Nicolás’ research interests focus on the affective and ethical dimensions of violence, on the one hand, and the moral and political government of the latter, on the other. His previous research, The Moral Composition of Punishment. An Ethnography of the Carceral Condition in Rapa Nui, inquires about the forms and possibilities of life in the so-called ‘happiest prison in the world’. At the interface of affect theory, colonial and postcolonial studies, and critical moral anthropology, Nicolás explores the everyday of the penal continuum in Easter Island from a polyphonic and multimodal point of view. Some of this work has been recently published in Current Anthropology.
At Princeton, Nicolás is invested in studying the way sexual violence has been conceptualized and managed in the United States. Concretely, his project pretends to address the problematization of both sexual aggressions and sexual aggressors, explore the everyday of people registered as sex offenders, and examine the quotidian meanings and practices regarding retribution and rehabilitation from the communities, organizations, and institutions that are in relation with them. All of the above to think ethnographically about what kind of lives and futures the American sex offender legal regime produces.