Minerals, Collecting, And Value Across The Us-mexico Border

Paperback | June 19, 2013

byElizabeth Emma Ferry

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Elizabeth Emma Ferry traces the movement of minerals as they circulate from Mexican mines to markets, museums, and private collections on both sides of the US-Mexico border. She describes how and why these byproducts of ore mining come to be valued by people in various walks of life as scientific specimens, religious offerings, works of art, and luxury collectibles. The story of mineral exploration and trade defines a variegated transnational space, shedding new light on the complex relationship between these two countries and on the process of making value itself.

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Elizabeth Emma Ferry traces the movement of minerals as they circulate from Mexican mines to markets, museums, and private collections on both sides of the US-Mexico border. She describes how and why these byproducts of ore mining come to be valued by people in various walks of life as scientific specimens, religious offerings, works o...

Elizabeth Emma Ferry is Associate Professor of Anthropology at Brandeis University. She is author of Not Ours Alone: Patrimony, Value, and Collectivity in Contemporary Mexico and editor (with Mandana Limbert) of Timely Assets: The Politics of Resources and their Temporalities.

other books by Elizabeth Emma Ferry

Format:PaperbackDimensions:252 pages, 9 × 6 × 0.6 inPublished:June 19, 2013Publisher:Indiana University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0253009367

ISBN - 13:9780253009364

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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments
Introduction: Making Value and U.S.-Mexican Space
1. Histories, Mineralogies, Economies
2. Shifting Stones: Mineralogy and Mineral Collecting in Mexico and the United States
3. Making Scientific Value
4. Mineral Collections and Their Minerals: Building Up U.S.-Mexican Transnational Spaces
5. Making Places in Space: Miners and Collectors in Guanajuato and Tucson
6. Mineral Marketplaces, Arbitrage, and the Production of Difference
Conclusion
Appendix: Sources and Methods
Notes
References
Index

Editorial Reviews

"What makes things valuable? In this imaginative study of mineral mining and collecting, Elizabeth Ferry takes us from an incidental economy in central Mexico to the high reaches of scientific and aesthetic collecting in the United States. In the first, minerals are ancillary finds in the search for ores; in the second, minerals are expensive markers of taste and erudition. In the first, a miner brings minerals to his doctor's secretary to "smooth the way," or he places them on an altar to the saints. In the second, a dealer makes his minerals "pristine" by erasing all traces of their procurement and photographing them as if floating on air. Between the two, value is remade in the production and performance of difference. There is something to learn here for all students and scholars of value, commodities, and the traffic across nations." -Anna Tsing, author of Friction: An Ethnography of Global Connection