Institute at Brown for Environment and Society

Regina Pieck

Hispanic Studies
Areas of Expertise In Spring 2024 will teach ENVS 1233: Underground Studies: Extractivism and Decolonization in the Americas/Abiayala


Regina's dissertation titled “Refounding the Underground: Decolonial Excavations in the Arts and Literatures of Abiayala,” unearths a novel critique of neocolonialism and extractivism in the work of Mexican, Chicana, and Native American writers in the twenty-first century. She argues that by questioning the way underground spaces were configured since colonial times, these writers reimagine new foundations for contemporary relations to the nonhuman as well as to other humans. By thinking from underground spaces, such as mines, roots, fosas (mass graves), and tectonic plates, Mexicana and Chicana writers reveal the buried colonial foundations that still underlie much of contemporary life. These writers propose that there is no other way of having a decolonial society without excavating these foundations and laying new ones.