Christine Folch

Co-Director, Amazon Humanities Lab

I work on water and energy politics amidst the constraints of the Anthropocene. 

My first book Hydropolitics: The Itaipu Dam, Sovereignty, and the Engineering of Modern South America (Princeton University Press, 2019) is an in-depth look at the people and institutions connected with the Itaipu Dam, the world’s biggest producer of renewable energy. In it, I argue that the dam converts water into electricity and money to produce hydropolitics through its physical infrastructure, the financial liquidity of energy monies, and the international legal agreements managing transboundary water resources between Brazil and Paraguay, and their neighbors Argentina, Bolivia, and Uruguay.

My larger research agenda is on environmental ethics and how groups conceptualize and politicize their relationships to nature. As a cultural anthropologist, I am particularly interested in how energy and environmental impacts disproportionately negatively affect marginalized communities.