Giovanna Micarelli


Giovanna Micarelli is Associate Professor of Anthropology at the Pontificia Universidad Javeriana, Bogotá, Colombia, and Researcher at the Center for Social Studies, where, from 2013 to 2015 she enjoyed a postdoctoral stay thanks to a Marie Curie International Incoming Fellowship. Her research focuses on the Amazon region and it reflects the attempt to reconcile academic work and support to indigenous peoples' struggles for rights. Since 1995 she has worked with the Conibo Shipibo of the Ucayali region in Peru, the Tikuna of the Amacayacu river, and the indigenous peoples belonging to the supra-ethnic cluster People of the Center at the periphery of the Colombian town of Leticia. Her interests bring together two different fields of study: one explores indigenous critical engagements with development and modernity, the place of social-environmental understandings in the construction and defense of territory, and indigenous processes of cultural reaffirmation in emerging intercultural contexts. The other focuses on native modes of knowing in indigenous theories about personhood, power, experience, and sociality. The most recent extensions of her research focus on indigenous epistemologies: native Amazonians' perspectives on knowledge, how it is acquired and transmitted, and what are considered to be its desired outcomes. In her postdoc research, she looks at how knowledge evaluations - which are mediated by the body, myth, practical activity, and relations of production and exchange - are linked to the management of common and public goods, and to native notions of well-being. She inquires into the place of these indigenous epistemologies in intercultural and highly politicized interactions that revolve around, but are not limited to, educational practices. The basic argument is that to account for how these native theories are mobilized in indigenous engagements with the Western world is not only an essential step for producing counter-hegemonic alternatives to global capitalism, but it is also a way to decolonize social science's research. Another field of research is food anthropology. From 2018 to 2019 she led a collaborative research project in four regions of Colombia, analyzing food sovereignty, territorial sovereignty and the commons, in relation to local onto-epistemologies. She is currently a member of the intercultural team working towards the creation of the biocultural indigenous University of the Inga people of Colombia.

Latest Publications

Article in Scientific journal

Micarelli, Giovanna (2021), "Feeding "the commons": rethinking food rights through indigenous ontologies", Food, Culture & Society, 1-18


Micarelli, Giovanna; Luciana Buainain Jacob (orgs.) (2020), Soberanía alimentaria: practicas y saberes locales para un movimiento global contrahegemónico. Bogotá: Editorial Javeriana

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Book Chapter

Micarelli, Giovanna (2019), Introducción: Soberanía alimentaria: saberes, estrategias, resistencias, in Giovanna Micarelli & Luciana Buainain Jacob (org.), Soberanía alimentaria: practicas y saberes locales para un movimiento global contrahegemónico. Bogotá: Editorial Javeriana, 12