Member Profile

Pablo Aguilera Del Castillo

PhD Candidate, University of Pennsylvania, Department of Anthropology

Contributor, Platypus, The CASTAC Blog

About Pablo

Pablo is a Mexico City native and a Ph.D. candidate in socio-cultural anthropology at the University of Pennsylvania. Pablo’s research is situated at the interface of Science and Technology Studies (STS), Environmental Anthropology, and Latin American studies. With a background in environmental studies, development studies, and anthropology, Pablo’s work has focused on different forms of environmentalism and environmental programs across Latin America bringing him to his current work in Mexico. His doctoral research analyzes the importance of the Yucatec Karst Aquifer System in southeastern Mexico for the articulation of new forms of environmentalism around subterranean spaces such as cenotes, caves, wells, groundwater, etc. As part of this project, he considers nascent forms of collaboration between experts and communities, reconfigured claims of territorial sovereignty, and emergent forms of legal, scientific, and environmental expertise. In his work, Pablo has frequently experimented with photography, participatory mapping, and audio ethnography as multimodal tools to study how people articulate claims of environmental justice and materialize political changes. His graduate research has been supported by the Mexican National Council of Science and Technology (CONACYT), the Wenner Gren Foundation, the Penn Museum, the Center for Latin American and Latino Studies (CLALS), and the Center for Experimental Ethnography (CEE). He is currently a graduate fellow at the Penn Program for Environmental Humanities (PPEH) and a founding member of Penn’s EnviroLab.



Contributions to Platypus, The CASTAC Blog

View all of Pablo's posts on Platypus, The CASTAC Blog.

Audio Ethnographies of Water from Latin America: Introduction

Inspired by Feld’s (2015) work on sound, in this collection of essays, we bring five ethnographers from Latin America to think about their research through the sounds of their respective field sites. The exercise we propose here borrows Feld’s concept of ‘acoustemology’ to help frame our approach towards the aural dimensions of a place: Acoustemology conjoins ‘acoustics’ and ‘epistemology’ to theorize sound as a way of knowing. In doing so, it inquires into what is knowable and how it becomes known through sounding and listening. Acoustemology begins with acoustics to ask how the dynamism of sound’s physical energy indexes its social immediacy. It asks how the physicality of sound is so instantly and forcefully present to experience and experiencers, to interpreters and interpretations. (p. 12) (more…) (read more...)

The Sargassum Question

Sitting in her office, I could smell the sharp scent of hydrogen sulfide coming from the beach. She turned to me, paused for a second and proceeded to say with a seriousness in her tone that I hadn’t anticipated: The ecosystem that I have been studying all my life is now disappearing in a matter of weeks. Sargasso was once confined to the limits of the Sargasso Sea in the Atlantic Ocean. As an ecological system, the Sargasso Sea has no land boundaries and its biological containment relies entirely on a delicate balance of ocean currents. Unlike other ecosystems, it lends itself to an almost poetic reimagination of what an ecosystem is. On the West, the sea bounded by Gulf Stream; on the North, by the North Atlantic Current; on East by the Canary Current; and on the South by the North Equatorial Current. It was first described by Cristopher (read more...)