Resource extraction; feminist political economy; decolonization and settler colonialism; social reproduction; northern development; gender-based violence; labour and employment standards
As a feminist political economist concerned with social justice, my research examines how land and resources are accessed and organized, and how people work, care and reproduce upon this land. My work maps the ways in which global capital draws upon gendered, racialized, and colonial structures in processes of dispossession and exploitation. At the same time, I am interested in highlighting local spaces of feminist, anti-racist and decolonizing resistance to the pressures of global capital.
My research, working with Indigenous communities in northern Canada, has focused on social reproduction: the daily and intergenerational work required to maintain and reproduce people, households and communities (from cooking to community education to breastfeeding to elder care). I have identified social reproduction as a key site of de/colonizing struggle. To this end, I have analyzed Canadian State interventions in Indigenous social reproduction, highlighted social reproduction in Indigenous communities as a site of decolonizing creative resistance; and examined shifts in social reproduction as a result of extractive projects.
My empirical focus is resource extraction, and its role in the Canadian and global political economy. I am currently completing a book based on my doctoral research, entitled, Diamonds are Forever. This book takes a decolonizing, feminist political economy approach to examining the impact of the development of diamond mines in the Yellowknife region, Northwest Territories (NWT). The book draws on documentary analysis, interviews, and talking circles to examine the – often invisibilized – labour performed by Indigenous women that reproduces the northern mixed economy, looking at the ways in which this community labour has shifted as a result of the diamond mines. The central contention of the book is that the diamond-mining regime newly targets northern Indigenous (mostly male) labour and represents a new imposition upon daily and intergenerational social reproduction performed by Indigenous women. This is an imposition that is sometimes violent, and that is met with resistance.
Community questions emerging from this book have inspired my next project: that is, what happens when the diamond mines close? My next major research project, Post-Extractive Futures, will compare extractive sites at varying stages of closure (near closure, recently closed, and long closed), and track community economic development. In particular, I am interested in post-extractive development that belies the “boom and bust” myth that extraction must follow extraction, and, instead, demonstrate community-driven alternatives to extractive development.
A concern with gender-based violence (GBV) weaves through all of my research. Rather than approaching GBV as an aberration from society’s norms, I am interested in examining the ways in which social and political economic structures have enabled GBV over time. I have examined feminist activism addressing GBV, State responses to GBV, and the relationship between GBV and settler colonialism.
I welcome students, broadly, in the areas of political economy; gender, race and development; decolonization and settler colonialism; and labour.
In particular, I am happy to supervise students engaged in critical analysis of resource extraction, its racialized and gendered contours, and its role in Canadian and the global political economy, as well as students interested in any of the topics listed under my “Research Interests” (above).
Hall, R. 2019. “A Feminist Political Economy of Indigenous-State Relations in Northern Canada” in Change and Continuity: Rethinking the New Canadian Political Economy (Leah Vosko, Mark Thomas and Carlo Fanelli, eds.). McGill-Queen’s University Press.
Hall, R. J. 2017. Diamonds are Forever: A Decolonizing, Feminist Approach to Diamond Mining in Yellowknife, Northwest Territories. Doctoral Dissertation. YorkSpace Institutional Repository.
Hall, R. 2016. “Caring Labours as Decolonizing Resistance in Studies in Social Justice (Special Issue: Consuming Intimacies: Bodies, Labour, Care and Social Justice) 10:2.
Hall, R. 2016. “Reproduction and Resistance: An Anti-colonial Contribution to Social Reproduction Feminism,” in Historical Materialism 24:2.
Hall, R. 2015. “Divide and Conquer: Privatizing Indigenous Land Ownership as Capital Accumulation” in Studies in Political Economy 96.
Hall, R., 2015. “Feminist Strategies to End Violence Against Women” in Oxford Handbook of Transnational Feminist Movements (Rawwida Baksh and Wendy Harcourt, eds). New York: Oxford University Press US.
Hall, R., 2013. “Diamond Mining in Canada’s Northwest Territories: A Colonial Continuity” in Antipode: A Radical Journal of Geography 45.2.
Mirchandani, K., Vosko, L. F., Soni-Sinha, U., Perry, J. A., Noack, A. M., Hall, R. J., & Gellatly, M. 2018. Methodological k/nots: designing research on the enforcement of labor standards. Journal of Mixed Methods Research, 12(2), 133-147.
Hall, A. Eric Tucker, Leah F. Vosko, Rebecca Hall and Elliot Siemiatycki. 2015. “Making Decisions: Discretion and Judgment in the Enforcement of Employment Standards in Ontario”. in Canadian Journal of Law and Society 31:1.