Bret Gustafson, an Associate Professor at Washington University in St. Louis, suggested that setting off gas canisters outside the homes of Jews is “pretty cool.”

The incident is being treated as a potential hate crime.

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Who is Bret Gustafson?

Bret Gustafson, a political anthropologist specializing in climate politics, fossil fuels, and the energy transition, directs his research primarily toward Latin America and the United States.

Gustafson has a longstanding collaboration with the Assembly of Guarani People in Bolivia, spanning many years. His initial research delved into Guarani language revitalization and education. Exploring these themes, he engaged with Guarani linguists, educators, and leaders, resulting in collaborative projects and the publication of the book titled “New Languages of the State: Indigenous Resurgence and the Politics of Knowledge in Bolivia” (Duke 2009). His ongoing work centers on the Guarani language and extends to broader investigations into Indigenous language and education throughout Latin America.

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In response to the profound impact of natural gas development on Guarani territory, Gustafson initiated a new research trajectory examining the politics of energy, climate change, and extractivism. This perspective is particularly illuminated through the lens of Bolivia’s natural gas boom, and some of his findings are encapsulated in the book “Bolivia in the Age of Gas” (Duke 2020). His exploration of fossil fuels has also translated into teaching and research addressing the challenges posed by fossil fuels and the ongoing energy transition in the United States.