Amy Leia McLachlan is a cultural anthropologist whose work considers the ethics, politics, and transformative potential of relations to and through plant life. Her research since 2006 with Uitoto communities of the Colombian Amazon traces the history of extractive botanical economies as vectors of radically conflicting dreams about livable futures.
Her current book project, The World for Now: Curing and Cosmopoesis in a Migrant Amazon, draws on apprenticeship with Uitoto migrant curers, rainforest cultivators, and urban conjurers to consider what it means to continue projects of world-making as the conditions of that making are continuously undone. A second book project, Migrant Medicine: Between the Seven Worlds with Uitoto Plantworkers, explores the relationship between Uitoto narratives of displacement as illness, and curing songs that locate the origins of healing in spirit migration between worlds, through images, song, and migrants’ curing stories. An ongoing ethnographic and archival research project, on the “ethics of surrogation,” pursues questions of intersubjectivity and transformation across spaces of ecological, therapeutic, and political repair.
Amy teaches the Global Studies Thesis seminars, and previously offered the Global Studies Prize Lectureship course in the “Politics of Plant Life: Edens, Plots, & Ruins”. Her interests include gender and kinship, magic and curing, trauma and temporalities of the symptom, poetics and translation, and politics of the sensory.
- GLST 29800, BA Seminar Thesis I, Autumn 2020, Autumn 2021
- GLST 29801, BA Seminar Thesis II, Winter 2021, Winter 2022