Gastón Gordillo

Professor
phone 604 822 3797
location_on AnSo 2317

Research Area

About

Professor Gastón Gordillo was born and raised in Buenos Aires, Argentina. He graduated from the University of Buenos Aires (1990) and completed his PhD at the University of Toronto (1999). He is a Guggenheim Fellow, was a visiting scholar at Harvard and Yale, a visiting professor at Cornell, and a resident fellow at the Bellagio Study Center in Italy. His research has been funded by (among others) the Wenner-Gren Foundation for Anthropological Research, the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation, and four grants from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC). His most recent book is Rubble: The Afterlife of Destruction (2014, Duke University Press), which won Honorary Mention for the Victor Turner Prize in Ethnographic Writing. His book Landscapes of Devils: Tensions of Place and Memory in the Argentinean Chaco (2004, Duke University Press) won the American Ethnological Society Sharon Stephens Book Prize.

 


Research

Research interests: terrain, place, and territory; racialized geographies; violence; materiality; affect and the body; ruins and ruination; insurrections and revolution; agro-ecological activism; agribusiness, deforestation, infrastructures and soy supply chains in South America; Argentina; campesinos and Indigenous people of the Gran Chaco.

In my current ethnographic project (funded by an Insight Grant from SSHRC), I’m analyzing how deforestation by agribusiness in the Gran Chaco region is racialized and made possible by the infrastructures of the soy supply chains and how this project is challenged by campesino and Indigenous social movements who are generating agro-ecological territories in the name of defending life and the commons. This project builds from my earlier work on the local perceptions of the ruins and debris of colonialism and capitalism that exist in this region, which led to my book Rubble: The Afterlife of Destruction (Duke University Press, 2014; Honorary Mention, Victor Turner Prize for Ethnographic Writing).

In parallel to my ongoing research in various areas of northern Argentina, I’m close to completing a book entitled Here Comes the Horde: Racial Geographies of the Argentine Multitude, which draws from a decade of research on the racialization of space, crowds, and political conflicts in Argentina. This book proposes to rethink Argentine history and its cycles of political violence through an analysis of the racialized geographies contested by multitudes on the streets. In particular, I examine past and contemporary struggles that have challenged the Argentine elites’ attempts to whiten space through genocidal violence and mass European migration. Conceptually, the book examines the affective geographies of whiteness and how the fear of non-white hordes, and the calls to repress them violently, has been constitutive of colonialism and white supremacy worldwide. I show how the case of Argentina helps shed light on the spatiality of similarly racialized anxieties in North America and Europe about the “invasion” by non-white people fleeing poverty, violence, and climatic disruptions, a phenomenon that is poised to intensify as the climate crisis worsens.

Other topics I have published about include Indigeneity, the spatiality of memory, hegemony, Indigenous mobilizations and land claims, ethnicity, borders, commodity and ID-paper fetishism, shamanism, and the subjectivities of experiences of alienation, domination, and contestation. I have analyzed these questions drawing on my ethnographic experience among Qomle’ec (Toba) people of the Gran Chaco on the Pilcomayo River between 1987 and 2003, and among Guarani activists in the sugar-producing region of the provinces of Salta and Jujuy between 2004 and 2011.

 


Publications

Books  

Edited Volumes

Selected Articles

 


Additional Description

 

Phone: 604-822-3797

Email: gordillo@mail.ubc.ca


Gastón Gordillo

Professor
phone 604 822 3797
location_on AnSo 2317

Professor Gastón Gordillo was born and raised in Buenos Aires, Argentina. He graduated from the University of Buenos Aires (1990) and completed his PhD at the University of Toronto (1999). He is a Guggenheim Fellow, was a visiting scholar at Harvard and Yale, a visiting professor at Cornell, and a resident fellow at the Bellagio Study Center in Italy. His research has been funded by (among others) the Wenner-Gren Foundation for Anthropological Research, the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation, and four grants from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC). His most recent book is Rubble: The Afterlife of Destruction (2014, Duke University Press), which won Honorary Mention for the Victor Turner Prize in Ethnographic Writing. His book Landscapes of Devils: Tensions of Place and Memory in the Argentinean Chaco (2004, Duke University Press) won the American Ethnological Society Sharon Stephens Book Prize.

 

Research interests: terrain, place, and territory; racialized geographies; violence; materiality; affect and the body; ruins and ruination; insurrections and revolution; agro-ecological activism; agribusiness, deforestation, infrastructures and soy supply chains in South America; Argentina; campesinos and Indigenous people of the Gran Chaco.

In my current ethnographic project (funded by an Insight Grant from SSHRC), I’m analyzing how deforestation by agribusiness in the Gran Chaco region is racialized and made possible by the infrastructures of the soy supply chains and how this project is challenged by campesino and Indigenous social movements who are generating agro-ecological territories in the name of defending life and the commons. This project builds from my earlier work on the local perceptions of the ruins and debris of colonialism and capitalism that exist in this region, which led to my book Rubble: The Afterlife of Destruction (Duke University Press, 2014; Honorary Mention, Victor Turner Prize for Ethnographic Writing).

In parallel to my ongoing research in various areas of northern Argentina, I'm close to completing a book entitled Here Comes the Horde: Racial Geographies of the Argentine Multitude, which draws from a decade of research on the racialization of space, crowds, and political conflicts in Argentina. This book proposes to rethink Argentine history and its cycles of political violence through an analysis of the racialized geographies contested by multitudes on the streets. In particular, I examine past and contemporary struggles that have challenged the Argentine elites’ attempts to whiten space through genocidal violence and mass European migration. Conceptually, the book examines the affective geographies of whiteness and how the fear of non-white hordes, and the calls to repress them violently, has been constitutive of colonialism and white supremacy worldwide. I show how the case of Argentina helps shed light on the spatiality of similarly racialized anxieties in North America and Europe about the “invasion” by non-white people fleeing poverty, violence, and climatic disruptions, a phenomenon that is poised to intensify as the climate crisis worsens.

Other topics I have published about include Indigeneity, the spatiality of memory, hegemony, Indigenous mobilizations and land claims, ethnicity, borders, commodity and ID-paper fetishism, shamanism, and the subjectivities of experiences of alienation, domination, and contestation. I have analyzed these questions drawing on my ethnographic experience among Qomle'ec (Toba) people of the Gran Chaco on the Pilcomayo River between 1987 and 2003, and among Guarani activists in the sugar-producing region of the provinces of Salta and Jujuy between 2004 and 2011.

 

Books  

Edited Volumes

Selected Articles

 

 

Phone: 604-822-3797

Email: gordillo@mail.ubc.ca

Gastón Gordillo

Professor
phone 604 822 3797
location_on AnSo 2317

Professor Gastón Gordillo was born and raised in Buenos Aires, Argentina. He graduated from the University of Buenos Aires (1990) and completed his PhD at the University of Toronto (1999). He is a Guggenheim Fellow, was a visiting scholar at Harvard and Yale, a visiting professor at Cornell, and a resident fellow at the Bellagio Study Center in Italy. His research has been funded by (among others) the Wenner-Gren Foundation for Anthropological Research, the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation, and four grants from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC). His most recent book is Rubble: The Afterlife of Destruction (2014, Duke University Press), which won Honorary Mention for the Victor Turner Prize in Ethnographic Writing. His book Landscapes of Devils: Tensions of Place and Memory in the Argentinean Chaco (2004, Duke University Press) won the American Ethnological Society Sharon Stephens Book Prize.

 

Research interests: terrain, place, and territory; racialized geographies; violence; materiality; affect and the body; ruins and ruination; insurrections and revolution; agro-ecological activism; agribusiness, deforestation, infrastructures and soy supply chains in South America; Argentina; campesinos and Indigenous people of the Gran Chaco.

In my current ethnographic project (funded by an Insight Grant from SSHRC), I’m analyzing how deforestation by agribusiness in the Gran Chaco region is racialized and made possible by the infrastructures of the soy supply chains and how this project is challenged by campesino and Indigenous social movements who are generating agro-ecological territories in the name of defending life and the commons. This project builds from my earlier work on the local perceptions of the ruins and debris of colonialism and capitalism that exist in this region, which led to my book Rubble: The Afterlife of Destruction (Duke University Press, 2014; Honorary Mention, Victor Turner Prize for Ethnographic Writing).

In parallel to my ongoing research in various areas of northern Argentina, I'm close to completing a book entitled Here Comes the Horde: Racial Geographies of the Argentine Multitude, which draws from a decade of research on the racialization of space, crowds, and political conflicts in Argentina. This book proposes to rethink Argentine history and its cycles of political violence through an analysis of the racialized geographies contested by multitudes on the streets. In particular, I examine past and contemporary struggles that have challenged the Argentine elites’ attempts to whiten space through genocidal violence and mass European migration. Conceptually, the book examines the affective geographies of whiteness and how the fear of non-white hordes, and the calls to repress them violently, has been constitutive of colonialism and white supremacy worldwide. I show how the case of Argentina helps shed light on the spatiality of similarly racialized anxieties in North America and Europe about the “invasion” by non-white people fleeing poverty, violence, and climatic disruptions, a phenomenon that is poised to intensify as the climate crisis worsens.

Other topics I have published about include Indigeneity, the spatiality of memory, hegemony, Indigenous mobilizations and land claims, ethnicity, borders, commodity and ID-paper fetishism, shamanism, and the subjectivities of experiences of alienation, domination, and contestation. I have analyzed these questions drawing on my ethnographic experience among Qomle'ec (Toba) people of the Gran Chaco on the Pilcomayo River between 1987 and 2003, and among Guarani activists in the sugar-producing region of the provinces of Salta and Jujuy between 2004 and 2011.

 

Books  

Edited Volumes

Selected Articles

 

 

Phone: 604-822-3797

Email: gordillo@mail.ubc.ca