Dr Nicole Fabricant

Associate Professor


Contact Information

CLA, Room 3355


Ph.D., Socio-cultural Anthropology,
Northwestern University 2009
BA, Urban Anthropology,
Mount Holyoke College, 1999

Areas of Expertise

Latin America (Andes) Political Economy
Social Movements
Resource Politics


Nicole Fabricant received a BA from Mount Holyoke College in 1999 in urban anthropology and a Ph.D. from Northwestern University in 2009. She completed a presidential post-doc at the University of South Florida in 2010 where she focused on the global water crisis and joined Towson University in the Fall of 2010. Dr. Fabricant's teaching interests include Revolution in Latin America, Resource Wars of the 21st Century, Environmental (In)justice, and Gender and Labor in Latin America.

Broadly speaking, Dr. Fabricant's research interests focus on the cultural politics of resource wars in Latin America. Her dissertation work and recent publications have centered on the Landless Peasant Movement (MST-Bolivia) a 50,000-member social movement comprised of displaced peasants, informal laborers, and intellectuals fighting for land redistribution and the revitalization of small-scale farming. She has written about the creative ways in which displaced peoples use and mobilize cultural forms to push for political and economic reforms. Critical reflections on the new politics of resources, territory and identity in Bolivia appear in Remapping Bolivia: Resources, Rights and Territory in a Plurinational State, a co-edited volume with Bret Gustafson from Washington University (SAR Press, 2011).

For the past several years, Dr. Fabricant has been developing a Participatory Action Research (PAR) project that is presently investigating structural injustices in Curtis Bay, South Baltimore. Much of the data collection and analytic work is being conducted by Benjamin Franklin high-school youth alongside Towson University students who are completing their senior capstone in anthropology. One major question has animated this research: Why do communities experience environmental problems and hazards unevenly? Towson University students have assembled small research collectives and worked collaboratively with youth to document the multiple layers of industrial toxicity, and the cumulative effects upon residents’ health and well-being. The PAR project with undergraduates and high-school students feeds directly into her broader research agenda, as we are creatively mapping how environmental hazards lead to political action or inaction during specific historic moments. 

Recent Publications

  • 2012, Mobilizing Bolivia’s Displaced: Indigenous Politics and the Struggle over Land. UNC Press.
  • 2011, w/Bret Gustafson. Remapping Bolivia: Resources, Territory, and Indigeneity in Plurinational Bolivia. SAR Press. 
  • 2017, w/ Nancy Postero. "Indigenous Sovereignty and the New Developmentalism in Plurinational Bolivia." Anthropological Theory, forthcoming.
  • 2017, w/ Nancy Postero. "Performing Indigeneity in Bolivia: the Struggle over the  TIPNIS." Anthropological Quarterly, forthcoming.
  • 2017, "Overburdened Bodies and Lands: Industrial Development and Environmental Justice in South," In The Baltimore Revisited: Rethinking and Remaking an American City, Nicole King and Kate Drabinsky eds. forthcoming with Rutgers Press.
  • 2013. "Good Living for Whom? Bolivia’s Climate Justice Movement and the Limitations of Indigenous Cosmovisions," Latin American and Caribbean Ethnic Studies Studies 8:2, 159-178.
  • 2013, w/Nancy Postero. "Contested Bodies, Contested States: Performance Emotions and New Forms of Regional Governance in Santa Cruz, Bolivia." Journal of Latin American and Caribbean Anthropology.
Essays and Popular Articles
  • 2017, w/ Bret Gustafson. "Socialism from Below: Bolivia in the Era of Extractivism, New Politics, XVI 3(63).
  • 2016, w/ Bret Gustafson. "Revolutionary Extraction: Mapping the political economy of gas, soy and mineral production in Evo Morales’s Bolivia." NACLA 48(3): 271-279.
  • 2015, w/ Bret Gustafson. "Moving Beyond the Extractivism Debate, Imagining New Social Economies." NACLA Report on the Americas, 47(4): 40-45.