carlota


Carlota McAllister

Photo of Carlota McAllister

Department of Anthropology

Associate Professor

Office: Kaneff Tower 827
Phone: (416) 736-2100 Ext: 66121
Email: carlota@yorku.ca

Carlota McAllister is an Associate Professor in the Department of Anthropology and the former director of the Centre for Research on Latin America and the Caribbean. From 2013-16 she served on the Executive Committee of the Canadian Association of Latin American and Caribbean Studies. In 2016-17 she was a Faculty Fellow at the Charles Warren Center for American History at Harvard University. A political and historical anthropologist, she studies the formation of political and moral agency in situations of conflict or crisis in agrarian communities in Guatemala and Chile, using theoretical tools drawn from the anthropology of religion, actor-network theory, feminist anthropology, historical anthropology, and political ecology. With Diane Nelson, she co-edited War by Other Means: Aftermath in Postgenocide Guatemala (Duke UP, 2013), a collection of papers addressing the legacy of 36 years of massive state violence in an aftermath characterized by both neoliberal restructuring and attempts at transitional justice. Her monograph The Good Road: Conscience and Consciousness in a Post-Revolutionary Mayan Village in Guatemala is forthcoming with Duke University Press. It shows how revolutionary consciousness raising, Catholic traditions of moral thought, and indigenous experiences and concepts of community briefly converged to produce a Mayan revolutionary consciousness, how the Guatemalan state’s genocidal response to Mayan mobilization for revolution forced them apart again, and how this history shapes contemporary Mayan projects for the future. Her current project addresses a dam conflict in the remote Aysén region of Chilean Patagonia, where energy companies and multimillionaire private conservationists have clashed over the future uses to which this “last frontier” should be put. She explores how gauchos living in river valleys draw on their history as the heroic pioneers who made this difficult terrain productive and the material legacy of this history in different forms of private property as resources for building collective responses to the dam proposal, both in favor and against. Her work has been supported by grants from the Fulbright Institute of International Education, the Wenner-Gren Foundation, the Harry Frank Guggenheim Foundation, and the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada, among others. With Diane Nelson, she co-edited War by Other Means: Aftermath in Postgenocide Guatemala (Duke UP, 2013), a collection of papers addressing the legacy of 36 years of massive state violence in an aftermath characterized by both neoliberal restructuring and attempts at transitional justice. Her monograph The Good Road: Conscience and Consciousness in a Post-Revolutionary Mayan Village in Guatemala is forthcoming with Duke University Press. It shows how revolutionary consciousness raising, Catholic traditions of moral thought, and indigenous notions and experiences of community briefly converged to produce a Mayan revolutionary consciousness, how the Guatemalan state’s genocidal response to Mayan mobilization for revolution forced them apart again, and how this history shapes contemporary Mayan projects for the future. Her current project addresses a dam conflict in the remote Aysén region of Chilean Patagonia, where energy companies and millionaire private conservationists have clashed over the future uses to which this “last frontier” should be put. She explores how gauchos living in river valleys draw on their history as the heroic pioneers who made this difficult terrain productive, and the material legacy of this history in different forms of private property as resources for building collective responses to the dam proposal, both in favor and against.

Degrees

PhD, Johns Hopkins University
MA, Johns Hopkins University
MA, University of Arizona
BA Honours, University of Toronto

Professional Leadership

Director, Centre for Research on Latin America and the Caribbean (2013-16); Member, ex oficio, Executive Committee, Canadian Association of Latin American and Caribbean Studies (2013-16); Member, SSHRC Insight Grants adjudication committee, 2015

Research Interests

Anthropology , Latin American and Caribbean Studies, Religion, Political Ecology, History, Anthropology

Current Research Projects

Vernacular Enclosures: Violence and Property-Making in a Dam Conflict in Chilean Patagonia

    Description:

    In February 2012, the residents of Aysén, a remote, mountainous, and sparsely populated region of Chilean Patagonia, staged a three-week blockade of all the region's roads and ports, a move to which the Chilean government responded with fierce repression. This project uses archival and ethnographic methods to trace the emergence of vernaculars of private property in Aysén and show where and how they they diverge from the practices for legitimating dispossession that have been deployed by HidroAysen, a proposed project for building five hydroelectric megadams on two of Aysén’s powerful wild rivers. By showing how Ayseninos were formed as agents of the "last frontier" (Nouzeilles 1999), I explore how challenges to the global expansion of extractive capitalism may also emerge from fractures within its own logics. In so doing, I seek to open intellectual space for imagining a broader range of both cultural and ecological alternatives to capitalism and political alliances to bring them about.

    See more
    Role: PI

    Start Date:
      Month: Apr   Year: 2013

    End Date:
      Month: Mar   Year: 2019

    Funders:
    SSHRC
Books

Publication
Year

War by Other Means: Aftermath in Post-Genocide Guatemala. Carlota McAllister and Diane Nelson, editors. Durham: Duke University Press. 390 pp.

2013

Book Chapters

Publication
Year

Aftermath: Harvests of Violence and Histories of the Future. To War by Other Means: Aftermath in Post-Genocide Guatemala. Carlota McAllister and Diane Nelson, editors. Durham: Duke University Press. Pp. 1-45

2013

Testimonial Truths and Revolutionary Mysteries. In War by Other Means: Aftermath in Post-Genocide Guatemala. Carlota McAllister and Diane Nelson, editors. C. McAllister and D. Nelson, eds. Durham: Duke Univ. Press. Pp. 93-115.

2013

Mercados rurales, almas revolucionarias y mujeres rebeldes en la guerra fría de Guatemala. In Guatemala: la infinita historia de las resistencias. M. Vela Castañeda, ed. Guatemala City: Secretaría de la Paz de la Presidencia de la República

2012

An Indian Dawn. In The Guatemala Reader. D. Levenson, L. Oglesby, and G. Grandin, eds. Durham: Duke University Press, pp. 352-60.

2011

A Headlong Rush into the Future: Violence and Revolution in a Guatemalan Indigenous Village. In A Century of Revolution: Insurgent and Counterinsurgent Violence during Latin America’s Long Cold War. G. Grandin and G. Joseph, eds. Duke University Press. Pp. 276-308.

2010

Rural Markets, Revolutionary Souls, and Rebellious Women in Cold War Guatemala. In In From the Cold: Latin America’s New Encounter with the Cold War. G. Joseph and D. Spenser, eds. Durham: Duke University Press, pp. 350-77

2008

Journal Articles

Publication
Year

What are the Dead Made of? Exhumations and the Materiality of Indigenous Social Worlds in Postgenocide Guatemala. Material Religion 13(4): 521-23.

2017

Seeing Like an Indigenous Village: Reading the World Bank’s Agriculture for Development (2008) From the Perspective of Postwar Rural Guatemala. Journal of Peasant Studies 36(3): 645-51

2009

Reseña de Worker in the Cane, Sidney Mintz. Íconos: Revista de ciencias sociales 29: 135-37.

2007

La última palabra. Mesoamérica 47: 151-54.

2005

Public Lectures

Publication
Year

“Auditing Ecologies,” Technoscience Salon, University of Toronto, March.

2013

“Stories From Aysén.” Southern Cone Environmental Network meeting, Stanford University, Palo Alto, May

2012

“Creatures of Empire: Darwin, Gauchos, and Multispecies Anthropology.” McMaster University Anthropology Speakers’ series, Hamilton, ON, Nov.

2012

“Comments on the World Bank’s Agriculture for Development Report.” Development Seminar Series, University of Toronto, Toronto, ON, Nov.

2007

“In Search of the Revolutionary Past: Violence and Contingency in a Guatemalan Indigenous Village.” Speaker Series, Hemispheric Institute of the Americas, University of California, Davis, CA, April.

2007



Upcoming Courses

Term Course Number Section Title Type
Fall 2019 AP/ANTH3420 3.0 A Indigenous Minorities and Human Rights LECT
Fall/Winter 2019 AP/ANTH4340 6.0 A Advocacy and Social Movements SEMR
Winter 2020 GS/ANTH5160 3.0 M Fem.Issues In Anth. Hist.& Current Deb SEMR

Carlota McAllister is an Associate Professor in the Department of Anthropology and the former director of the Centre for Research on Latin America and the Caribbean. From 2013-16 she served on the Executive Committee of the Canadian Association of Latin American and Caribbean Studies. In 2016-17 she was a Faculty Fellow at the Charles Warren Center for American History at Harvard University. A political and historical anthropologist, she studies the formation of political and moral agency in situations of conflict or crisis in agrarian communities in Guatemala and Chile, using theoretical tools drawn from the anthropology of religion, actor-network theory, feminist anthropology, historical anthropology, and political ecology. With Diane Nelson, she co-edited War by Other Means: Aftermath in Postgenocide Guatemala (Duke UP, 2013), a collection of papers addressing the legacy of 36 years of massive state violence in an aftermath characterized by both neoliberal restructuring and attempts at transitional justice. Her monograph The Good Road: Conscience and Consciousness in a Post-Revolutionary Mayan Village in Guatemala is forthcoming with Duke University Press. It shows how revolutionary consciousness raising, Catholic traditions of moral thought, and indigenous experiences and concepts of community briefly converged to produce a Mayan revolutionary consciousness, how the Guatemalan state’s genocidal response to Mayan mobilization for revolution forced them apart again, and how this history shapes contemporary Mayan projects for the future. Her current project addresses a dam conflict in the remote Aysén region of Chilean Patagonia, where energy companies and multimillionaire private conservationists have clashed over the future uses to which this “last frontier” should be put. She explores how gauchos living in river valleys draw on their history as the heroic pioneers who made this difficult terrain productive and the material legacy of this history in different forms of private property as resources for building collective responses to the dam proposal, both in favor and against. Her work has been supported by grants from the Fulbright Institute of International Education, the Wenner-Gren Foundation, the Harry Frank Guggenheim Foundation, and the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada, among others. With Diane Nelson, she co-edited War by Other Means: Aftermath in Postgenocide Guatemala (Duke UP, 2013), a collection of papers addressing the legacy of 36 years of massive state violence in an aftermath characterized by both neoliberal restructuring and attempts at transitional justice. Her monograph The Good Road: Conscience and Consciousness in a Post-Revolutionary Mayan Village in Guatemala is forthcoming with Duke University Press. It shows how revolutionary consciousness raising, Catholic traditions of moral thought, and indigenous notions and experiences of community briefly converged to produce a Mayan revolutionary consciousness, how the Guatemalan state’s genocidal response to Mayan mobilization for revolution forced them apart again, and how this history shapes contemporary Mayan projects for the future. Her current project addresses a dam conflict in the remote Aysén region of Chilean Patagonia, where energy companies and millionaire private conservationists have clashed over the future uses to which this “last frontier” should be put. She explores how gauchos living in river valleys draw on their history as the heroic pioneers who made this difficult terrain productive, and the material legacy of this history in different forms of private property as resources for building collective responses to the dam proposal, both in favor and against.

Degrees

PhD, Johns Hopkins University
MA, Johns Hopkins University
MA, University of Arizona
BA Honours, University of Toronto

Professional Leadership

Director, Centre for Research on Latin America and the Caribbean (2013-16); Member, ex oficio, Executive Committee, Canadian Association of Latin American and Caribbean Studies (2013-16); Member, SSHRC Insight Grants adjudication committee, 2015

Research Interests

Anthropology , Latin American and Caribbean Studies, Religion, Political Ecology, History, Anthropology

Current Research Projects

Vernacular Enclosures: Violence and Property-Making in a Dam Conflict in Chilean Patagonia

    Description:

    In February 2012, the residents of Aysén, a remote, mountainous, and sparsely populated region of Chilean Patagonia, staged a three-week blockade of all the region's roads and ports, a move to which the Chilean government responded with fierce repression. This project uses archival and ethnographic methods to trace the emergence of vernaculars of private property in Aysén and show where and how they they diverge from the practices for legitimating dispossession that have been deployed by HidroAysen, a proposed project for building five hydroelectric megadams on two of Aysén’s powerful wild rivers. By showing how Ayseninos were formed as agents of the "last frontier" (Nouzeilles 1999), I explore how challenges to the global expansion of extractive capitalism may also emerge from fractures within its own logics. In so doing, I seek to open intellectual space for imagining a broader range of both cultural and ecological alternatives to capitalism and political alliances to bring them about.

    Project Type: Funded
    Role: PI

    Start Date:
      Month: Apr   Year: 2013

    End Date:
      Month: Mar   Year: 2019

    Funders:
    SSHRC

All Publications


Book Chapters

Publication
Year

Aftermath: Harvests of Violence and Histories of the Future. To War by Other Means: Aftermath in Post-Genocide Guatemala. Carlota McAllister and Diane Nelson, editors. Durham: Duke University Press. Pp. 1-45

2013

Testimonial Truths and Revolutionary Mysteries. In War by Other Means: Aftermath in Post-Genocide Guatemala. Carlota McAllister and Diane Nelson, editors. C. McAllister and D. Nelson, eds. Durham: Duke Univ. Press. Pp. 93-115.

2013

Mercados rurales, almas revolucionarias y mujeres rebeldes en la guerra fría de Guatemala. In Guatemala: la infinita historia de las resistencias. M. Vela Castañeda, ed. Guatemala City: Secretaría de la Paz de la Presidencia de la República

2012

An Indian Dawn. In The Guatemala Reader. D. Levenson, L. Oglesby, and G. Grandin, eds. Durham: Duke University Press, pp. 352-60.

2011

A Headlong Rush into the Future: Violence and Revolution in a Guatemalan Indigenous Village. In A Century of Revolution: Insurgent and Counterinsurgent Violence during Latin America’s Long Cold War. G. Grandin and G. Joseph, eds. Duke University Press. Pp. 276-308.

2010

Rural Markets, Revolutionary Souls, and Rebellious Women in Cold War Guatemala. In In From the Cold: Latin America’s New Encounter with the Cold War. G. Joseph and D. Spenser, eds. Durham: Duke University Press, pp. 350-77

2008

Books

Publication
Year

War by Other Means: Aftermath in Post-Genocide Guatemala. Carlota McAllister and Diane Nelson, editors. Durham: Duke University Press. 390 pp.

2013

Journal Articles

Publication
Year

What are the Dead Made of? Exhumations and the Materiality of Indigenous Social Worlds in Postgenocide Guatemala. Material Religion 13(4): 521-23.

2017

Seeing Like an Indigenous Village: Reading the World Bank’s Agriculture for Development (2008) From the Perspective of Postwar Rural Guatemala. Journal of Peasant Studies 36(3): 645-51

2009

Reseña de Worker in the Cane, Sidney Mintz. Íconos: Revista de ciencias sociales 29: 135-37.

2007

La última palabra. Mesoamérica 47: 151-54.

2005

Public Lectures

Publication
Year

“Auditing Ecologies,” Technoscience Salon, University of Toronto, March.

2013

“Stories From Aysén.” Southern Cone Environmental Network meeting, Stanford University, Palo Alto, May

2012

“Creatures of Empire: Darwin, Gauchos, and Multispecies Anthropology.” McMaster University Anthropology Speakers’ series, Hamilton, ON, Nov.

2012

“Comments on the World Bank’s Agriculture for Development Report.” Development Seminar Series, University of Toronto, Toronto, ON, Nov.

2007

“In Search of the Revolutionary Past: Violence and Contingency in a Guatemalan Indigenous Village.” Speaker Series, Hemispheric Institute of the Americas, University of California, Davis, CA, April.

2007



Upcoming Courses

Term Course Number Section Title Type
Fall 2019 AP/ANTH3420 3.0 A Indigenous Minorities and Human Rights LECT
Fall/Winter 2019 AP/ANTH4340 6.0 A Advocacy and Social Movements SEMR
Winter 2020 GS/ANTH5160 3.0 M Fem.Issues In Anth. Hist.& Current Deb SEMR