Raymond Craib is an Associate Professor in the Department of History. Trained as a Latin Americanist with a primary interest in Mexico and Chile, his thematic interests are eclectic but tend to revolve largely around issues of property, space, history and anarchism. He is currently completing a book on the persecution of ‘subversives’ in Chile in the 1910s. His first book (Cartographic Mexico: A History of State Fixations and Fugitive Landscapes) examined the cartographic routines—exploring, mapping, and surveying—through which Mexican national sovereignty and a series of property regimes (from communal landholding, through to privatization and enclosure, to the creation of the post-revolutionary ejido) were forged. A ‘social history of cartography,’ the book focused in particular on the points of contact, cooperation, and conflict between those living and working on particular lands (in this case, peasants in highland Veracruz) and those charged with translating legislative decrees in to social and juridical realities (in this case, land surveyors in highland Veracruz). His work for the theme project examines the place—literal and figurative—of oceans and islands in the rise of neoliberal (and, increasingly, libertarian-capitalist) practice and thought by tracing new forms of enclosure from the era of decolonization and the establishment of off-shore tax havens to current efforts to ‘sea-stead’ and generate open-ocean aquaculture. At the same time, he contrasts them with alternative efforts to understand (and histories of) ocean spaces and islands as places of horizontal refuge from exploitation, of non-hierarchical floating communes, as an anarchist commons, and as spaces intermittently occupied and used by ocean-going societies.
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