Monday workshop
Wednesday, December 13, 2023 - 3:30pm

392 Claudia Cohen Hall

The Ruins of a Steel Mill: A Microhistory of Planetary Urbanization in Amazonia
The Companhia Siderúrgica da Amazônia Sociedade Anônima, SIDERAMA, was an integrated steel mill created in 1961 and liquidated in 1997 after a convoluted history of mismanagement. The most ambitious industrial project in the history of the Amazon rainforest, it was part of efforts to colonize and modernize the Brazilian Amazon through industrial urbanization. Exploring the history of one steel mill in Manaus, the region's largest city, at a diversity of scales, I frame its rise and fall as a global microhistory of planetary urbanization in Amazonia. The steel mill polluted the city of Manaus, and resource extraction to feed it with materials and energy disrupted environments and societies deep into the Amazon rainforest. This process underscores the global reach of urbanization during the second half of the twentieth century and the need to rethink the role of Amazonia during the Anthropocene.