Peluso Wins Guggenheim Fellowship

April 26, 2006
Nancy Lee Peluso, CNR professor of Society and Environment, and program director of the Berkeley Workshop in Environmental Politics at the Institute for International Studies, has been awarded a prestigious Guggenheim Fellowship for 2006-07. Peluso was one of 187 Guggenheim fellows selected from a pool of nearly 3,000 applicants.
Peluso will spend her fellowship period completing a book on how ethnic and state violence and conflicting territorial claims affect the composition and control of the agrarian landscape and the representations of its history in West Kalimantan, a province in Indonesian Borneo.

“Resource conflicts are becoming more and more territorial, although historically rights in forests and other agrarian environments have been contested nearly everywhere in the world. Conflicts derive from and produce politics of place, property, and representation,” says Peluso. “While the book draws on my fieldwork and previous writing as well as others’ research in West Kalimantan, I hope to cast a new eye on this landscape. I will (re)examine the very real consequences that violence, conflicting territorialities, and narratives of landscape have had on both resource control and the shifting terms of identity.”

Peluso earned her doctorate in Natural Resource and Agricultural Sociology at Cornell University and taught at the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies before coming to UC Berkeley in 1996. She has been researching forest and agrarian politics in Indonesia since 1979.

Each year, the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation awards advanced professionals six-month to yearly fellowships enabling them to pursue research and complete special projects in their respective fields, on the basis of past achievement and promise for future accomplishment. The fellowship winners of 2006 include artists, scholars, and scientists selected from the United States and Canada.

Bin Yu, a Cal professor of Statistics, and Paul Dresher, a Berkeley graduate in music composition, were also awarded fellowships.

--By Stephanie Tran '08