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Hanne Cottyn
Research Associate



MA History (Ghent), PhD History (Ghent)

At the Department of History, I research processes of socio-environmental change in rural communities of the Andean highlands. I am currently also affiliated with the IGDC, where I support the management and strengthening of partnerships with Latin America and the Caribbean.

I was awarded a fellowship from the Independent Social Research Foundation to explore the “more-than-human” histories of lake Poopó in Bolivia. The project integrates environmental humanities with ethnohistory to examine how lake communities’ daily practices and knowledge production have shaped and responded to historical landscape transformations.

Previously at York, I have conducted historical-ethnographic research about socio-environmental change in the Colombian páramos and co-produced a CD, documentary and website as part of the interdisciplinary project ‘Integrating ecological and cultural histories to inform sustainable and equitable futures for the Colombian páramos’ (NERC, AHRC, GCRF). Currently, a follow-up project to strengthen engagement and knowledge exchange in rural communities of the páramos surrounding Bogotá is supported by the University's Place and Community Fund.

I hold a PhD in History from Ghent University (Belgium), where I also collaborated in the coordination of the Ghent Center for Global Studies, lectured in Latin American studies and global studies, and conducted postdoctoral research. In 2014-2015, I worked with NGOs and grassroots movements in Peru as “global engagement officer” of the socio-environmental movement CATAPA (Belgium). I have extensive archival research and field work experience in Bolivia, Peru and Chile, where I collaborate with academic institutions and social organizations.

From February 2023 on, I will start a Marie Sklodowska-Curie Actions Global Fellowship with Ghent University and the Universidad de Tarapaca, Chile, on "More-than-Human Histories of Rural Landscapes in the Andes, 19th-20th century" (HI-LANDeS).


Selected publications


Cottyn, Hanne. 2017. “A World-systems Frontier Perspective to Land : Exploring the Uneven Trajectory of ( Land Rights Standardization in the Andes .” Journal of World-systems Research 23 (2): 515–539.

Beeckaert, Esther, Sander Berghmans, Dieter Bruneel, Hanne Cottyn, Pieter De Reu, Marjolein Schepers, Tobit Vandamme, and Sven Van Melkebeke. 2018. “The ‘Societal Turn’. Historicizing Future Society.” TSEG/ Low Countries Journal of Social and Economic History 15 (2-3): 113–128.

Edited book

Cottyn, Hanne, Javier Jahncke, Luis Montoya, Ela Pérez, and Mattes Tempelmann, eds. 2016. Las Luchas Sociales por la Tierra en América Latina: Un Análisis Histórico, Comparativo y Global. ( Lima, Peru: Universidad Nacional Mayor de San Marcos.

Book chapters

Cottyn, Hanne. 2018. “Property Demythologized : Historical Transformations and Spatial Hierarchies of Land Regimes.” In The Routledge Handbook of Transregional Studies ( , ed. Middel Matthias, 243–251. Londen: Routledge.

Cottyn, Hanne. 2018. “The Open-field System and the Persistence of Communal Land Systems : Lessons from the Andes.” In Peasants and Their Fields : the Rationale of Open-field Agriculture ( , C. 700-1800, ed. Christopher Dyer, Erik Thoen, and Tom Williamson, 16:207–232. Turnhout: Brepols.

Cottyn, Hanne. 2017. “Tierra, Comunidad y Vivir Bien : La Trayectoria Histórica De Las Tierras Comunitarias En El Altiplano Boliviano.” In Ecología y Reciprocidad : (con)vivir Bien, Desde Contextos Andinos, ed. Koen de Munter, Jacqueline Michaux, and Gilberto Pauwels, 177–205. La Paz: CEPA, Plural, TARI.


Contact details

Dr Hanne Cottyn
Research Associate
University of York
YO10 5DD