Dr Alejandro Reig

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Research Affiliate

Alejandro Reig (DPhil 2014, MPhil 2006, University of Oxford, BA Philosophy, Universidad Central de Venezuela) is a researcher, teacher, consultant and writer on socio-environmental issues and anthropology. His research interests include anthropology of space, development and health, Yanomami Language and Culture, Anthropology of Lowland South America, Human Mobility and Political Ecology. His doctoral thesis on landscape and place-making among the Shitari Yanomami was tutored by Professor Laura Rival, and funded by a Porticus Foundation Grant via the Wataniba socio-environmental affairs workgroup. It was based on research undertaken between 2007 and 2011 in the Upper Ocamo basin of the Venezuelan Amazonas State, while supporting the work of a Yanomami Community Health Agent, and part of a CAICET project on river blindness in the Amazon region.

His research in the Venezuelan Amazon started in the 1990’s, engaged with Venezuelan institutions as the National Science Museum, and more recently the Centre for Tropical Health Research CAICET and Fundación La Salle de Ciencias Naturales. He has a wide experience in the conceptualisation and development of cultural engineering and scientific dissemination projects in various formats, including museum exhibitions, documentary video and publications. He has published on issues of Venezuelan regional cultural identities, the exploration of the Venezuelan Guayana and Amazon Regions; the National Parks System; Yanomami space, education and health.

He co-teaches the Mixed Methods Module in SAME with Elizabeth Rahman; and teaches the Introduction to Social Anthropology course in the Oxford Department for Continuing Education, as well as Anthropology tutorials in the Oxford Prospects Programme. He co-designed and co-taught the course The Practice of Anthropology for Global Campus,  a spin-off enterprise of the University of Oxford. Between 2014 and 2019 he was an invited lecturer at the Anthropology Master’s Program of the UAB, Universidad Autónoma de Barcelona. He has recently taught in the Master’s Program on Migration in the Catholic University of Honduras (UCAH), and in the Communication, Design and Society Diploma program of Universidad Católica Andrés Bello, Caracas, Venezuela. His  consultancy work is focused on the development of a collaborative platform on socioenvironmental issues, with a focus on Latin America, the Mediterranean, and European peripheries. Since 2017 he has carried out a consultancy on issues of Yanomami Mobility in the Venezuela-Brazil border, for CAICET and the Onchocerciasis Elimination Program for the Americas (OEPA)-Carter Centre.

His Amazonian research moves along a set of intersecting avenues: transformations in indigenous territoriality and state governmentality; indigenous place-making and landscape management; and the negotiations of wellbeing and development strategies by indigenous and non-indigenous Amazonian dwellers vis-à-vis national institutions and global forces. In these lines of work he has maintained an open conversation and collaborations with the work of Laura Rival, Elizabeth Ewart and Elizabeth Rahman. Currently based In Mallorca, Spain, he has started to investigate strategies of landscape valorisation and environmental communication in nature parks of the island. He forms part of the One by walking research network, focused on walking methodologies, experimental scientific and art-based work related to walking.

Selected publications

  • "Health Agents on The Move: Yanomami Agency and The Struggle For Wellbeing", Tipití: Journal of the Society for the Anthropology of Lowland South America: Vol. 18: Issue 1 (2022), Article 3, 47-71.
    Available at: https://digitalcommons.trinity.edu/tipiti/vol18/iss1/3
  • Co-editor, with Johanna Gonçalves Martín, of Special issue of Tipiti, Journal for the Society of Anthropology of Lowland South America, Volume 18, Issue 1 (2022), Mediating care: Amerindian health agents across worlds, bodies and meanings. Available at: https://digitalcommons.trinity.edu/tipiti/
  • Teaching through Ethnography: Overcoming Mediations and Distractions”, in Teaching Anthropology-RAI, 2020, Vol. 9, No. 1, pp. 82-85. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.22582/ta.v9i1
  • Migrantes, Ediciones Ekaré, Barcelona. In co-authorship with Roger Norum, 188 pp., 2019.
  • “Landscape Epidemiology of Human Onchocerciasis in Southern Venezuela”. In: Nriagu, J. (Ed.), Encyclopedia of Environmental Health. Elsevier, vol. 4, pp. 13–32. https://dx.doi.org/10.1016/B978-0-12-409548-9.01790-5, Botto, C., Villamizar, N.J., Jokić, Ž., Noya-Alarcón, O., Cortés, J., Escalona, M., Ceballos, S., Graterol, B., Reig, A., Grillet, M.E., Yarzábal, L., Basáñez, M.G., 2019.
  • (in press), “Malaria evasiva, resistente y reemergente: reflexiones de camino sobre la inercia en la atención médica a los Yanomami del alto Orinoco”, in Freire, G (Ed.). Perspectivas en salud indígena. Cosmovisión, enfermedad y políticas públicas. 2ª edition. Caracas: Ediciones IVIC / Grupo de Estudios Antropológicos.
  • Landscapes of Desire and Tobacco Circulation in the Yanomami Ethos', in Russell A. & Rahman, E. (eds.) The Master Plant. Tobacco in Lowland South America . Bloomsbury Academic, 2015.
  • Review of State Healthcare and Yanomami transformations: a symmetrical ethnography. José Antonio Kelly, The University of Arizona Press, 2011. Tipití: Journal of the Society for the Anthropology of Lowland South America. Volume 13 | Issue 1, 4/15/2015.
  • Guayana: un territorio tomado por imágenes, luces y sombras”, in Weidmann, Karl, Pasión por el Sur, Oscar Todtmann Editores, Caracas 2011.
  • “Vivencia de las identidades regionales, etnicidad y espacio cultural”, Geo Venezuela Volume 8, Geografía Cultural (chapter of Encyclopaedia of Venezuelan Geography) Pedro Cunill Grau, editor, Fundación Polar, Caracas, 2010.
  • “The Orinoco headwaters expedition as a turning point in the development of external territorializations of the Venezuelan Amazon”. Cambridge Anthropology, 26 (2) 2006-2007 Cambridge, UK, pp 57-68.