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Photo of Rollins Castillo, Luisa J.

Luisa J. Rollins Castillo

Graduate Student



Building & Room:



1007 W. Harrison Street


I’m currently a doctoral candidate in Sociocultural Anthropology. My dissertation project examines the intersecting politics of environmental conservation, frontier development, and nation-building in the Dominican Republic. This research has focused on exploring how people experience and understand environmental change and conservation initiatives in the region, as well as the types of narratives that emerge from these understandings and how they intertwine with ideas about nation, territory, and difference. It further explores how global discourses on environmental change and green development have influenced state and local politics. This work has been supported by UIC’s Abraham Lincoln Fellowship and the Chancellor's Graduate Research Award, as well as the Diversifying Faculty in Illinois (DFI) Fellowship and a CUNY Dominican Studies Institute (DSI) Library Research Award. More broadly, my research and teaching interests include environmental politics, discourses of nature and environmental change, eco/tourism, and mobilities as they relate to particular contexts of race, ethnicity, gender, and labor in Latin America and the Caribbean.

Selected Grants

CUNY Dominican Studies Institute (CUNY DSI), Archives and Library Research Award, 2017

University of Illinois at Chicago, Abraham Lincoln Graduate Fellowship, 2014-2015

University of Illinois at Chicago, Chancellor's Graduate Research Fellowship, 2011-2012

Selected Publications

Pallares, Amalia, and Luisa J. Rollins Castillo. “Lifestyle Migration and the Marketization of Countries in Latin America.” In New Migration Patterns in the Americas, edited by Feldmann, Bada, and Schütze, 171-199. Palgrave Macmillan, 2019.

Rollins Castillo, Luisa J. “Greening Dispossession: Mining Nature through Ecotourism in the Dominican Southwest.” In The Ecotourism/Extraction Nexus: Political Economies and Rural Realities of (un)Comfortable Bedfellows, edited by Büscher and Davidov, 171-192. London: Routledge, 2013.

Professional Leadership

Biennial Organizing Committee 2018-2019, Society for Latin American and Caribbean Anthropology

Organizing Committee 2015-2016, Second City Graduate Anthropology Conference

Anthropology Department Representative 2012, Graduate Student Council, UIC

Secretary 2011-2012, Graduate Anthropology and Geography Association


Ph.D. Candidate, Anthropology, University of Illinois at Chicago
Dissertation: Greening the nation? Environment, labor, and nation-building in the Dominican Republic
Committee Chair: Dr. Molly A. Doane, Associate Professor of Anthropology

M.A., Anthropology, University of Illinois at Chicago, 2009
M.A., International Business, University of Florida, 2005
B.S., Economics, University of Central Florida, 2004

Selected Presentations

2018   Rollins, Luisa J. “Illegibility, Local Politics, and Ambiguous Practices of Statecraft." American Anthropological Association. San Jose, California. November 14-18.

2018   Rollins, Luisa J. “Precarious Belonging and Nationalism in the Dominican Southwest.” Caribbean Studies Association.      La Habana, Cuba. June 4-8.

2017   Rollins, Luisa J. “Guardians, brokers, and smugglers: Negotiating place and meaning in the       Dominican frontier.” Society for Latin American and Caribbean Anthropology. Antigua, Guatemala.  Apr. 6-8.

2015   Rollins, Luisa J.  “The Social Landscape of Environmental Conservation in the Dominican  Southwest.” Latin American Studies Association. San Juan, PR. May 27-30.

2013   Rollins, Luisa J. “The Reproduction of Nature, Environmental Justice, and the Limits to the ‘Greening’ of Labor.”  Grabbing ‘Green’: Questioning the Green Economy conference. University of Toronto, ON, Canada. May 17-19.

2012   Rollins, Luisa J. “‘Greening’ Dispossession: Mining Nature Through Ecotourism in the Dominican Southwest.” European Association of Social Anthropologists conference. Nanterre, France, July 10-13.

2011   Rollins, Luisa J. “Having One’s ‘Nature’ and Eating it Too: The Politics of Development, Ecotourism, and Environmentalism in the Dominican Southwest.”American Anthropological Association. Montreal, QC, Canada. November 16-20.

2011   Rollins, Luisa J. “Ecotourism Development and the Neoliberal State in the Dominican Republic.” Society for Applied Anthropology. Seattle, Washington. March 29-April 3.