Dissertation Title: Living on the Edge: Oysters, Life, and Property on Louisiana’s Disappearing Coast
Hannah Eisler Burnett studies water and the people who live and work alongside its shifting boundaries. Her dissertation asks how communities in southern Louisiana seek to stabilize their relationships to the future environment even as the constitution of both water and land are radically changing in the face of climate change, wetland restoration, and land loss. Based on sixteen months of ethnographic fieldwork with oystermen, scientists, and community members, her research locates property as an important idiom of future thinking in places where the grounds for claim-making are materially transforming. Her dissertation research was funded by the National Science Foundation and the Wenner Gren Foundation. Hannah has also collaborated on art projects that explore water, toxicity, and global shipping.