance (funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada) is exploring related issues in the region.

“We are concerned with the way that new pressures for resource extraction and expanded commercial uses of land and water are affecting the lives of people who live near the forests, mountains, rivers, and coasts of Southeast Asia.  Also, we will examine the debates concerning the causes of environmental degradation, and work to understand how various agencies come up with diverse ways of addressing these issues,” said Vandergeest.

Robin Roth
Robin Roth

The seminars will also consider the implications of increasing involvement by diverse non-state or hybrid state-private agents in claiming authority over how resources are extracted and managed.

The first speaker in the series is Kevin M. Woods of the University of California, Berkeley. He will speak about how the making of agro-capitalism in Burma during the current neoliberal reform period is rooted in violent regional histories defined by contested and racialized territorial politics. His seminar will be held on Tuesday, Oct. 14 at 2pm in Room 280A York Lanes, Keele campus.

All are welcome to attend.

A full list of the series is available at:

For further information, e-mail