Affiliated Faculty

Affiliated Faculty

Updated July 2018

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Emeritus / Retired


Christian Abizaid, Ph.D. McGill University
Associate Professor, Geography & Centre for Environment. St. George

Interests: Peasant Livelihoods; Human responses to environmental change; Human-induced environmental change; Land use and land cover change; Environment and development; Neotropical forests; Latin America (in particular the Amazon & Mexico); Vulnerability and resilience.

Professor Abizaid has conducted research in human-environment geography. Currently, his research focuses on how rural households make a living from the land and traditional resource use practices, how such practices impact the environment, and how households adapt their livelihoods to changing environmental conditions. His recent projects have examined the anthropogenic origin and implications of a major change in the course of a major Amazonian River in Peru, the role of fisheries as natural insurance for the rural poor, as well as the role of communal labor in peasant agriculture in the neotropics.


Susan Antebi, Ph.D. Harvard
Associate Professor, Spanish & Portuguese. St. George

Interests: Twentieth-century and contemporary Mexican and Latin American literature, disability in culture, cultural studies of eugenics, hygiene and medicine, performance studies.

Professor Susan Antebi has been the director of LAS for the priod 2015-2019. Her research, funded from 2015 to 2018 by a SSHRC Insight Grant, focuses on disability and corporeality in the contexts of Mexican cultural production. She has published on discourses of public health and architectural aesthetics in post-Revolutionary urban Mexico, on the roles of disability and racialization in genomic medicine, and on the production and circulation of disability in Mexican literature, film and public space.

Anne-Emanuelle Birn, Sc.D. Johns Hopkins University
Professor and Canada Research Chair in International Health. UTSC and St. George
Website Dalla Lana School of Public Health

Website Centre for Critical Development Studies UTSC

Interests: History of public health in Latin America (Mexico, Uruguay); International health policy and politics, past and present; Women and international health; Historical demography - infant mortality; Societal determinants of health; Comparative health policy (Latin America)

Media expert in the History of Public Health in Mexico and Uruguay; Mexican Health Policy and Uruguay’s Child Health.

Anne-Emanuelle Birn is Professor of Critical Development Studies (UTSC) and Social and Behavioural Health Sciences (Dalla Lana School of Public Health) at the University of Toronto and served as Canada Research Chair in International Health (2003-2013). Her research explores the history and politics/political economy of international/global health, with interests in Latin American health and social justice movements, child health/rights, philanthrocapitalism, and the societal determination of health—and emphases ranging from the scatological to the ideological. Prof. Birn's books include: Marriage of Convenience: Rockefeller International Health and Revolutionary Mexico; Oxford University Press’s Textbook of International Health: Global Health in a Dynamic World; and Comrades in Health: US Health Internationalists, Abroad and at Home. She has edited seven special journal issues and is widely published in North American, Latin American, African, and European journals and presses. Her books include: Marriage of Convenience: Rockefeller International Health and Revolutionary Mexico (2006); Comrades in Health: US Health Internationalists, Abroad and at Home (2013); and Oxford University Press's Textbook of Global Health (2017). Professor Birn’s honors include Fulbright and Rotary fellowships, election to the Delta Omega Public Health Honor Society, numerous endowed lectureships across the Americas and in Japan, and in 2014 she was recognized among the top 100 Women Leaders in Global Health.


Gustavo J. Bobonis, Ph.D. University of California Berkeley
Associate Professor, Economics. St. George

Interests: Development Economics, Labour Economics, Economic History, Political Economy.

Gustavo Bobonis is Associate Professor of Economics and Research Associate for the Center for Economics and Public Affairs. He is the Canada Research Chair in the Political Economy of Development. His areas of interest include development economics, labour economics, and political economy. He has been published in distinguished journals including the Review of Economics and Statistics and the Journal of Human Resource, and is the recipient of numerous awards and grants, including the Journal of Development Economics Award in 2003, and a Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) research grant for the years 2007-2009.


Laura Colantoni, Ph.D. University of Minnesota
Associate Professor, Spanish and Portuguese. St. George

Interests: Acoustic motivations of sound variation and change in Romance, Phonetic variation and phonological categorization, L2 acquisition of variable sound patterns, Intonation: description and modeling of Argentine Spanish intonation

Professor Colantoni's research focuses on sound change and categorization and the second language acquisition of variable phonetic parameters. She is currently working on three research projects. The first one, in collaboration with Prof. Alexei Kochetov (Linguistics), is an articulatory study that focuses on assimilatory processes in three Spanish varieties. The second project, with Prof. Marta Ortega-Llebaria (University of Pittsburgh), involves the acquisition of English intonation by speakers of tonal (Mandarin, Cantonese) and non-tonal languages. The third project, in collaboration with Jeffrey Steele (French), will look at perceptual or articulatory motivations of non-target pronunciations in advanced second language learners of French and Spanish.


Kevin Coleman, Ph.D. Indiana University
Assistant Professor of Latin American History, UTM

Interests: photography, political culture, Central America, U.S.-Latin American relations, neocolonialism, archival logics, visual culture, labour history

In Professor Coleman’s first book, A Camera in the Garden of Eden: The Self-Forging of a Banana Republic (University of Texas Press, 2016), he argues that the “banana republic” was an imperial constellation of images and practices that was locally checked and contested by the people of the Honduran town of El Progreso, where the United Fruit Company had one of its main divisional offices. As banana plantation workers, women, and peasants posed for pictures and, more emblematically, as they staged the General Strike of 1954, they forged new ways of being while also visually asserting their rights as citizens. Photography and visuality were thus put to use in reshaping landscapes and livelihoods, even as countervailing claims to sovereignty, belonging, and the right to make public demands of one’s employer or national state were also forcefully made through photographs and public performances that were staged for a camera and the implied spectator that it promised.

His recent articles and book chapters examine the intersection between photography, labor history, and theorizing ways to read political subjectivities through visual archives.

More information here


María Cristina Cuervo, Ph.D. Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Associate Professor, Spanish and Portuguese, and Linguistics. St. George

Interests: Syntax and morphology at the level of argument structure and their relation with semantics. Acquisition of morphosyntax in Spanish as a first and second language.

Media expert in language and linguistics, language variation in Spanish across the Spanish speaking world, second language acquisition.

Professor Cuervo's research focuses on the structure and interpretation of sentences, with particular focus on dative arguments, applicatives, objects, clitics and the construction of verbal meanings. She is currently investigating the contruction of meaning in human language centred on the relative contribution of lexical verbal roots and grammatical morphemes. Another current research project focuses on the denotation and structure of the nine verbal forms of present-day Spanish tense system (indicative mood), with attention to dialectal variation. The goal is to construct a theory capable of accounting for native speakers' intuitions and use of the tenses, as well as accounting for the learning path of the tense contrasts in child language acquisition and in adult acquisition of Spanish as a second language.


Laura Doering, Ph.D. University of Chicago
Assistant Professor of Strategic Management, Rotman School of Management. St. George

Professor Doering studies how social factors influence processes of economic development in emerging markets. While most sociological research on economic development focuses on macro-level forces like states and institutions, Professor Doering takes a decidedly micro approach. She explores how factors like personal relationships, status characteristics, household constraints, and spatial location shape economic outcomes for entrepreneurs and organizations. She often mixes methods, using ethnography and interviews to understand mechanisms on-the-ground, and then analyzes large-scale databases to track aggregate effects. Professor Doering has conducted research in Central and South America, and has ongoing research projects in Colombia.


Bernardo García Domínguez, Ph.D. York University
Lecturer, Caribbean Studies and Latin American Studies. St. George

Bernardo García-Domínguez, has academic degrees in History, Philology and Sociology. His doctoral dissertation, York University, 2004, presents a perspective on specific issues of social, cultural and religious interaction and their significant confluence and impact in collective life. He was co-founder of Casa del Caribe, Cuba’s main research center for Caribbean studies. Bernardo has lectured at York U., W. Laurier U, Brock U., and OISE since 2003 and at New College, since 2008. He has been awarded doctoral fellowships in Canada, from SSHRC, and in the USA at Amherst College, MA. His Caribbean Studies courses, Caribbean Religions (NEW329F) and The Hispanic Caribbean with focus on Cuba (JLN427H1), stress an interdisciplinary perspective bringing in resources of social history, sociology of race, religion and revolution, cultural anthropology and cultural studies, providing an in-depth approach on the Caribbean and Latin American experience that can stand as a sample for global research. Several LAS students of his Hispanic Caribbean course have been awarded field-trips to Cuba since 2008.


Rubén Gaztambide-Fernández, Ed.D. Harvard
Associate Professor, CTL OISE. St. George

Interests: Curriculum theory, arts in education, cultural studies, Latino Canadian Studies, sociology of education,

Media expert in Puerto Rico, Latinos in Canada, Education, arts.

Professor Gaztambide-Fernández’s current research focuses on the experiences of young artists attending specialized arts high schools in cities across Canada and the United States. He is the Principal Investigator of Proyecto Latin@, a participatory action research project with Latin@ youth in the Toronto District School Board. His theoretical work focuses on the relationship between creativity and solidarity. He is particularly interested in the creative possibilities that arise from the social and cultural dynamics of urban centers.


Jorge Ginieniewicz, Ph.D. Toronto
Qualitative Analyst, Health Quality Ontario

Interests: Health, equity, evaluation

Jorge Ginieniewicz has worked extensively in the area of health. He held positions at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health and Sunnybrook Health Centre, where he worked on a number of research projects that focused on vulnerable populations, including children and adolescents who experienced food insecurity, immigrants with mental health issues and smokers and former smokers. Currently, he holds a position as qualitative analyst at Health Quality Ontario. He has published books and articles in the areas of migration, health and education.


Gustavo Indart, Ph.D. Toronto
Associate Professor, Economics. St. George

Interests: Economic development, labour markets, and poverty and income distribution with particular reference to Latin America.

Professor Indart has worked as consultant to the Inter-American Development Bank on poverty and income distribution in Paraguay and Nicaragua. He is also the editor of Economic Reforms, Growth and Inequality in Latin America (Ashgate, 2004) and co-editor of Critical Issues in International Financial Reform (Transaction Publishers, 2003).


Eva-Lynn Jagoe, Ph.D. Duke
Associate Professor, Comparative Literature and Spanish and Portuguese. St. George

Interests: Latin American literature, film, and theory

Professor Jagoe was LAS Director in 2009/10. Her research interests include comparative nineteenth-century literature, film studies, and critical and cultural theory. Her book, The End of the World as They Knew It: Writing Experiences of the Argentine South, examines representations of the South in Argentine and English texts from the nineteenth century to the present, arguing that the narration of this space is formative in the shaping of a collective memory and history of Argentina. She is currently writing a book entitled Too Much, which is on notions of excess in film, literature, and psychoanalysis .

The End of the World as They Knew It: Writing Experiences of the Argentine South

jagoe The End of the World as They Knew It maps the shifting constructions of the space of the South in Argentine discourses of identity, nation, and self-fashioning. In works by Domingo F. Sarmiento, Lucio V. Mansilla, Francisco P. Moreno, Jorge Luis Borges, Ricardo Piglia, and César Aira, Eva-Lynn Alicia Jagoe examines how representations of the South - as primitive, empty, violent, or a place of potential - inform Argentine liberal ideology. Part of this process entails the reception of travel narratives by Francis Bond Head, Charles Darwin, and W.H. Hudson, which served the purpose of ratifying the gaze of the crioloo , and of appropriating the South through civilized discourses. Focusing on crucial moments in Argentine cultural history, such as the 1871 Conquest of the Desert and the military dictatorship of the 1970s, Jagoe compellingly argues that these intensely experiential narrations of the South are inextricably linked to questions of collective memory and the construction of an Argentine history and tradition.

More information here


Teresa Kramarz, PhD University of Toronto

Assistant Professor and Research Associate, Munk School of Global Affairs, St. George

Teresa Kramarz is the Director of Munk One, a program on global affairs innovation for first year undergraduate students at the University of Toronto. An expert on international organizations and global governance, with emphasis on environmental politics, her work has examined the impact of the World Bank's public-private partnerships on democracy, innovation, and financially sustainable conservation governance, the legitimacy of the World Bank as a global knowledge actor, and accountability for the provision of global public goods. Her current research focuses on accountability in environmental governance, energy and the environment in Latin America, and assessing the potential for democratic environmental governance in multi stakeholder initiatives. Dr. Kramarz has extensive experience in her field having worked for almost ten years throughout most of Latin America with the World Bank, the United Nations Development Programme, the Food and Agricultural Organization, and the Canadian International Development Agency on sustainable development programs, institutional analysis and capacity building for the biodiversity and climate change conventions. She is a Fellow of the Earth Systems Governance research alliance, and Co-Director of the Accountability in Global Environmental Governance Task Force. Her most recent publications appear in Environmental Policy and Governance, Review of Policy Research, and Global Environmental Politics. She is also a contributor in the data, opinion and analysis site where she write about current issues in Latin America.

Christopher Krupa, Ph.D University of California, Davis

Assistant Professor, Anthropology. UTSC and Graduate Faculty, St. George.

Interests: Social and cultural anthropology, state and para-state, capitalism, labor and value, political and collective violence, race politics, historical anthropology; postcolonial Latin America, Andes, Ecuador.

Media expert in Ecuador, Andean region, popular violence, indigenous movements, postneoliberalism, political and economic restructuring, cut flower sector, truth commissions.

Lena Mortensen, Ph.D. Indiana
Assistant Professor, Anthropology. UTSC

Interests: Cultural anthropology, heritage, anthropology of archaeology, tourism, representation, material culture, globalization and development; Central America, Honduras.

Professor Mortensen conducts research primarily in Honduras where she studies the cultural politics of archaeological and heritage tourism, the transnational production and circulation of discourses about the past, and the intersection of academic practices with the commodification of culture and heritage. She is also co-chair of the Working Group on Cultural Tourism in a multidisciplinary, collaborative project on Intellectual Property Issues in Cultural Heritage.

Ethnographies and Archaeologies: Iterations of the Past.

mortensen-ethnologies archaeologiesEthnographies and Archaeologies explores the many different ways that the archaeological past is used to create meaning in the present. Under the guidance of editors Lena Mortensen and Julie Hollowell, the contributors seek to de-center or reposition the role of archaeologists and archaeological practice in constructing the past.

A major focus of the volume is to examine how the past is mediated by social engagements in the present and the consequences of those encounters. It is positioned at the forefront of a growing trend to explore the intersection of archaeology and cultural anthropology.

Broadly arguing for the application of ethnography to the dialogue on archaeological heritage, the book considers how concepts of nationalism, identity politics, and cultural production affect how the past is shaped by archaeology.

More information here 

Suzi Lima
Assistant Professor, Spanish and Portuguese Department, St. George.
Assistant Professor, Linguistics Department, Federal University of Rio de Janeiro (UFRJ).
Brazilian Indigenous Languages Research Group (BIL-UofT):
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Interests: Brazilian indigenous languages; language maintenance and revitalization; language acquisition and cognitive development.

Suzi Lima is an assistant professor in the Spanish and Portuguese and Linguistics Departments at the University of Toronto and in the Linguistics Department at Federal University of Rio de Janeiro. Suzi Lima did her BA and MA in Linguistics at the University of São Paulo (Brazil). She received her Ph.D. in Linguistics from UMass Amherst. Before coming to Toronto, Suzi Lima did a post-doc at Harvard (Laboratory of Developmental Studies).

Suzi's work integrates theoretical and experimental research (formal semantics and psycholinguistics) with an emphasis on language acquisition. Most of her work has explored the interpretation of nominal constructions in the domain of counting and measuring and its effects on speakers' perception of objects and substances as well as on their counting skills. A substantial part of Suzi's work focuses on the description and analysis of quantification in bilingual Brazilian Indigenous communities, based on experimental studies with children and adults in their first language (Yudja) and second language (Brazilian Portuguese).

In addition to her theoretical work, Suzi has been involved in language documentation projects and bilingual education projects for over ten years. In the Xingu Indigenous Territory she organized a series of workshops with indigenous professors to discuss issues and methods in bilingual education (Brazilian Portuguese and Yudja or Kawaiwete). Suzi was also the coordinator of a language documentation project (UNESCO/Funai) that resulted in the publication of a monolingual pedagogical grammar of the Kawaiwete language (in press).

Students interested in developing a research project/independent study on aspects of Latin American indigenous languages or Brazilian Portuguese are encouraged to contact Suzi. Currently, she is the director of the Brazilian Indigenous Languages group ( Everyone is welcome to the meetings of this group.

Valentina Napolitano, Ph.D. University of London
Associate Professor, Anthropology. St. George

Interests: Subject formation, alternative modernities, affect, transnational migration, gender and psychoanalysis, health and religious movements, Catholicism, urban Mexico and Italy

Media expert on Catholicism, Mexican migration, Catholic Church, Anthropology of Traces, Gendered subjectivity, Urban Mexico

Valentina Napolitano is Associate Professor of Anthropology at the University of Toronto. She works on critical Catholic Studies as well as on Anthropology of Traces, borderlands and migration. Her most recent works are: Migrant Hearts and the Atlantic Return: Transnationalism and the Roman Catholic Church (Fordham University Press, 2015), and, co-edited with K. Norget and M. Mayblin, The Anthropology of Catholicism: a Reader (University of California Press, in press). She is also the author of Migration, Mujercitas and Medicine Men: living in urban Mexico (University of California Press, 2002) as well as special journal issues among other on Economies of Sanctity (with K. Norget, 2011) and (with N. Luz and N. Stadler) on Religion and Borderlands: Materialities, Histories, and the Spatialization of State Sovereignty (in Religion and Society, in press, 2015).

Migrant Hearts and the Atlantic Return: Transnationalism and the Roman Catholic Church V Napolitano Migrant Hearts and the Atlantic Return Book copy
Napolitano examines contemporary migration in the context of a Roman Catholic Church. Combining extensive fieldwork with lay and religious Latin American migrants in Rome and analysis of the Catholic Church's historical desires and anxieties around conversion since the period of colonization, Napolitano sketches the dynamics of a return to a faith's putative center. Tracing the affective contours of documented and undocumented immigrants' experience through the celebrations of the Virgin of Guadalupe and El Señor de los Milagros and the study of papal encyclicals, the Latin American Catholic Mission, and the order of the Legionaries of Christ she shows how different ways of being Catholic inform constructions of gender, labor, and sexuality whose fault lines intersect across contemporary Europe. Against a Eurocentric notion of Catholic identity, Napolitano shows how the Americas reorient Europe. 


Melanie J. Newton, D.Phil. Oxford University
Associate Professor, History. St. George

Melanie J. Newton specializes in the history of the Caribbean and the Atlantic World. She is the author of The Children of Africa in the Colonies: Free People of Color in Barbados in the Age of Emancipation (Baton Louisiana State University Press, 2008) and numerous scholarly articles on gender, slavery and slave emancipation and indigenous Caribbean history. Recent publications include “The Race Leapt At Sauteurs: Genocide, Narrative and Indigenous Exile from the Caribbean,” Caribbean Quarterly special issue on the Garifuna people (Joseph Palacio ed.), vol. 60, no. 2, June 2014, 5-28, and “Returns to a Native Land?’ Indigeneity and Decolonisation in the Anglophone Caribbean,” Small Axe, vol. 41, 2013, pp. 108-122. She sits on the editorial boards of the journals Small Axe, The Canadian Journal of Latin American and Caribbean Studies and British Studies. Her current research project is entitled This Island’s Mine: Indigeneity in the Caribbean Atlantic World.


Jeff Packman, Ph.D. University of California Berkeley
Visiting Assistant Professor, Music History and Culture. St. George

Interests: Brazilian music, popular musics of the Americas, music and labor, music race and social class, and cultural theory. 

Professor Packman is an ethnomusicologist who specializes in Brazilian music and popular music of the Americas. A former working drummer, he has conducted extensive fieldwork in Brazil and the United States, where his focus has been on professional music making and cultural politics.  This research has been the basis for publications in Black Music Research Journal, Latin American Music Review, and Ethnomusicology. In addition to completing a book on professional musicians in Salvador da Bahia, Brazil, Dr. Packman has been contributing to a multidisciplinary study of samba de roda, an Afrodiasporic music and dance complex from the same region.


Alejandro Paz
Assistant Professor, Anthropology. UTSC

Interests: Language and Ethnicity; Media and Publics; Translation and Mediation; Israel in the Middle East

Professor Paz's current research project focuses on the emergence of ethnolinguistic identity among (non-Jewish) Latino labour migrants and their children in Israel, including the role of children in media campaigns to gain citizenship.


Ana Teresa Pérez-Leroux, Ph.D. University of Massachusetts at Amherst
Professor, Spanish and Portuguese. St. George

Interests: Language acquisition, Spanish grammar, and bilingualism.

Media expert on language and bilingualism; Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico.

Professor Pérez-Leroux's area of research is first and second language acquisition at the interface of syntax and semantics. Her work examines the acquisition of the interpretation of functional morphemes including number, tense and aspect, and object clitics. Her two current research projects involve object omissions in child language (SSHRC project in collaboration with Y. Roberge and M. Pirvulescu), and the interpretation of grammatical number.


Jeffrey M. Pilcher, Ph.D. Texas Christian University
Professor, History, UTSC

Interests: Food, drink, Mexico and the world

Professor Pilcher is the author of many books on food history and cultural history in Mexico and around the world. His most recent book, Planet Taco: A Global History of Mexican Food (2012), seeks to historicize authenticity and show how Mexico’s national cuisine developed through global interactions, particularly with Mexican American cooks. His current research examines the global spread of European beer in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. He is Articles Editor of the peer-reviewed journal, Global Food History.


Mariana Mota Prado, JSD Yale Law School
Associate Dean (Graduate Program) and Associate Professor, Law. St. George

Interests: Law and development, regulation and corruption.

Media expert in Brazil, specially anti-corruption efforts and institutional/legal reforms.

Prior to joining the University of Toronto in 2006, Professor Prado worked for the Private Participation in Infrastructure Database Project at the World Bank (2004), and was a fellow of the Olin Center for Law, Economics and Public Policy at Yale Law School (2005). During the 2012-2013 academic year she was a visiting researcher at MIT's Political Science Department. A Brazilian national, she regularly teaches intensive courses in Brazil, and collaborates with Brazilian scholars on projects related to institutional reforms.

Advanced Introduction to Law And Development (2014)
This book offers a concise and accessible introduction to the main themes and debates in the field of law and development. It unpacks the role of legal systems and institutions, and investigates what kinds of law and legal arrangements are perceived (correctly or not) to encourage and facilitate development.

More information here


Manuel Ramírez, Ph.D. Toronto
Senior Lecturer, Spanish and Portuguese. St. George

Interests: Central American literature, testimonial novel and cultural identity, Second Language teaching.


Néstor E. Rodríguez, Ph.D. Emory
Associate Professor, Spanish and Portuguese. St. George

Interests: Caribbean literature and cultural history; postcolonial theory; Latin American poetry.

Professor Rodríguez is the author of Escrituras de desencuentro en la República Dominicana (México: Siglo XXI, 2005). La isla y su envés: representaciones de lo nacional en el ensayo dominicano contemporáneo (San Juan: Instituto de Cultura Puertorriqueña, 2003) y Crítica para tiempos de poco fervor (Santo Domingo: Banco Central de la República Dominicana, 2009) 


Rosa Sarabia, Ph.D Toronto
Professor, Spanish and Portuguese. St. George

Interests: Latin American literature and culture, relationship of word and image in the Avant-Garde period, issues of gender and genre in works by women writers and artists.

Professor Sarabia was Director of Latin American Studies @UofT in 2007/08. She teaches Latin American literature and culture and specializes in the relationship of word and image in the Avant-Garde period as well as in issues of gender and genre in works by women writers and artists. She has published in numerous collections and journals such as Word & Image, Revista Canadiense de Estudios Hispánicos,Anales de literatura chilena, Hispanic Journal, Casa de las Américas, Journal of Hispanic Philology, and Latin American Theatre Review.


Luisa Farah Schwartzman, Ph.D. University of Wisconsin-Madison
Assistant Professor, Sociology. UTM

Interests: Brazil, race and ethnicity, multiculturalism

Professor Schwartzman's research focuses on the relationship between understandings of race and ethnicity and contemporary attempts by the state to track and implement policies to include racial and ethnic minorities. Most of her work focuses racial classification and affirmative action in Brazil. She has also co-authored studies of how official racial statistics are understood in the UK and Germany. Her current work compares understandings of race and culture in discourse about racial democracy in Brazil and multiculturalism in Canada, in the context of increased institutionalization of anti-racism in the late 20th century. She is also beginning a project to study how differently racialized immigrants to Brazil experience “integration”, and what this would mean in that context, in comparison to immigrants in Canada and other societies.


Edward R. Swenson, Ph.D. Chicago
Assistant Professor, Anthropology. St. George

Interests: Archaeology, complex societies, theory and method, religion and ideology; Andes, Latin America.

Media expert on Peru and pre-Columbian civilizations (all of the Americas).

Currently, Professor Swenson is conducting research in the Cañoncillo urban system of the Jequetepeque Valley, Peru. This project combines mapping, architectural analysis, and large-scale excavation in order to reconstruct long-term processes of urbanization in the region. An important component of the research is to gauge how transformations in public architecture related to changes in local ritual activity and the organization of domestic space.


Judith Teichman, Ph.D. Toronto
Professor, Political Science, UTSC

Interests: Poverty and Inequality in the global south and Latin America; Politics and Policymaking in Latin America; Inequality, poverty and violence, especially in Mexico;
Welfare regimes and social policy in the global south and Latin America.

Currently, Professor Teichman's research focuses on poverty and inequality in Mexico, Chile and South Korea and on the impact of poverty and inequality on political and criminal violence. She is the author of Social Forces and States: Poverty and Distributional Outcomes in South Korea, Chile and Mexico, published by Stanford University Press in 2012; and The Politics of Freeing Markets in Latin America: Chile, Argentina and Mexico (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press).

Social Forces and States: Poverty and Distributional Outcomes in South Korea, Chile and Mexico.

social forces  statesWith the failure of market reform to generate sustained growth in many countries of the Global South, poverty reduction has become an urgent moral and political issue in the last several decades. In practice, considerable research shows that high levels of inequality are likely to produce high levels of criminal and political violence. On the road to development, states cannot but grapple with the challenges posed by poverty and wealth distribution.

Social Forces and States explains the reasons behind distinct distributional and poverty outcomes in three countries: South Korea, Chile, and Mexico. South Korea has successfully reduced poverty and has kept inequality low. Chile has reduced poverty but inequality remains high. Mexico has confronted higher levels of poverty and high inequality than either of the other countries. Judith Teichman takes a comparative historical approach, focusing upon the impact of the interaction between social forces and states. Distinct from approaches that explain social well-being through a comparative examination of social welfare regimes, this book probes more deeply, incorporating a careful consideration of how historical contexts and political struggles shaped very different development trajectories, welfare arrangements, and social possibilities.

More information here


Miguel Torrens, M.A., M.L.S. Toronto
Librarian / Bibliographer, Robarts Library. St. George

Interests: Early Christian, medieval and late-medieval baptismal fonts.

Miguel Torrens has worked at the University of Toronto Libraries since 1980; he is currently the bibliographer for Iberian and Ibero-American studies, Italian studies and Philosophy. He was Subject consultant for Spanish, Portuguese and Latin American studies at the University of Oxford (2007-2008). He is Co-director (1996+) of the project 'Baptisteria Sacra Index'.


Antonio Torres-Ruiz, Ph.D. Toronto
Equity Studies, York University
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Antonio Torres-Ruiz joined the Department of Equity Studies at York University in 2010 as full-time faculty, and has taught at UofT (both in the Department of Political Science and the Latin American Studies Program) and at the Centre for International Studies at El Colegio de México. A significant part of his research work deals with democratization, human rights, identity politics, global political economy, and globalization, with a special focus on Latin America and North America.
His published contributions include articles and book reviews for several academic journals such as Latin American Research Review (U.S.), International Journal (Canada), História, Ciencias, Saude (Brazil), Journal of Latin American Studies (U.K.), Latin American Politics and Society (U.S.), Working Papers Series, CIDE (Mexico), and Teoría Política (Uruguay). He also co-authored a book chapter and co-edited a volume on contentious politics in North America with the late UofT professor Stephen Clarkson.
Most recently, he contributed with a chapter on "The NGOization of HIV/AIDS activism in Mexico" to the three-volume analysis titled Global HIV/AIDS Politics, Policy, and Activism: Persistent Challenges and Emerging Issues, edited by Raymond Smith (Columbia University), published by Praeger. And he has an upcoming single-authored book on The Political Economy of HIV/AIDS in Mexico, to be published by Common Ground Publishing, University of Illinois Research Park (2017). He is currently working on two different projects: a) a critique of the democratization literature in political science, and b) Afro-descendants and participatory research in Cuba and Mexico.


Luis van Isschot, Ph.D. McGill University
Assistant Professor, History. St. George
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Luis van Isschot is a historian of modern Latin America, specializing in the study of social movements, political violence  and human rights. His first book, The Social Origins of Human Rights: Protesting Political Violence in Colombia’s Oil Capital, 1919-2010, was published by the University of Wisconsin Press in  2015. His current research concerns the Inter-American Court of Human Rights.

For more than a decade Luis van Isschot has been academically and professionally concerned with international human rights. He has conducted research and worked on behalf of non-governmental organizations in Colombia, Peru, Guatemala, and Mexico, as well as Haiti and the Great Lakes region of Africa.

He received his PhD in History from McGill University in 2010. Prior to his appointment to the University of Toronto, van Isschot worked at the Centre for Oral History and Digital Storytelling at Concordia University in Montreal, was a postdoctoral fellow at the  City University of New York, and Assistant Professor of History and Human Rights at the University of Connecticut.

More information here


Ramón Antonio Victoriano Martínez (Arturo), Ph.D. Toronto
Sessional Instructor, Language Studies. UTM

Interests: Caribbean and Latin American literature, film and cultural studies; Relationship between Haiti and Dominican Republic; Hispanic Caribbean migration and its representations.

Media expert in Dominican Republic, Haiti, migration, literary representations of Haitians and Dominicans, Hispanic Caribbean diasporas.

Professor Victoriano-Martínez has taught Criminal Law and Philosophy of Law. He played several roles in the Presidential Council for Culture in the Dominican Republic from 1997 to 2000, where he published, jointly with Dr. Luis O. Brea Franco, Report on the Diagnosis of the Cultural Sector: Compendium of Cultural Legislation Dominican (1998). He is also the translator of the book The Struggle for Political Democracy in Dominican Republic (Jonathan Hartlyn, Ramon A. Victoriano Martínez), published by the Global Foundation for Democracy and Development in 2008. His research revolves around the question about Dominican identity, from the figure of the “rayano” (the one from the border), leaning on a critical reading of El Masacre se pasa a pie (Freddy Prestol Castillo), The Farming of Bones (Edwige Danticat) Dominicanish (Josefina Báez), and The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao (Junot Diaz).

Rayanos"La frontera que separa la República Dominicana y Haití es conocida en el español dominicano como "la raya". De ahí se deriva el vocablo "rayano", el cual designa a aquel individuo que habita en la línea o raya fronteriza. Partiendo de la frontera como marcador físico y simbólico, mi investigación abordará una serie de textos dominicanos y haitianos con diversas particularidades.

Lo rayano desafía la visión de la nación como "natural"; los textos analizados en esta investigación apuntan a espacios en los cuales no hay una homogeneidad de la nación tal y como la proponen Price-Mars o Bellegarde (Haití) y Peña Batlle, Balaguer y Núñez (República Dominicana); sino que presentan una nación en formación, en movimiento, que cruza fronteras no solamente físicas, marítimas o terrestres, sino también de género, clase y lengua. En la producción literaria y cultural de la República Dominicana el tema del rayano ha sido tratado por algunos de los más importantes autores del siglo XX."


Emeritus / Retired

Ana María Bejarano, Ph.D. Columbia University (b. 1962 - d. 2017)
Associate Professor, Political Science. UTM and St. George

Professor Bejarano was Acting Director of LAS during the academic year 2011/12. Before moving to Toronto, she was assistant professor of Political Science at the Universidad de Los Andes in Bogota, where she also served as Director of its Center for Social and Legal Research (CIJUS) from 1998 to 2000. She was a visiting fellow at the Kellogg Institute for International Studies at the University of Notre Dame (2000-2001) and at Princeton University’s Program for Latin American Studies (PLAS) and Woodrow Wilson School for International Affairs (2001-2003). She authored Precarious Democracies: Understanding Regime Stability and Change in Colombia and Venezuela (University of Notre Dame Press, 2011). She also co-edited (with S. Mainwaring and E. Pizarro), The Crisis of Democratic Representation in the Andes (Stanford University Press, 2006).
We lost a colleague and friend on March 28, 2017, to cancer. Ana Maria brought to each of her interactions great intellectual acumen, unshakable personal integrity, and a refreshing sense of humour. She touched us all enormously. We will miss her deeply.


Albert Berry
Professor Emeritus, Munk School of Global Affairs
Professor, Economics

Professor Berry was the Research Director of the Programme on Latin America and the Caribbean at the University of Toronto's Centre for International Studies (predecessor to the Munk School of Global Affairs). His research areas focus on Latin American labour markets and income distribution (with attention to the impacts of the recent economic reforms in Latin America), the economics of small and medium enterprise, and agrarian structure and policy. He has worked with the Ford Foundation, the Colombian Planning Commission, and the World Bank, and acted as consultant for a number of international and national agencies.