Ángela Castillo-Ardila

Job title: 
Ph.D. Student
Department of Anthropology
Ángela received her B.A. in Anthropology from the Universidad Nacional de Colombia (Bogotá) and an M.Sc. in Geography from the Universidad de los Andes (Bogotá). In 2015, she received a Fulbright Scholarship to pursue her doctoral studies in the Anthropology Department at the University of California, Berkeley. Before coming to Cal, she was a social researcher at Universidad Nacional de Colombia, Universidad de los Andes, and the Instituto Colombiano de Antropología e Historia (Icanh). 
Research interests: 

Ángela is an anthropologist working at the intersection of political anthropology, environmental anthropology, and critical legal studies. Her current doctoral research ethnographically and historically examines what is a process of territorial, water, and life defense. In particular, she explores the emergence of anti-mining coalitions in Central Colombia and how these platforms have deployed different practices to oppose the Colosa mining project.  Through a consideration of what "territorial, water, and life defense" is -- practices of care for different forms of life, the creation of new commons that comprise multiple species, the emergence of political constituencies around the claim for participation, and the materialization of that claim via different legal technologies -- her dissertation offers an ethnographic examination of the unmaking/unsettling of mining frontiers. That is, her work illuminates what is assembled when territories and lives are defended amidst situated environmental struggles. Ángela's research also includes a collaborative dimension focused on supporting popular environmental education activities and understanding and improving women's participation in environmental decision-making processes. As part of the latter initiative, her research contributed to the design and facilitation of two women-led education and political advocacy spaces (the first one in 2019 and the second one in 2020) where women gathered to learn, share and discuss concepts and methodologies from feminist studies, political ecology, and environmental anthropology.

Recent Publications:

  1. Castillo, Ángela. (2021). Antropologías de la extracción y los subterráneo en Colombia. In Camargo, Alejandro (Ed.). Antropología y Naturaleza. Bogotá: Asociación Colombiana de Antropología (ACANT).
  2. Castillo, Ángela. (2020). El trabajo de defensa territorial de las mujeres: construcción de paz y memorial en medio del conflicto, justicia socio-ambiental y luchas anti patriarcales en el Tolima. In: Colectivo de Mujeres Defensoras del Territorio de Ibagué (Eds.). Defensoras del territorio, paz y justicia socio-ambiental en Colombia. Revista SOS No. 4. Ibagué: Comité Ambiental en Defensa de la Vida. 
  3. Castillo, Ángela and Rubiano, Sebastián. (2019). La minería del oro en la selva. Territorios, autnomías locales y conflictos en Amazonía y Pacífico, 1975-2015. Bogotá: Universidad de los Andes. 


Ángela Castillo-Ardila; Sebastian Rubiano-Galvis; María Villalpando Páez; Andrés Caicedo
Berkeley Review of Latin American Studies Article, 2023