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)
The impact humans have had on the environment, and the ways in which the physical environment has shaped human history: climate, agriculture, energy use, and urbanization.
Nowhere are the Cold War's contradictions more visible than in the experience of those places where the war was decidedly "hot", such as in much of Latin America.
HIST 250 will look at the many ways that people from Latin America mapped local, racial, cultural, ecological and gender-based animosities onto the global tension between capitalist, liberal democracy, on the one hand, and Communism, on the other. This is a discussion-heavy course, so come prepared to read, write and talk.
This course explores the myths, morals and make-up of global cocaine culture, beginning with the socio-historical divisions between cocaine and the coca plant, Erythroxylum coca. We will follow cocaine from its humble origins in the Andes Mountains through a vast matrix of biogeographical, socio-political and artistic configurations, all the while asking what kinds of political, cultural and ecological conditions facilitated its global reach. Topics covered will include the geographical imaginaries of development in Peru’s Huallaga Valley, once the world’s premiere source of cocaine paste; the course and contradictions of U.S. drug policy through the twentieth century; and cocaine-related cultural productions such as the Mexican narcodrama.
Revolutionary movements in the Third World during the second half of the twentieth century; the radicalisation of anticolonial nationalism; the impact of anticolonial radicalism in the developed world; the decline of Marxism as a revolutionary inspiration.