Lee Cabatingan

Grant Type

Post PhD Research Grant

Institutional Affiliation

California, Irvine, U. of

Grant number

Gr. 10260

Approve Date

April 13, 2022

Project Title

Cabatingan, Lee (California, Irvine, U. of) "Performing Property Differently: Land, Law, and Lives in Post-Disaster Barbuda"

LEE CABATINGAN, then a graduate student at University of Chicago, Chicago, IL, was awarded a grant in October 2011 to aid research on “The Caribbean Court of Justice: International Pursuits and National Promises in a Regional Court,” supervised by Dr. Stephan Palmie. Funding supported the final phase of five-year project situated on Barbuda, which experienced a devasting hurricane in 2017. The project asks: How does one model of property come to dominate over others following a major disaster? To address this question anthropologically, this project understands property as an ongoing performance and uses ethnographic methods to track property performances over time. Specifically, over the period of this grant, this project tracked the ways in which performances of the Barbudan traditional communal property regime adjusted to an unfavorable legal decision by the state’s highest court and how competing performances of private property adjusted to what was largely viewed as a legal win. Expectedly, supporters of private property relied more heavily than ever on the “law.” Those supporting communal property, however, began to make finer distinctions to the law, relied on the support of the international community, and turned to newly involved, more radical political candidates to insistently perform the continuation of communal property. Barbudan performances of communal property also began to accept the role of legal-like documentation — namely, a newly created and issued communal ownership titles for Barbudans — in making successful, legible claims to communal property