Marixa Lasso

Biography

Fall 2016: Sheila Biddle Ford Foundation Fellow

The Lost Towns of the Canal Zone

Project Description

The Lost Towns of the Canal Zone

This work looks at the relationship between US ideas about Panamanian tropical environment and peoples and the depopulation of the Panama Canal Zone. It argues that political rhetoric facilitated regional depopulation by re-characterizing Panama’s republican citizens, most of whom were black, as “natives.” Once this ideological transformation took place, it became easier to enforce depopulation policies that forever altered the Canal Zone landscape by converting what had previously been one of the most densely populated regions of the country into a jungle landscape.

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