My research deals with the late-twentieth-century project of road colonization in the Peruvian Amazon. I look at the politics of meaning and the distinct legal, cultural and ecological methods by which space is marked and am especially interested in the overlapping modalities of land tenure that emerged since the 1970s.
1) “That Appealing and Little Known Valley: Hemispheric Development and Environmental Change in Peru’s Huallaga Valley (1948-1985)” (in progress)
2) “The Imagined Life of Cocaine: Local Cultural Ecologies of a Global Drug” (in progress)
This course deals with the cultural history of Latin America's Cold War by asking how global geopolitical animosities were mapped onto local tensions around race, class, gender and environment. With an eye toward identifying how history resonates in our present, we will look at how the Cold War context conditioned understandings of the region's indigenous past; how it fuelled environmental change, fed cultural production, and influenced gender norms. This is a discussion-heavy course, so come prepared to read, write and talk.