My research considers Mexico from the colonial era to the present through critical race theory, the environmental humanities, and political economy. My project, “The Only Way: Congregación and the Construction of Race and Land in Mexico, 1521-2017” asks how and why colonial congregación–the creation of planned rural villages for “dispersed” indigenous populations–resurfaced in the 19th, 20th, and 21st centuries through readings of colonial texts, cultural production, and contemporary development projects. I argue that colonial missionaries constructed race and land together, such that both would improve the productivity of the other through what I call “the race/land remedy,” and that this mutual articulation served as a condition of possibility for the future development of rural Mexico. This July 2019, I published an article from the project in the Journal of Latin American and Cultural Studies.
As I adapt my dissertation project, “The Only Way” into a book manuscript, I have also begun work on a second project. This research incorporates critical race theory and the environmental humanities at the intersections of social reproduction and reproductive labor in Mexico and Central America. I am currently preparing an article on racial capitalism, environment, and representations of the family and childhood in contemporary Mexican cultural production. I presented a preliminary essay on this project at the Tepoztlán Institute this July 2019.