Areas of Specialization:
Cultural anthropology, environmental conflicts, political ecology, resource extraction; science and technology studies, social movements, food politics; Latin America.
My research explores the dynamics of conflicts over resource extraction in Latin America, focusing on mining activity and related controversies over pollution, water scarcity, community rights, and corporate accountability. I conducted ethnographic fieldwork in communities affected by mining in Peru, where I examined changing forms of politics, mining technologies, and contested knowledges about Nature that emerged alongside the expansion of extractive activity into areas formerly used for agriculture and farming. I also looked at mining development on the border between Chile and Argentina. I examined how new territories of extraction are imagined and materially produced as sites of unlimited potential for mining and investment, and how this vision of extractive frontiers is challenged by local and international activism.
My new research investigates recent changes in the production of quinoa, which originates in the Andes but has rapidly become a "global" food. My research interrogates the promise of quinoa for food security and sustainable agriculture, and examines the controversies surrounding the ownership, control, and dissemination of quinoa varieties.
- Li, Fabiana. 2017. Moving Glaciers: Remaking Nature and Mineral Extraction in Chile. Latin American Perspectives. https://doi.org/10.1177/0094582X17713757
- Li, Fabiana. 2016. In Defense of Water: Modern Mining, Grassroots Movements, and Corporate Strategies in Peru. Journal for Latin American and Caribbean Anthropology. 21(1): 109-129.
- Li, Fabiana. 2015. Unearthing Conflict: Corporate Mining, Activism and Expertise in Peru. Duke University Press.
- Li, Fabiana. 2013. Relating Divergent Worlds: Mines, Aquifers and Sacred Mountains in Peru. Anthropologica 55(2): 399-411.
- Li, Fabiana. 2013. Contested Equivalences: Controversies over water and mining in Peru and Chile. In: John Wagner (Ed.). The Social Life of Water. Berghahn Books.
- Li, Fabiana. 2011. Engineering Responsibility: Environmental mitigation and the limits of commensuration in a Chilean mining project. Focaal: Journal of Global and Historical Anthropology, vol. 60.
- Li, Fabiana. 2010. From Corporate Accountability to Shared Responsibility: Dealing with Pollution in a Peruvian Smelter-Town. In: Ravi Raman (Ed.). Corporate Social Responsibility: Discourses, Practices, Perspectives. Palgrave Macmillan.
Recent Conference Presentations:
Li, Fabiana and Adriana Paredes. 2017. Nourishing Relations: Controversy over the Conga Mining Project in Northern Peru. Latin American Studies Association (LASA) Annual Meeting. May 1, Lima, Peru.
Li, Fabiana. 2016. “Globalizing Quinoa: Seeds as Knowledge, Property, and Food Security.” Canadian Anthropology Society Annual Meeting. May 11, Halifax, N.S.