Rafico Ruiz

2018 Fulbright Canada Research Chair in Arctic Studies
Banting Postdoctoral Fellow, Social Sciences & Humanities Research Council of Canada
Department of Sociology, University of Alberta

Rafico Ruiz is a Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada Banting Postdoctoral Fellow in the Department of Sociology at the University of Alberta. From February to July, 2018, he will be the Fulbright Canada Research Chair in Arctic Studies at Dartmouth College.

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During his tenure at Dartmouth, he’ll be working concurrently on three interrelated projects. “Arctic Infrastructures: Telecommunications, Transit Zones, and Connection in Apex, Nunavut” examines the development of telecommunications infrastructures in the circumpolar Arctic. It argues that the design, building, and maintenance of these infrastructures, from fibreoptic cable networks to satellites, incorporate forms of governmental and corporate interest, largely surrounding the development of a spectrum of northern natural resources, that are coming up against diverse indigenous environmental and legal frameworks.

Rafico’s second ongoing project, inching its way toward book form, is “Phase State Earth: Icebergs at the end of Climate Change.” The book investigates how natural phenomena such as icebergs constitute the central node in a global “media environment” that supports northern extractive resource industries.

Finally, he revised his dissertation for publication as a book, and recently submitted the completed manuscript, The Fish Came First: Extractive Environments and the Grenfell Mission of Newfoundland and Labrador, to Duke University Press. It will make a strong contribution to the scholarly literature on the relationship between media technologies and natural resource development, transnational studies of resources in the Subarctic region, with a particular focus on the role of photography and film in their documentation, and communication studies-derived approaches to sites of natural resource engagement as a means of uncovering their underlying postcolonial environmental politics. He looks forward to pursuing his varied interests in circumpolar resources, media technologies, and environmental issues in conversation with other members of the Dartmouth community.

His work appears in a number of journals, including the International Journal of Communication, the Journal of Northern Studies, Continuum: Journal of Media & Cultural Studies, and Communication +1, as well as in a variety of edited collections spanning science and technology studies, environmental history, and northern studies.

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366 Haldeman Center
HB 6048
McGill University, PhD
Columbia University, MA
McGill University, BA
The John Sloan Dickey Center