I am an ethnographer of contemporary Colombia interested in researching (de)militarized rural landscapes, post-conflict politics and economics, and multispecies relations of aid and care.
I am currently the Chancellor’s Postdoctoral Fellow at UC Irvine. I work in the Department of Gender and Sexualities Studies with professor Jennifer Terry (this is her latest book; Attachments to War).
My book manuscript, “Suspicious Landscapes: Humanitarian Demining and Peace Laboratories in Rural Colombia” is an ethnographic study of Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) and mine clearance in times of political transition in rural Colombia. Throughout my research, I pay special attention to the material, affective, and political impacts of the presence and absence of improvised landmines.
Theoretically, my manuscript is concerned with what I have called ‘the non-explosive capacities of landmines.’ Mines have the power to activate and orchestrate the emergence and consolidation of certain conditions of life (as well of death, disability, and debility) in the Colombian countryside, even when they do not explode or are physically absent; this is the case of recently demined and so-called released rural areas. Suspicion (and, its correlated term, trust) articulates these capabilities and grounds them deeply in the environmental and political landscapes of the countryside.
This ethnography is based on two years of fieldwork in the “Pilot Project of Humanitarian Demining,” a peace initiative that brought guerrillas and army soldiers together to work in the removal of improvised landmines planted in peasant villages during the decades-long war.
My work is inspired by diverse scholarly fields, especially ethnographic theory, feminist science and technology studies, critical humanitarian studies, and political ecology.
My research has been supported by grants from the Wenner-Gren Foundation, the Social Science Research Council, the University of California President’s Office, the University of California Humanities Research Institute (UCHRI), and the Humanities, Arts, and Cultural Studies Dean’s office at UC Davis.
Marisol de la Cadena (Chair). Here is the link to her powerful book, Earth Beings: Ecologies of Practice Across Andean Worlds.
Caren Kaplan. Here you can find her latest book, Aerial Aftermaths: Wartime from Above.
Javier Arbona. Visit his website for his latest publications and blogs.