• About Arturo • Brief Introduction • Research Interests • Written texts • Of Interest • Resume
Brief biographical / intellectual description
I was born and grew up in Colombia. Trained initially in engineering and sciences, I became concerned towards the end of my undergraduate degree in Cali with questions of hunger and development, which took me into the social sciences and, eventually, anthropology. After completing and interdisciplinary PhD in Development Philosophy, Policy and Planning I taught at various places in the US. I have also taught for short periods in other places, particularly Colombia, Finland, Barcelona and England, and conducted or participated in workshops on development and ecology in Colombia, Ecuador, Mali, Brazil, Denmark, England, and Mexico. My main academic works are: Encountering Development: The Making and Unmaking of the Third World (1995; also available in Spanish and Portuguese and currently being translated into Chinese), and the collections of essays in Spanish, El final del salvaje. Naturaleza, cultura y política en la antropología contemporánea (1999) and Más allá del Tercer Mundo. Globalización y diferencia (2005). I have been part of a research group on Latin American social movements since the late 1980s and co-edited two anthologies on the subject, The Making of Social Movements in Latin America (1992), co-edited with Sonia Alvarez, and Cultures of Politics/Politics of Culture: Re-visioning Latin American Social Movements (1998), co-edited with S. Alvarez and Evelina Dagnino.
__ go up
The work with activists of the Proceso de Comunidades Negras (PCN), a network of organizations belonging to the social movement of black communities of the Colombian Pacific, has been since 1993 one of my most important sources of inspiration and ideas on questions of activism, environment, culture and development. I am also currently involved in several academic and intellectual/political projects. This include the World Anthropology/ies Network, a network of scholars and activists who question current patterns of knowledge production, opening up anthropology to a plurality of styles, modes of thinking, practices, and inquiries about culture and politics world wide. With Wendy Harcourt, of the Society for International Development in Rome, I have co-directed since the late 1990s an international project on “Women and the Politics of Place,” which just produced Women and the Politics of Place, co-edited by Wendy and I (Kumarian Press, 2005). This ongoing project brings together a number of intellectual-activists working with place-based movements in various parts of the world, particularly involving women. More recently, I co-edited the book World Social Forum: Challenging Empires (2004), focused on this important space for the construction of alternative models of social life. At UNC, I participate in several working groups, including the “Modernity/Coloniality/Decoloniality” working group and the “Social Movements Working Group.”
Practically all I have written in English has also been published in Spanish.
__ go up