Commodity Frontiers <p><em>Commodity Frontiers</em> explores the history and present of capitalism, contestation, and ecological transformation in the global countryside. Each themed issue includes articles and interviews with experts about studying and teaching commodity frontiers in theory and in practice. The Journal features reflections and reviews on the dynamics of capitalist expansion, social change, and ecological transformation on global as well local scales, in the past and at the present.</p> Commodity Frontiers Initiative en-US Commodity Frontiers 2667-243X Peasant Frontiers and the Enigma of Peasant Work <p class="p1">Peasant households produce most of the food in the world today, as they have for millennia. Concentrated in China and India, and spread across the Global South, the variegated persistence of differentiated peasantries and their labor remains one of the most fundamental questions of the 21st century. In this contribution, Eric Vanhaute argues that peasants have underwritten and fueled the expansion of civilizations, empires, states, and economies for the last ten millennia, embodying what he calls “peasant frontiers.” He reflects on how peasant work is foundational for resolving contemporary socio-ecological crises, including those related to capitalist industrial livestock production. The contribution is based on his new book, <em>Peasants in World History</em>, Routledge, 2021.<span class="Apple-converted-space">&nbsp;</span></p> Eric Vanhaute Copyright (c) 2021 Commodity Frontiers 2021-12-01 2021-12-01 3 51 56 10.18174/cf.2021a18163 Cover Materials Mindi Schneider Copyright (c) 2021 Commodity Frontiers 2021-12-01 2021-12-01 3 Cattle Grazing and Forest Devastation in Brazil <p class="p1">This article examines the history and present-day dynamics of deforestation and cattle grazing in Brazil’s Amazon. It discusses the long-standing strategic alliance between agribusiness and the Brazilian state, as well as the role of livestock grazing in Brazil’s developmental ideology of the frontier. It shows how the livestock industry is enlaced with soy production in the deterritorialization and deforestation of the Amazon, as well as the legalized theft of indigenous lands. It places these<span class="Apple-converted-space">&nbsp;</span></p> <p class="p1">Brazilian dynamics into larger international context and analyses the class structure and state capture of Brazil’s agro-industrial sector.<span class="Apple-converted-space">&nbsp;</span></p> Joana Medrado Copyright (c) 2021 Commodity Frontiers 2021-12-01 2021-12-01 3 15 20 10.18174/cf.2021a18157 From Tale to Tail: Unwinding the Twisted Life Story of PIG 05049 <p class="p1"><em>Pig 05049</em> is a book and research project by Dutch designer Christien Meindertsma that chronicles the many consumer products that were made from a pig called 05049. The book offers an insightful look into how this one animal, a single source, provides raw material for a vast number of everyday objects. Meindertsma’s clinical presentation of each laboriously researched object, page by page, organised by body part, follows the progress of the dissection of <em>Pig 05049</em> and the subsequent use of each part. Some products, she found, are expected and familiar, whilst other diverge dramatically: ammunition, medicine, photo paper, cigarettes, conditioner, and bio diesel. <em>PIG 05049</em> is currently in its 5th edition. The book won the Dutch Design Award in 2008 and the Index award in 2009 in the category <em>Play</em>. The article is a lightly edited transcript of a conversation between Commodity Frontiers editor, Maarten Vanden Eynde and Christien Meinderstma in September 2021.</p> Maarten Vanden Eynde Copyright (c) 2021 Commodity Frontiers 2021-12-01 2021-12-01 3 31 38 10.18174/cf.2021a18160 Review of Joshua Specht’s "Red Meat Republic” <p class="p1">Jonas M. Albrecht's review of Joshua Specht, <em>Red Meat Republic: A Hoof-to-Table History of How Beef Changed America</em>. Princeton University Press 2019, ISBN (Paperback): 9780691209180, $18,95/£14.99, 368 Pages.</p> Jonas Albrecht Copyright (c) 2021 Commodity Frontiers 2021-12-01 2021-12-01 3 57 62 10.18174/cf.2021a18164 Fieldwork in the Poultry Capital of the World <p class="p1">Hanne Cottyn and Stha Yeni of the CFI spoke with Carrie Freshour about cheap meat, workers’ care and resistance, and fieldwork in Georgia, USA, which has been named the “poultry capital of the world.” The article is a lightly edited transcript of their conversation from 5 August 2021.</p> Hanne Cottyn Stha Yeni Copyright (c) 2021 Commodity Frontiers 2021-12-01 2021-12-01 3 19 25 10.18174/cf.2021a18158 Livestock, Colonialism, and Commodity Frontiers in the U.S. Southwest <p class="p1">Commodity frontiers are a useful way to think about the expansion and rearticulation of capitalist modes of production across the globe. A weakness of this approach is to miss deeper histories of colonialism and domination at the sites of the metaphorical frontier. This commentary thinks through Diné relationship with sheep to think through how livestock often contains older relationships that transcend colonial limitations.<span class="Apple-converted-space">&nbsp;</span></p> Andrew Curley Copyright (c) 2021 Commodity Frontiers 2021-12-01 2021-12-01 3 27 30 10.18174/cf.2021a18162 Livestock Frontiers <p class="p1">The word <em>livestock</em> itself suggests the reduction of animals as living things to animals as economic goods. Disaggregating the term into its component parts—live and stock—also suggest the difficulty of rendering things that are alive into things that are stocked, especially on large or predicable scales. The be alive is biological; living things breathe, eat, defecate, move, sleep, grow, reproduce, connect with others, get sick, die. To be stock, on the other hand, is economic; stocks are things held and exchanged. In capitalist relations specifically, livestock (and livestock parts) are owned, quantified, rationalized, commodified, specialized, simplified, contracted, accumulated, speculated upon, traded, sold.</p> <p class="p2">&nbsp;</p> <p class="p1">Ongoing attempts to make living things into stocks, or commodities, are rife with contradictions and impossibilities. Fundamentally, biological bodies are barriers to accumulation. The unruliness of living stocks—including their biological needs, the time they take to grow and mature, their propensities toward genetic diversity, and their vulnerabilities in environments where diversity is strictly denied—make them particularly difficult to standardize and simplify for the market. Just as Karl Polanyi (1944) unveiled the fiction of land, labor, and money as commodities, animals must join this list.<span class="Apple-converted-space">&nbsp;</span></p> Mindi Schneider Samuël Coghe Copyright (c) 2021 Commodity Frontiers 2021-12-01 2021-12-01 3 i viii 10.18174/cf.2021a18166 Animals as and on Resource Frontiers <p class="p1">This paper attempts to locate changing interspecies relations in the dynamism and violence of capitalist expansion on a world scale, setting out two primary ways that the rising exploitation of non-human animals contributed to the development of settler-colonial economies, destabilization of indigenous societies, and transformation of ecosystems. One path was set by burgeoning demand essentially turning some wild animal species into increasingly valuable commodities and driving the rising scale and systematization of extraction and trade, which tended to quickly undermine conditions of abundance and make these animal frontiers very mobile. The second way started from the introduction of domesticated animals, with the muscle power and bodily commodities derived from proliferating populations valued not only in the expansion of agricultural landscapes but also in the formation and functioning of other resource frontiers, and ultimately bound up in waves of enclosures and expulsions. This framework seeks to simultaneously pose challenges for historical analysis and provide insights that help to understand the trajectory of animal life today. </p> Tony Weis Copyright (c) 2021 Commodity Frontiers 2021-12-01 2021-12-01 3 1 13 10.18174/cf.2021a18154 Learning to Resist(ance) in Gujarat <p class="p1">The Banni grassland, of Gujarat state of western India, has emerged as a site of multipronged contestations over land and livelihoods. Structural transformations seek to refashion Kachchh’s economy, society, and nature along capitalist and neoliberal lines threatening the livelihood of the 25000 mobile pastoralists inhabiting the grassland. Embedded within this context, the Salim Mama Youth Course, initiated through the a collaboration between local civil society, research and academic organizations, trains the youth in the region to recognize connections between pastoralism and their ecosystems. It achieves two main goals: firstly, the course attempts to secure the long-term sustainability of the grassland by developing the technical know-how of the youth as well as generating enthusiasm for pastoralism. Secondly, it contributes to the ongoing resistance against state induced corporate capture both practically, by providing information and tools to sustain contestations, and ideologically by reimagining the role and value of pastoralism in the region. This article unpacks the pedagogical approach of the course as a form of active and positive grassroots resistance against neoliberal environmentalism.</p> Natasha Maru Copyright (c) 2021 Commodity Frontiers 2021-12-01 2021-12-01 3 10.18174/cf.2021a18159