Intimate Encounters and the Conquest of the Amazon: The Affective Infrastructures of China’s Geopolitical Frontier-making in Bolivia


Mellon/ACLS Dissertation Innovation Fellowships




China’s rapid expansion in Latin America in the last decade has attracted wide scholarly attention. Few, however, have approached the territories, lives, and bodies of those intimately enmeshed in Chinese frontier-making. My dissertation charts the intimate and everyday experiences of indigenous women traversed by the construction of a highway by a Chinese company across their territory in the Bolivian Amazon. This project’s epistemological intervention rests on the premise of knowledge co-production and builds on seven years of experience working with these indigenous communities. Drawing on long term ethnographic research and an innovative feminist mapping of cuerpo-territorio, my project interrogates the intimate encounters interwoven in the opening of the Amazonian frontier.