Current Institutional Affiliation
Lecturing Fellow, Thompson Writing Program, Duke University

Award Information

International Dissertation Research Fellowship 2008
Institutional Affiliation (at time of award):
Geography, University of North Carolina / Chapel Hill
Paving Paradise? Property Rights and Social Mobilization along an Amazonian Highway

This project will analyze the struggle for property rights along Brazilian Amazonian highway, BR-163. This research is especially important at this particular conjuncture, when a long history of land conflict along the road has been exacerbated by the arrival of soy farmers into the region, the subsequent plan to pave the road, and the implementation of new 9overnment land reform programs. Taking as its point of departure the argument that that property is not a thing, but a relationship constituted throu9h competing claims to resources, hierarchical power dynamics and diverse world views, this research seeks to answer the question-how do understandings of property rights along BR-163 contribute to and become formed through land conflict? I argue that because land access and use is mediated through relationships of property, understanding how people conceive, enact, and mobilize for their property rights is essential to understanding land conflict. Situated along a road, this research, which will combine policy analysis, mapping, and ethnography is necessarily multi-sited, and the results will speak not only to issues in particular places, but also to the wider processes that link them.