Colombian Colloquium: Land Restitution in Colombia: A Perspective from Law and Anthropology


Monday, April 24, 2017, 6:00pm


CGIS South 216

Speakers: Juana Dávila, P.h.D., Candidate in Anthropology - Harvard University, and Meghan Morris, P.h.D., Candidate in Anthropology - University of Chicago

Please note, this talk will be in Spanish.


This event is co-sponsored by the Harvard Colombian Student Society and the David Rockefeller Center for Latin American Studies.  

Meghan L. Morris is an anthropologist completing her Ph.D. at the University of Chicago. Her research examines the role of law in war and peacemaking, with a particular focus on property over land. Her dissertation, “Property in the Shadow of the Post-Conflict,” examines how property can become understood as both the root of violent conflict and the key to peace and explores this question through an ethnographic account of how the reordering of property is central to ongoing efforts to achieve a post-conflict era in Colombia. Prior to her doctoral work, she received a J.D. from Harvard Law School, an M.A. in International Relations from The Fletcher School at Tufts University, and a B.S. in Policy Analysis and Management from Cornell University. She is also affiliated as a senior researcher at the Bogotá-based Center for Law, Justice and Society (Dejusticia).

Juana Dávila is a Colombian lawyer and anthropologist who has done extended fieldwork in Colombia in Córdoba, Mágdalena and Caquetá about the intersection between local politics, the armed conflict and the agrarian landscape. Currently she is a last year Ph.D student at Harvard´s Anthropology Department. Her dissertation is an anthropological account of the politics around the emergence of los despojados as subjects of rights. In her dissertation she explores the way by which disputes about the proper allocation of rights over land, the truth about past forms of violence and the practice of law led to the assemblage of the Victims and Land Restitution Law and she examines the everyday practices through which officials in the Unidad de Restitución de Tierras (URT) seek to construct this subject of rights while operating in convoluted local contexts and navigating the complicated politics of Colombian violence related truths, land disputes and legal reasoning.  Juana holds a B.A. in Law from la Universidad de los Andes; a Master in Juridical Sciences from Stanford University and she has been a lecturer and a visiting professor at Los Andes and the Pontificia Universidad Javeriana law schools. She was an affiliate researcher at the Center for Historic Memory and served as head of the Context Analysis Group at the URT, the group of research in charge of investigating the "historical context" in which the processes of land dispossession around the country that are currently examined by the URT unfolded.

For more information please contact Beatriz Botero Arcila