Elizabeth Geglia

Grant Type

Hunt Postdoctoral Fellowship

Institutional Affiliation

Independent Scholar

Grant number

Gr. 10371

Approve Date

October 11, 2022

Project Title

Geglia, Elizabeth (Independent Scholar) "Homeland, Colony, State, or Company? Contesting Private City Development in Honduras"

ELIZABETH GEGLIA, an independent scholar, Washington, DC, was awarded a Hunt Postdoctoral Fellowship in October 2022 to aid research and writing on “Homeland, Colony, State, or Company? Contesting Private City Development in Honduras.” What happens when techno-libertarian dreams of colonization — typically directed at Mars or the ocean — are transposed onto nation-state territory? “Homeland, Colony, or Company: Contesting Sovereignty in Private City Development in Honduras” (working title) provides an ethnographic and multi-site account of the global “private city” or “startup city” movement and its endeavors to establish autonomous jurisdictions called Economic Development and Employment Zones (ZEDEs) in Honduras from 2014 to the present. Set in the gatherings of international startup city venture capitalists and intellectuals, the offices of Honduran policy makers and planners, and the agricultural and fishing communities targeted for ZEDEs in Southern Honduras, the book examines the discursive representations and ideological constructions of territory, sovereignty, and citizenship deployed in the developing, negotiating, and resisting of ZEDE projects. The book juxtaposes the idea of blank slate territory with Honduran State actors who attempted to modify libertarian utopian visions in accordance with their own governing logics and political economic agendas. In rural coastal communities, historical processes of land accumulation and contemporary land defense movements produce alternative territorial narratives that challenge both the ZEDEs and the existing nation-state model.