Agustin specialises in the anthropology of Latin America and has conducted research among indigenous Guaraní settlements in the Argentine Gran Chaco region. He is broadly interested in the anthropology of political economy and in the ethnographic study of surplus populations, labour and belonging.
Agustin’s doctoral project looks at the ways in which the oscillations of the Chaco’s regional extractive economy have led to soaring rates of unemployment among the Guaraní even as new forms of state-sponsored inclusion – particularly new Conditional Cash Transfer programmes – have allowed Guaraní families to continue subsisting. The research shows that, at the settlement level, the everyday realities of wagelessness and dependency articulate with local concerns for securing material abundance that lie at the heart of Guaraní political and ritual life. Drawing on the anthropology of labour, play, and collectivity, the thesis explores how these processes of articulation produce gendered spaces of ‘illusion’ that disavow the fundamental contribution of women’s labour to subsistence.
Agustin gained a BA in History at the University of Pennsylvania and an MSc in Anthropology and Development at the LSE. After working on climate change and water management research for two years, he returned to the LSE to pursue a PhD in Anthropology.