Joel E. Correia is a human geographer whose research and teaching focus on the intersections of human rights, justice, development, and environmental change with attention to Indigenous politics in Latin America. In collaboration with community partners, his research seeks to understand how extra-local political, legal, and economic processes—like international Indigenous rights mechanisms, environmental governance schemes, and global commodity production and exchange—influence livelihoods, the praxis of rights, and socio-environmental relations at the “local” level, and vice versa. Joel draws theoretical and methodological inspiration from political ecology and STS, critical social theory, ethnography, and participatory research. His most recent field-based research projects in the Southern Cone have focused on Indigenous land rights, the implementation of Inter-American Court of Human Rights decisions, expanding agrarian frontiers, political ecologies of territorial struggles, and the politics of fair trade. After receiving his Ph.D. in geography from the University of Colorado Boulder in August 2017, Joel completed a Postdoctoral position at the University of Arizona (2017-18). He holds an MA in Latin American Studies from the University of Arizona and a BA in Geography from Humboldt State University.
“The University of Arizona Center for Latin American Studies was a remarkable program that enabled me to pursue graduate studies at the cutting edge of political ecology research. As an MA student in LAS, I took interdisciplinary coursework from leading scholars in the field of Latin American Studies. The theoretical grounding and empirical training I gained through those courses helped me design and conduct a field research project that informed my enduring interest in human rights, environmental justice, and Indigenous politics. UA LAS has strong connections with several campus programs. As such, I was able to build relationships with mentors at the Bureau of Applied Research in Anthropology as well as the Department of Geography and the Udall Center for Studies in Public Policy. I am happy to continue collaborating with colleagues in the UA Center for Latin American Studies—something that speaks to the wonderful community students join upon enrolling in this program. UA LAS was an important stepping stone in my career that helped me move from development practice to a PhD in Geography at University of Colorado, Boulder, and on to my current position as an Assistant Professor of Latin American Studies at the University of Florida.”