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Kristina Lyons is Associate Professor of Anthropology and with the Penn Program in Environmental Humanities (PPEH) at the University of Pennsylvania. She also holds affiliations with the Center for Experimental Ethnography (CEE) and the Center for Latin American and Latinx Studies (CLALS).  Kristina’s current research is situated at the interfaces of socio-ecological conflicts, social studies of science, and legal studies in Latin America.  Her manuscript, Vital Decomposition: Soil Practitioners and Life Politics (Duke 2020), moves across laboratories, greenhouses, forests, and farms in the capital city of Bogotá and the Andean-Amazonian department of Putumayo. It weaves together an intimate ethnography of two kinds of practitioners – state soil scientists and small farmers – who attempt to cultivate alternatives to commercial coca crops and the military-led, growth-oriented development paradigms intended to substitute them.


Intervening in a public audience on the suspension of aerial fumigation with glyphosate in Colombia's Constitutional Court. March 7, 2019

She is the recipient of the 2017 Cultural Horizons Prize by the Society of Cultural Anthropology and the 2016 Junior Scholar Award by the Anthropology and Environment Section of the American Anthropological Association. Kristina has collaborated with the Constitutional Court of Colombia, Office of the Inspector General, Center for the Studies of Law, Justice and Society (DEJUSTICA), Alexander Von Humboldt Biological Resources Research Institute, National Center for Historical Memory (CNMH), and Fundación ItarKa, among other organizations and institutions in Colombia. She also participated in the 2016 Monsanto Tribunal in The Hague regarding the use of glyphosate in the U.S.-Colombia war on drugs. Kristina was recently awarded a Fulbright Award (2020-2021) to support the work of the Special Jurisdiction for Peace (JEP) in a macro-criminal case with local communities in southern Colombia that renders visible the territory as a victim of the country’s armed conflict within the ongoing transitional justice process. In 2015, Dr. Lyons directed a popular education documentary film project based on farmer-to-farmer alternative agricultural practices called “Cultivating a Bien Vivir (Living Well) in the Amazon”. She has also worked on the creation of soundscapes, street performances, photographic essays, graphic novels, community radio programs, digital storytelling platforms, and various forms of literary and journalistic writing. 


Moderating a public conversation between Donna Haraway and Brigette Baptiste in the Jorge Eliécer Gaitán Theater in Bogotá. August 6, 2019





Feminist, postcolonial and decolonial interfaces with science studies, environmental humanities, socioecological conflicts, critical justice studies, ethnographic theory, experimental ethnography, politics and the political in Latin America.

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