Pablo S. Delaporte Dissertation Defense

Pablo Seward Delaporte
Wed May 31st 2023, 10:00 - 11:30am
Event Sponsor
Department of Anthropology
Zoom & Anthropology Colloquium Room
Building 50, Room 50-51A

Ecologies of Care: Migrant Women, Precarious Housing, and the Politics of Eradication in Chile

This dissertation is an ethnographic and historical study of the politics of migrant life in Chile. It draws on participant observation, interviews, participatory mapping, archival research, and media analysis to track changing configurations of migration, vulnerability, and protection in the northern border city of Antofagasta. Migrant encampments in Antofagasta today are at high risk for fires and climate-change induced mudslides and concentrate disproportionate levels of poverty and crime. As predominantly Black and Indigenous migrant women make precarious spaces livable, their lives and livelihoods become entangled with dangerous environments. I argue that the “ecologies of care” that result from this spatial transformation are in tension with state projects that allegedly protect vulnerable populations by “eradicating” environments where poverty, crime, and risk take place.

Drawing on this case, my research proposes a perspective on the politics of migrant life that goes beyond theoretical frameworks of rights and citizenship, foregrounding instead everyday spatial practices through which migrant women engage the state. A place- and person-based, community-engaged ethnography, this dissertation integrates anthropological, decolonial, and feminist theories of violence and vulnerability with ecological approaches to health, inequality, and care.


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