Grant TypeDissertation Fieldwork Grant
Institutional AffiliationTexas, Austin, U. of
Grant numberGr. 10420
Approve DateOctober 11, 2022
Project TitleHazera, Eduardo (Texas, Austin, U. of) "How Are Colombians Negotiating the Legal Personhood of the Amazon Rainforest? An Ethnographic Inquiry Into the Bureaucracy of Ecological Beings"
A new legal paradigm that grants personhood to environmental entities is rapidly spreading around the world. Although 29 countries have seen rulings on nature’s rights, Colombia is leading the charge with more legally recognized ecological persons than any other country. One of the largest legally recognized environmental beings in the world is the Colombian Amazon. This ecological person, officially minted in 2018, has seen a proliferation of bureaucratic gatherings attempting to speak on its behalf. However, because these committees are multicultural, they rarely produce a unified voice. Instead, these commissions create an opportunity to study the everyday politics through which Colombians are reconceptualizing nature as a legal person. My research ethnographically examines these emergent bureaucracies to ask how liberal democracy is using posthuman rights to shape ecosystems into political subjects. This research, which builds on two centuries of social scientific inquiry into bureaucracy, will explore how administrative practices in the Anthropocene are incorporating other-than-human bureaucrats. Drawing on recent work in cosmopolitics, which combines the multispecies and ontological turns, my research will ask if the Anthropocene is producing new hybridized ontologies that exceed anthropology’s classic categories, like ‘animism’ or ‘naturalism.’ Broadly, this research will speak to the promise of multispecies justice.