Esther Breithoff receives award for Outstanding PhD thesis

2 November 2017

Esther Breithoff receives award for Outstanding PhD thesis

Esther Breithoff has won an award for 'Outstanding PhD Thesis' from the Luxembourg National Research Fund (FNR).

Esther's FNR-funded PhD thesis was on the subject of the 'Conflict Landscapes of the Chaco War', for which she had already received the 2015/16 University of Bristol 'Best Doctoral Research Thesis' award for the Faculty of Arts.

Esther, originally from Luxembourg, studied the Chaco War, a little-know armed conflict fought between Paraguay and Bolivia from 1932 to 1935, from an archaeological and material culture perspective. Adopting a multilingual and transdisciplinary approach, she conducted her fieldwork in the Chaco, a remote corner of the world with limited infrastructure and resources, as well as the United States.

Esther was primarily interested in the entangled relationships between humans and nature within a conflict and post-conflict setting. Within this context, she looked at how soldiers, Mennonites and indigenous people engaged with war debris and their natural environment during and after the war. Evaluators described her thesis as “uniquely innovative, poetic and provocative”.

Esther is currently a Research Associate on the Heritage Futures Project with Rodney Harrison.

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