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Robert Albro

Research Associate Professor, American University
HRLI Grantee

Robert Albro is a research associate professor at American University’s Center for Latin American and Latino Studies (CLALS). He received his PhD in sociocultural anthropology from the University of Chicago and has conducted ethnographic research on popular and Indigenous politics along Bolivia’s urban periphery, with attention to the changing terms of Indigenous identity, grassroots movements, and natural resource wars. Much of this work is summarized in his book Roosters at Midnight: Indigenous Signs and Stigma in Local Bolivian Politics (School of Advanced Research Press, 2010). Dr. Albro also researches and regularly writes about domestic and international cultural policy, public diplomacy, human rights, security, science policy, and technology, including editing two volumes on climate change. His work has been supported by the National Science Foundation, the Mellon Foundation, the Rockefeller Foundation, the Henry Luce Foundation, and the American Council of Learned Societies, among others. He has also been a Fulbright scholar and has held fellowships at the Carnegie Council, the John W. Kluge Center of the Library of Congress, and the Smithsonian Institution. Dr. Albro has taught widely in higher education, including at Wheaton College (MA), George Washington University, and American University.

Featured Work: Roosters at Midnight: Indigenous Signs and Stigma in Local Bolivian Politics; “Normative Accounts of International Environmental Migration in Latin America and the Religious Component of Intangible Loss.”; “Violence and the Everyday in Early Twenty-First-Century Latin America“; “‘The Water is Ours, Carajo!’: Deep Citizenship in Bolivia’s Water War

Upcoming Projects: “Climate Displacement and the Problem of Non-economic Loss: Calculating Loss and Damage in Anticipation of a Loss and Damage Fund.” Although loss and damage have been part of the international agenda for at least a decade, we have much to learn about their relationship with climate displacement and migration. A multiyear research program of American University’s CLALS has attended to responses of communities throughout the region to environmentally induced displacement while focusing on expressed concerns around nonmaterial and noneconomic loss. This work has documented the prevalence of uncertainty, alienation, disruption of social relations, loss of identity, memory and belonging, and displacement from local worlds of significance.

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