The grant enabled Dr. Cross to perform research on-site in Australia and in Aboriginal County in the months of March and April of 2012. This research is part of a larger monograph/book project on aluminum in world history in a multi-national framework.
Title of project:
After the Bauxite is Gone: A History of Land Rehabilitation in Transnational Perspective (Australia, and the Yolngu and Yirrkala Aboriginal Countries)
Summary of project:
This project is one piece of a larger comparative and international history that examines some of the environmental and social experiences of people using, living on or living near former bauxite mines. Multinational aluminum companies extended a global reach to secure bauxite ore reserves in order to make an array of aluminum products. Bauxite-rich lands were frequently home to many host- society peoples whose territories subsequently became bauxite mines. Land rehabilitation schemes employed in Australia (and on Aboriginal Countries) in the late 20th Century provide windows on to the contested and re-made landscapes where processes of globalization met local circumstances. This work is not focused on the mining process itself, but rather examines the history of mined land.
Dr. Cross’ research question was: “What happened to the land subsequent to mining?” as part of a larger comparative multi-national (Canada, Jamaica, United States, France, Australia, Guyana, so far) study that seeks to situate the histories of the places where aluminium ore was extracted within a comparative framework.
Dr. Cross plans to integrate this research project as a case study with previous and continuing historical research.