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The Licit Life of Capitalism

10.28.2022 02:00 PM

Event Summary

At this lecture, Hannah Appel (Associate Professor of Anthropology at UCLA) discussed her critically acclaimed ethnography, The Licit Life of Capitalism: U.S. Oil in Equatorial Guinea. Meditating on the reception of her book in the three years since its publication, Appel explored the context of her research on offshore oil and racial capitalism in coastal Central Africa. With an eye toward the crises of the intervening years, chief among them the Covid pandemic and the Russian invasion of Ukraine, this event explored the enduring resonance of Appel’s contribution amid recent price shocks and geopolitical conflicts. Returning to the case of Equatorial Guinea as a paradigmatic, but often neglected, theater of fossil capitalism in the global South, Appel considered what a view from the south reveals about the current mechanics and politics of extractive fossil fuels.

This event was organized by the Fossil Capitalism in the Global South research project.