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Assistant Professor in the Department of Geography505+44 (0) 191 33 41901
Assistant Professor of Economy and Culture505+44 (0) 191 33 41901


My research interrogates the relationship between race, property and resource extraction, combining perspectives from postcolonialism, political ecology and critical development geography with long-term ethnographic research in Bolivia's Chaco region. My specific interests include:

  • how racialised regimes of ownership and resource distribution are produced and sustained
  • the possibilities and limits of a "politics of recognition" for indigenous peoples and other subaltern groups
  • indigenous "countermapping" and land titling processes
  • race, property and resource extraction in Latin America's "new left" states

My doctoral research examined the dynamics and legacies of Native Community Lands (TCOs), a form of collective indigenous property created under Bolivia's 1996 INRA Law. This culminated in a book, Limits to Decolonization (2018), which traces how the postcolonial and capitalist geographies undermined indigenous aspirations for TCOs, giving rise to new forms of "hydrocarbon citizenship" under Bolivia's Movement Towards Socialism government. Limits to Decolonization was awarded "Best Book in Race, Ethnicity and Comparative Politics for 2018" by the American Political Science Association and has been reviewed positively in AAG Review of Books, Cultural Geographies, Journal of Latin American Studies, Journal of Latin American Geography, British Journal of Sociology, Journal of Human Geography and Investigaciones Geográficas.

My recent research has examined the broader remapping of territory and power in the Bolivia Chaco at the intersection of struggles over gas rents and competing visions of a "plurinational" state. This includes an investigation of the construction of regional autonomy in Bolivia's Gran Chaco's Province.

Alongside my 0.5 position at Durham, I am a member of two collaborative research projects at the University of Copenhagen: Rule and Rupture, and Leaks: Resource Enclaves and Unintended Flows in Latin America. I am a Collaborator in the Canada-based project Territory Making as World Making, which compares indigenous-state conflicts in Bolivia and Paraguay.

Before joining Durham Geography in 2018, I held postdoctoral positions at the University of Copenhagen (2014-16) and the University of California, Berkeley (2014-16). I completed my PhD in Geography at the University of Cambridge in 2014. My previous degrees are in History and English (BA) and International Relations (MA). Before becoming an academic, my previous jobs included managing a website on international development, researching migration in Bangladesh, teaching English in Ecuador and selling bread on East London markets.

Research groups


Authored book

  • Anthias, P. (2018). Limits to Decolonization: Indigeneity, Territory, and Hydrocarbon Politics in the Bolivian Chaco. Cornell University Press.

Book review

Chapter in book

  • Anthias, Penelope (2012). Territorializing Resource Conflicts in “Post-Neoliberal” Bolivia: Hydrocarbon Development and Indigenous Land Titling in TCO Itika Guasu. In New Political Spaces in Latin American Natural Resource Governance. Haarstad, H. Palgrave MacMillan. 129-153.
  • Anthias, P. (2012). Regulación ambiental de los hidrocarburs en el Campo Margarita, Tarija. In Jamás Tan Cerca Arremetió lo Lejos: Inversiones Extraterritoriales, Crisis Ambiental, y Acción Colectiva en América Latina. Peralta, P. & Hollenstein, P. Universidad Andina Simón Bolívar, Rimisp, Ediciones La Tierra. 51-88.

Journal Article

Supervision students