I draw from political ecology, legal geography, cultural geography, and development studies literatures to investigate questions related to indigenous rights, land and cultural politics, representation and subjectivity, agrarian change, and development in Latin America.
My dissertation research investigates how international indigenous rights law intersects with domestic politics to create new territorial orders and governable spaces, while shaping indigenous rights "on the ground", influencing cultural change, and producing new political subjectivities. I am currently investigating these issues in the Paraguayan Chaco where the Inter-American Court of Human Rights has made a number of important legal decisions regarding indigenous rights and the collective ownership of territory. These issues are unfolding in the context of: 1) rapid land-use change as the Paraguayan Chaco is being extensively deforested for the expansion of the soy and cattle export industries there, and 2) extreme, and growing, inequality in land tenure and property rights. Hence my research analyzes how legal and political economic forces are driving territorial and cultural change in the Chaco while investigating how diverse meanings and practices of territory, property, and land on the part of the state, local landowners, indigenous peoples, and legal system impacts political subjectivity and governance.