stuart_kirschDr. Stuart Kirsch (University of Michigan) 'Resisting the Mine: the Yonggom and the World System' (1996)

My project “Resisting the Mine” enabled me to continue working with the Yonggom and their neighbors on their campaign against the environmental impacts of the Ok Tedi copper and gold mine in Papua New Guinea. In 1996, I collaborated with the plaintiffs and their lawyers in helping to implement the landmark out-of-court settlement of their lawsuit against the mining company. This included participation in meetings in Melbourne, Port Moresby, the mining township of Tabubil, and in numerous villages along the Ok Tedi and Fly rivers. I also conducted life history and other interviews with the Yonggom about the consequences of environmental change. The results of this work have been published in journal articles and my book, Reverse Anthropology: Indigenous Analysis of Social and Environmental Relations in New Guinea (Stanford 2006). I continue to work with indigenous peoples on environmental issues and land rights in Papua New Guinea, the Solomon Islands, the Marshall Islands, and most recently in Suriname.


2010a.  Capitalism and the Politics of Resignation. With Peter Benson. Forthcoming, Current Anthropology 51(4).

2010b. Corporate Oxymorons. With Peter Benson. Special forum on Corporate Oxymorons. Forthcoming, Dialectical Anthropology 34(1).

2010c. Sustainable Mining. Special forum on Corporate Oxymorons. Forthcoming, Dialectical Anthropology 34(1).

2009.  Fieldwork on the Fly. In What Anthropologists Do, ed. Veronica Strang, 97–99. Oxford: Berg.   

2008. Social Relations and the Green Critique of Capitalism in Melanesia. American Anthropologist 110(3):288–298.

2007. Indigenous Movements and the Risks of Counterglobalization: Tracking the Campaign against Papua New Guinea’s Ok Tedi Mine. American Ethnologist 34(2):303–321.

2006. Reverse Anthropology: Indigenous Analysis of Social and Environmental Relations in New Guinea. Stanford: Stanford University Press.

2004. No Justice in Ok Tedi Settlement. (Notes from the Field). Cultural Survival Quarterly 28(2):52–53. 

2003. Mining and Environmental Human Rights in Papua New Guinea. In Transnational Corporations and Human Rights, eds. George Jedrzej Frynas and Scott Pegg, 115–136. London: Palgrave.

2002a. Anthropology and Advocacy: A Case Study of the Campaign against the Ok Tedi Mine. Critique of Anthropology 22(2):175–200.

2002b. Mining, Indigenous Peoples and Human Rights: A Case Study of the Ok Tedi Mine, Papua New Guinea. Working paper for workshop organized by the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights. Indigenous Perspectives 5(1):60–91. (Expanded version published in Transnational Corporations and Human Rights, see above).

2002c. Litigating Ok Tedi (Again). Cultural Survival Quarterly 26(3):15–19.

2001. Changing Views of Place and Time along the Ok Tedi. In Mining and Indigenous Lifeworlds in Australia and Papua New Guinea, eds. Alan Rumsey and James Weiner, 243–72. Adelaide: Crawford House. Second printing in 2004, 182–207. Oxon, United Kingdom: Sean Kingston Publishing.

2000a. An Incomplete Victory at Ok Tedi. Human Rights Dialogue 2(2):10–11. 

2000b. Incompatible with our Environmental Values.” What’s Next for Ok Tedi? (Written answers to questions by R. Harkinson). Higher Values: The Minewatch Bulletin 13:3–7. 

1997a. Is Ok Tedi a Precedent? Implications of the Settlement in The Ok Tedi Settlement: Issues, Outcomes and Implications, eds. Glenn Banks and Chris Ballard, 118–140. Pacific Policy Paper 27. Canberra: Australian National University Press.

1997b. Indigenous Response to Environmental Impact along the Ok Tedi, in Compensation for Resource Development in Papua New Guinea, ed. Susan Toft, 143–155. Law Reform Commission of Papua New Guinea Monograph 6 and Pacific Policy Paper 24. Canberra: Australian National University Press.

1997c. Kotim Ol (Take Them to Court). Delta: News and Background on Ogoni, Shell and Nigeria 3:32–35.

1997d. Ethnographic Representation in the Shadows of Development. The People of Lake Kutubu and Kikori: Changing Meanings of Daily Life by Mark Busse, Susan Turner and Nick Araho (Papua New Guinea National Museum, 1994). Visual Anthropology Review  12(2):96–109.

1996. Cleaning up Ok Tedi: Settlement Favors Yonggom People. Journal of the International Institute 4(1):7.