Current Institutional Affiliation
Assistant Professor, Geography, University of Colorado / Boulder

Award Information

International Dissertation Research Fellowship 2003
Institutional Affiliation (at time of award):
Geography, University of California / Berkeley
Map or be Mapped: Resource Politics and Indigenous Land Claims in Eastern Nicaragua

This dissertation research will analyze the role of maps in formulating indigenous land claims in eastern Nicaragua following the historic ruling by the Inter-American Court of Human Rights in the Awas Tingni case. In its decision, the Court ordered the Government of Nicaragua to develop national legislation for the protection of indigenous land rights throughout the country. This research will provide an ethnography of how identity and resource claims are linked through the production of maps in order to produce rights bearing indigenous subjects within the international and national legal frameworks. In this analysis, a political ecology approach is used to analyze the recursive relationships between nature, identity and politics as mediated in terms of rights. The research develops a comparative approach by looking at two different settings where maps of land claims have improved national recognition of land rights while exacerbating ethnic tensions between claimant groups as areas of shared use are divided into mutually exclusive claims to property.