About the Leverhulme Centre for Water Cultures
The University of Hull's Leverhulme Doctoral Scholarships Centre for Water Cultures pioneers a new, humanities-led, interdisciplinary and transhistorical research area, the ‘green-blue humanities.’
It equips a new generation of PhD students to take this agenda forward, transforming our understanding of our relationships with water and shaping future research agendas, methods, and approaches within and between disciplines.
Join our webinar – Thursday 11 March 2021
We are hosting a free webinar to help you find out more about funded postgraduate research at the Leverhulme Centre for Water Cultures. Join us to hear from programme leaders, supervisors, students and researchers and ask any burning questions at the Q&A. Register here
About this project
This is an exciting opportunity for an ambitious, talented and enthusiastic researcher to conduct interdisciplinary research in order to advance thinking within the area of blue-green humanities through researching one of the world’s primary sites of contemporary water cultures in profound conflict – at Pebble Mine, Bristol Bay, Alaska.
Pebble Mine is the second-largest gold deposit in the world and if exploited, will yield up to $500 billion. However, it is also at the headwaters of two of the five major river drainages that supply the salmon runs of Bristol Bay, the world’s largest salmon run. Salmon underpin around 75% of all local jobs and the subsistence lifestyles of many Alaskan indigenous peoples. The United Tribes of Bristol Bay strongly oppose the 10 billion tons of toxic waste they say the mine will generate. For more information from WWF.
This interdisciplinary PhD project will explore the extent to which Pebble Mine is emblematic of a new, global dependence on rare metals and of a race for access to them capable of shaping the environmental agenda of the future. If successful, you will have the chance to shape your own research, following these central research questions:
- How do canvassed and crowd-sourced interviews, corporate, state, federal, NGO data as well as tribal documents held at the University of Juneau bring debates, histories, and approaches surrounding Pebble Mine into critical and creative tension?
- Can the world’s most emblematic water and environmental conflict provide an index to inform future debate and decision-making?
- How significant are “portfolio effects” in relation to species diversity and the viability of salmon industry at Bristol Bay?
- How have cultural representation, treaty rights and the history of colonisation impacted debate?
- How significant has development theory been in North American resource-use contexts since the Brundtland report of 1987?
- How does analysis of Pebble Mine inform thinking on “delocalised pollution”, as exemplified in recent books such as Guillaume Pitron’s, The Rare Metals War (Scribe, 2020)?
The project offers opportunities to work with the Treatied Spaces Research Cluster, its British Academy Global Professor Greg Smithers, the Department of Geography, Geology & Environment and the Energy and Environment Institute. You will be encouraged to disseminate your findings using kinetic mapping techniques.