IOWC PhD Student: Caroline Seagle

Born in Germany and raised in the United States, Caroline completed her BA (honours) in Anthropology with a minor in Environment at McGill University in 2007 and a Masters degree (cum laude) in Anthropology at the VU University Amsterdam in 2009. Her research interests fall at intersections of political ecology, land deal politics, phenomenology, governmentality, and critical media studies, and most of her work has focused on the politics of land access, conservation and large-scale mineral extraction in Madagascar. Caroline's MA research examined the global strategies and local perceptions of land use and access near the Rio Tinto/QMM ilmenite mine in Southeast Madagascar. Her PhD research, supervised by Professor John Galaty, seeks to understand how 'market-based solutions'  within the green economy are increasingly informed by corporate actors, notably mining companies, and how these actors articulate, mediate and enact their commitments to conservation, sustainability and Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) in Madagascar, where competing claims to land by the state, conservation and mining entities have created a politicized atmosphere where global environmental concerns confront and interact with local land access regimes, conceptions of the environment and forms of resistance.

In 2014, Caroline was awarded the prestigious Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarship, and has previously been awarded a Land Deal Politics Initiative small grant and the Johannes van der Zouwen Masters thesis prize. Prior to coming to McGill to complete her doctorate, she worked as a PhD researcher on the WOTRO/Dutch Scientific Organisation-funded Integrated Programme, 'Development as a Trojan Horse? Foreign Large-scale Land Acquisitions in Ethiopia, Uganda and Madagascar' based at the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam. She is actively involved in the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN)'s Commission on Social, Economic and Environmental Policy (CEESP) as part of a team of Emerging Leaders, running as IUCN Regional Councilor in 2012, and recently co-organised a workshop at the Sydney World Parks Congress on 'Implementing Conservation Justice: Overcoming Barriers'. Outside of academia, Caroline plays alto saxophone in a social justice marching band, the Chaotic Insurrection Ensemble, as well as classical piano, and enjoys hiking and poetry.


Journal Articles

2012 "Inverting the impacts: Mining, conservation and sustainability claims near the Rio Tinto/QMM ilmenite mine in Southeast Madagascar." Journal of Peasant Studies 39 (2), 447-477.

2012 Co-author (with S.J.T.M. Evers), "Stealing the sacred: Why ‘global heritage’ discourse is perceived as a frontal attack on local heritage-making in Madagascar. Madagascar Conservation & Developmen"t 7 (2S), 97-107.

2010 "Deforestation and impoverishment in rural Madagascar: Links between state governance, land degradation, and food insecurity over time." Taloha, revue scientifique internationale des civilisations 19 (20).

Book chapters

2014 “Discourse, Development and Legitimacy: Nature/Culture Dualism of Mining Engagements in Biodiversity Offsetting and Conservation in Madagascar.” In Contest for Land in Madagascar: Environment, Ancestors and Development, edited by S.J.T.M. Evers, G. Campbell and M. Lambek. Leiden: Brill Academic Publishers.
2013 Co-author (with Sandra Evers and Froukje Krijtenburg), “Introduction: Contested Landscapes: Analysing the Role of the State, Land Reforms and Privatization in Foreign Land Deals in Africa.” In Africa for Sale?’ Positioning the State. Land and Society in Foreign Large-Scale Land Acquisitions in Africa, edited by Sandra Evers, Caroline Seagle and Froukje Krijtenburg, 1-37. Leiden: Brill Academic Publishers.

Books/Edited volumes

2013 Co-editor(with S.J.T.M. Evers and F. Krijtenburg), 'Africa for Sale?’ Positioning the State. Land and Society in Foreign Large-Scale Land Acquisitions in Africa. Leiden: Brill Academic Publishers.

Working papers

2013 LDPI Working Paper 11: The mining-conservation nexus: Rio Tinto, development ‘gifts’ and contested compensation in Madagascar. South Africa: The Land Deal Politics Initiative in collaboration with Institute for Development Studies, International Institute of Social Studies, and the Institute of Poverty, Land and Agrarian Studies, University of the Western Cape.

2013 « Sauver » la biodiversité en la détruisant: l’exploitation minière de Rio Tinto à Madagascar. (Traduit de l’anglais par Timothé Feodoroff). South Africa: The Land Deal Politics Initiative in collaboration with Institute for Development Studies, International Institute of Social Studies, and the Institute of Poverty, Land and Agrarian Studies, University of the Western Cape.

Selected conference presentations

2015 “Offsetting the Global Body? The Biopolitics of Care and Extraction from Sydney to Madagascar” Panel and rountable presentation with Profs. Ken MacDonald, Daviken Studnicki-Gizbert and Colin Scott, at the STANDD Seminar 'Intersecting interests or corporate paradox? Mining, conservation and sustainable development at the 2014 IUCN World Parks Congress'. McGill University, Montreal, QC, March 2015 (organiser).

2014 "Implementing Conservation Justice Through Intergenerational Dialogue, Collaboration and Critical Action", at the IUCN World Parks Congress. Sydney, Australia, November 2014 (organiser, with Catie Burlando, Melanie Zurba and Shalini Dhyani).

2013 "Media, Mining and Aesthetics: Producing the 'Sustainability Gaze' Near the Rio Tinto/QMM Ilmenite Mine in Southeast Madagascar", at the Second Annual Graduate Conference on Indian Ocean World Studies. McGill University, Montreal, QC, November 2013.

2013 "Reeds of the ancestors: Impacts of large-scale mining on women and mahampy in rural Southeast Madagascar", at the CAAS (Canadian Association of African Studies) Conference 'Africa Communicating: Digital Technologies, Representation, Power.' Carleton University, Ottawa, Ontario, May 2013.

2012 "Biodiversity for whom? Land Use and Access Near the Rio Tinto/QMM Ilmenite Mine in Fort Dauphin", at the Symposium 'Engaging Resources: New Anthropological Perspectives on Natural Resource Environments'. Basillie School of International Affairs, Waterloo, Ontario, April 2012.

2011 “[In]corporate "natures," local disjuncture: Encountering new forms of inclusion/exclusion from land near the Rio Tinto/QMM ilmenite mine in Southeast Madagascar” (with Antonie Kraemer), at 'Nature™ Inc? Questioning the Market Panacea in Environmental Policy and Conservation.' Institute of Social Studies (ISS), The Hague, The Netherlands, June 2011.

2010 “Land as intangible and material heritage: Contestations between local and global valuations” (with Sandra Evers), at the International NVAS Conference 'Africa for Sale: Analysing and Theorizing Foreign Land Claims and Acquisitions'. University of Groningen, The Netherlands, November 2010 (organiser).

2010 “Inverting the offset ideology? Analysing new regimes of neoliberal environmental governance near the Rio Tinto/QMM ilmenite mine”, at the International Symposium 'Voices from Madagascar's Forests'. University of East Anglia, Norwich, UK, June 2010.

2010 “Offsetting the 'global body': Mining-conservation partnerships and regimes of “sustainable development” in Southeast Madagascar”, at the International Conference 'A Brief History of Environmental Neoliberalism'. Research Group on World Ecology, Lund University, Sweden, April 2010.