Clayton Whitt

Research Key Words:

Environmental Anthropology; Indigenous Communities of Western Bolivia; Climate Change; Agriculture; Affect Theory; Space and Place


My dissertation work explores how people in an agricultural community in the Andean highlands of western Bolivia experience and respond to climate change and other environmental problems and how these experiences and responses are reflected in local politics.  I seek to contextualize these environmental problems within other changes occurring across broader geographies, including Bolivia’s rapid economic growth, political transformations, new development projects, and spatial linkages formed by migration to other areas.  I am also interested in how farmers in my field site experience and respond to the explosion of the global quinoa market, which has presented them with new economic opportunities but comes at a time that agricultural land in the area is degraded from overuse and polluted irrigation water.

B.S.,  Social Sciences, California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo, 2004

PhD Supervisor: Dr. Gaston Gordillo


2014, Living Climate change in the Bolivian Highlands through Mud and Lightning.  Anthropology News.  April.


Conference Presentations:

Endless Flood: Space-Time and the Ethnography of Disaster in an Andean Village. Annual Meeting of the American Association of Geographers, San Francisco, March 29th, 2016.

Shifting Water Rhythms: Irrigators Confront Climate Change and Mine Waste in the Desaguadero River of the Bolivian Highlands. Annual Meeting of the American Anthropological Association, Denver, CO, November 20th, 2015.

Spatialized Anxieties: Quinoa in a Transforming Andean Landscape.  Annual Meeting of the Canadian Association of Geographers, Vancouver, BC, June 4th 2015.

“Everything is Mixed Up”: Experiencing the Elements of Climate Change in the Bolivian Andes.  Thinking Mountains 2015, Jasper, AB, May 6th, 2015.

Fluid Terrain: climate Change and the Textured Materiality of Daily Life in the Bolivian Highlands.  Annual Meeting of the Association of American Geographers, Chicago, April 22nd, 2015.

Pathways to a Spatial Theory of the Atmosphere: The Case of climate Change.  UBC Anthropology Graduate Conference, Vancouver, BC, March 3rd, 2012.

Winter 2018
No ANTH course(s) were found for W2018 term.

Wenner-Gren Dissertation Fieldwork Grant, 2013-2014

Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarship, September 2013