Research

I conduct ethnographic research in collaboration with community partners to investigate questions of Indigenous politics, land conflicts, socio-environmental (in)justice, and law in the context of development and Latin America, with a focus on human rights. My research seeks to understand how extra-local political and economic processes—like international Indigenous rights mechanisms, environmental laws, and global commodity production and exchange—influence local struggles for social and environmental justice. I am particularly interested in the uneven effects of these processes on human rights and changing notions of justice across space, time, and scale. While I hold a PhD in Geography, my training is thoroughly interdisciplinary and draws from political ecology, critical development studies, cultural geography, and applied anthropology.

To date, my research has centered on five key areas:

1. Indigeneity, dispossession, and human rights

I have been researching how agrarian development and law create new territorial orders, governable spaces, and contradictory political possibilities for Enxet-Sur and Sanapana peoples in Paraguay since 2013. This research has primarily focused on investigating how three landmark Indigenous rights cases before the Inter-American Court of Human Rights impact the claimant communities involved in those cases. Through critical ethnography, action research, and partnerships with affected community members and their legal counsel, this project seeks to understand the how different actors navigate life in the gap between de jure and de facto rights and rework spaces of dispossession to create socio-environmental justice.

Publications:

  • Correia, J.E. Indigenous rights at a crossroads: Liminal legal geographies and Inter-American Court of Human judgments on Enxet-Sur land claims in the Chaco. Geoforum. *Revised and resubmitted.
  • Correia, J.E. Disrupting the patrón: Indigeneity, rights, and land politics without guarantees. *Invited contribution for a special issue in Environment and Planning D: Society and Space. For submission in June 2018.
  • Correia, J. 2017. Life in the gap: Indigeneity, dispossession, and land rights in the Paraguayan Chaco. PhD Dissertation on file with the University of Colorado Boulder.

Book Manuscript

  • Correia, J.E. States of emergency: Infrastructures of dispossession, indigeneity, and the politics of the possible in Paraguay’s Chaco. *For submission in the first quarter of 2019.

2. Resource politics, environmental change, and state violence

Trained as a political ecologist, I have a keen interest in resource politics, environmental change and violence, broadly construed. Much of my research is attentive to these issues and investigates how they are manifest through agro-export development, environmental change, and state-society relations in Latin America. Recently, I have been thinking about how soybean resource politics and more-than-human territorializations impact state formation and structural violence.

Recent publications:

*While I have not published all of my research on these issues, my field experience in this area greatly shapes my pedagogy in courses I teach on human rights, Amazonian deforestation, drug wars, and international development.


3. Fair trade, agrarian change, and indigenous livelihoods

Inspired by applied work in the area of smallholder agriculture and development, I have conducted research on the potential of “alternative” development models to support rural livelihoods and promote social justice. Of note, is my study about the effects of market-driven restoration via fair trade yerba mate production with Indigenous producers in the Paraguay-Brazil borderlands. I am now writing up this research and will submit articles based on that study in the coming months.

Publications:

  • Correia, J.E. “How can the market be just?”: Fair trade and Indigenous land claims in the Paraguay-Brazil borderlands. Journal of Latin American Geography. *In preparation, for submission in April 2018.
  • Correia, J.E. “In five years the poverty will end”: Immoral claims on a “moral market and a longitudinal analysis of fair trade yerba mate production. *In preparation, for submission to Latin American Perspectives in late 2018.

4. Strategic litigation impacts in Indigenous land rights cases

As part of an interdisciplinary, international research team, I conducted research on the impacts of strategic litigation for Indigenous land rights that resulted in a study that spanned the globe. I joined Jeremie Gilbert, Kanyinke Sena, Colin Nicholas, Yogeswara Subramaniam, and expert advisors from a host of international Indigenous rights organizations to conduct research for an innovative Open Society Justice Initiative study. From this study, we published a critical analysis of strategic litigation impacts across the three research countries and presented the results at the 2017 United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues. A forthcoming special issue in Erasmus Law Review will feature peer-reviewed articles that draw from these studies.

Publications:

  • Correia, J.E. Indigenous Peoples’ Land Rights Adjudication and its Aftereffects in Paraguay: Legal Geographies of Three Inter-American Court cases. Erasmus Law Review. *Forthcoming.
  • Open Society Justice Initiative. 2017. Strategic litigation impacts: Indigenous Peoples’ Land Rights. New York City: New York.

5. Action research, engaged pedagogy, and decolonizing methodology

I am currently developing a new project that focuses on new frontiers of extractivism and indigenous self-determination in the Paraguayan Chaco. The study is an inter-disciplinary and interinstitutional collaboration with scholars in the U.S. and Paraguay based on applied anthropology and public political ecology to create engaged research opportunities for graduate students and local communities in both countries. The study will investigate how new frontiers of resource extraction (and speculation about these resources) for natural gas, new varieties of genetically modified soy, and cattle production are shaping Indigenous livelihoods and human rights.

Publications:

  • None to date, but I am developing a paper for the Latin American Studies Association annual conference in Barcelona that begins considering these issues more systematically: Indigeneity, relationality, and labor on Bajo Chaco cattle ranches.