Eastern’s Canterbury and Frye Author New Books

Written by Dwight Bachman

Sociology Professor Dennis Canterbury and History Professor David Frye recently authored “Neoextractivism and Capitalist Development” and “Walls: A History of Civilization in Blood and Brick.”

On Sept. 12, Canterbury gave a talk on “Neoextractivism” in Room 301 of the Science Building. Canterbury, who specializes in labor, development, globalization and Caribbean social structure, says the term “neoextractivism” refers to the collection of state-private sector policies intended to utilize income from natural resource sales for development objectives and improving the lives of a country’s citizens.

Reviewers who read and commented on the manuscript have described it as “a brilliant synthesis of economic structures, class relations and state power embedded in a historical analysis,” and as “an exceptional contribution to the scholarly literature on global capitalism, and its influences on development in the Caribbean and other regions in the Global South transitioning from neoliberalism to post-neoliberalism models of capital accumulation.”

“Neoextractivism and Capitalist Development” argues that neoextractivism is merely another means of capitalist development, reinforcing the position of elites with few benefits for working people. Canterbury observes that neoextratavism is cyclical and that critics of neoextractavism view it as “the new imperialism of the 21st Century, in which the rich countries in Europe and the United States maintain their stranglehold over countries whose economic survival depends on the export of natural resources.”

Canterbury said this book, his fourth since joining Eastern in 2000, was written to help workers in his native land of Guyana get a clearer picture of what they are struggling for and against. His book also helps readers critically analyze neoextractivism and identify alternative paths for improving the human condition.

Professor Frye Publishes Book on “Walls”

“The New Yorker Magazine” has reviewed a new book by History Professor David Frye titled “Walls.”  The magazine saysThis lively history argues that there is a ‘nearly universal correlation between civilization and walls. Frye examines such societies as the Persians, the Athenians and the Romans, all of whom constructed barriers to protect against invaders, creating secure zones where citizens were freed from military duties to pursue art, culture and commerce.

“Without walls,” Frye writes, “there would have been no ‘Chinese scholars, Babylonian mathematicians or Greek philosophers. In the twentieth century, modern weaponry rendered walls ineffective for defense, and structures such as the Berlin Wall represented a ‘clash of symbols,’ separating ideologies rather than armies.”

Frye concludes that today, with some seventy border walls worldwide, we are entering the “second age of walls.”