Visiting Scholars

Visiting Scholars


Meet our Visiting Scholars for 2018 / 2019:
Ana Mariella Bacigalupo

Guide for Prospective Academic Visitors to
the University of Toronto Latin American Studies Program


Bacigalupo Photo LowRes

Ana Mariella Bacigalupo received her PhD in Anthropology from UCLA and is Professor of Anthropology at SUNY Buffalo. She has been conducting anthropological research with Mapuche people of southern Chile and Argentina for 25 years. Professor Bacigalupo's research has focused on cultural transformation, systems of knowledge, and power—all from the perspective of Mapuche shamans from Chile and Argentina, their communities, and their critics. She analyzes how and why powerful outsiders imagine shamans as exotic remnants of a folkloric past, as sorcerers and gender deviants, as savage terrorists, or as lacking historical consciousness, and investigates the complex ways in which shamans and their communities challenge, transform, and play off these stereotypes in their discourses and practices for a variety of ends.

Bacigalupo's research has expanded into three areas unrelated to Mapuche shamans. First, she in analyzing the intersection of Chilean state violence upon indigenous Mapuche, the emergence of spirit cults around deceased Mapuche victims, and localized history-making and ethnic politics. Second, she is analyzing how the vulnerabilities produced by climate change enable a rethinking of values and a reconciliation between post-human politics and community activism. Poor Peruvian mestizos offer a model of collective ethics that attaches moral agency to the natural world for the purpose of social and environmental transformation and opens a new kind of political debate. By defining "community" and "well-being" as humans-in-relationship-to-places-as-persons, poor mestizos resignify "nature" itself as an anchor for social justice. Third, Bacigalupo's work has recently taken a legal turn as she has begun to examine the relationships between shamanic notions of justice, LGBT parenting, Chilean family law imbued with Catholic morality, and the discourse of international human rights.

Bacigalupo has published five books and more than fifty sole authored articles and chapters. Her most recent book, published by the University of Texas Press in 2016, is titled: Thunder Shaman: Making History with Mapuche Spirits in Chile and Patagonia. Find more info about the book here
Her articles can be found on




Guide for Prospective Academic Visitors to
the University of Toronto Latin American Studies Program

The Latin American Studies program welcomes Visiting Scholars, Researchers and Students (primarily Doctoral) who are interested in conducting research and working with members of the faculty for a limited period of time. Each year, the number of visitors and inquiries from prospective visitors has grown. Office space is very limited and while the Latin American Studies program is generally not in a position to provide office space or other benefits, we make every effort to provide on-line and library access and opportunities for collaboration with faculty.

Eligibility Criteria

Applicants may submit their application to visit LAS if the following criteria are met:

  • The visit is temporary and for periods ranging from one week to twelve months.
  • The applicant is not paid by funds administered by the University of Toronto but has obtained his or her own funding for all travel and accommodation expenses.
  • The visit does not involve auditing courses, unless an agreement exists between the University of Toronto and the visitor's home institution.
  • The applicant will be engaged in full-time research.
  • The applicant should demonstrate oral and written English proficiency or will be supervised by a faculty member who is proficient in the candidate's primary language.
  • The applicant is encouraged to contact faculty who might be interested in the visitor's project and ask whether they would serve as their contact person.
  • The applicant is recommended by a faculty member.

Application Process

Applications can be submitted any time but will be considered four times a year: March 1, June 1, September 1, and December 1. Under extenuating circumstances, an applicant may submit a request to have an application evaluated outside of these time frames, especially if the applicant hoped to arrive soon and planned a brief (under two months) visit.
Applications should be e-mailed to our coordinator, Dr. Berenice Villagómez. All candidates will be notified after the evaluation process. Successful applicants will receive an official letter of invitation from the Program Director.

An application consists of:

  • a current curriculum vitae;
  • 250 - 500 words describing the research the student proposes to do during his or her visit;
  • a letter of reference from supervisor (students only);
  • a covering letter, specifying:
    1. the visitor's institutional affiliation and status;
    2. the beginning and ending dates of the planned visit;
    3. what level and kind of funding the applicant has to support the visit; and
    4. at least one University of Toronto faculty member who has been contacted or who works most closely in the same research area as the applicant.

The Letter of Invitation

The invitation letter can be used as necessary at the visitor's home institution or for any visa requirements. The Program Director’s Office will provide the visitor with:

  • Information on how to obtain a temporary library card (T-Card) for the duration of the visit, providing full library privileges.
  • An invitation to attend special lectures and workshop series that are listed on our website.


Can you recommend wireless services?
Yes. Eduroam, or educational roaming, is a secure worldwide access service which allows faculty, staff and students to access wireless services at any participating institution by logging in with their home institution credentials. Visitors to the University of Toronto from Eduroam-enabled institutions must make similar arrangements to configure and test before leaving their home institutions. Not all institutions are Eduroam-enabled. Visitors should contact their home institution's IT support for assistance. More information regarding this service can be found at:

How do I find out about any special lectures and workshops?
Special lectures and workshops take place throughout the academic school year.  Most workshops take place from September to the end of March. Visit the our calendar of events for what is happening during a particular period of time.

Are there on-line maps of the campus available?
The University of Toronto has three campuses. The Latin American Studies program is located in downtown Toronto on the St. George campus.  On-line maps are located at

What information do I need to obtain a visa?
Refer to the Canadian Immigration and Citizenship website at

How do I obtain medical coverage during my visit?
Canada does not pay for hospital or medical services for visitors. Health insurance must be purchased to cover any medical costs.
The University Health Insurance Plan (UHIP) website is The plan covers the hospital and medical services of non-resident students, employees and short-term university visitors (see definition below) at Ontario Universities and affiliated colleges and their families.
Short-term university visitors: Individuals who are at a participating university for a brief, defined period of time, not necessarily related to an academic term, that is: visiting scholars, post-doctoral students, international researchers, conference participants.
The UHIP Premium Rates table is located at:

Can you recommend any places where I can live during my visit?
You will find below a brief list of places that offer temporary accommodation for visitors close to the University of Toronto's downtown campus.

1.  Lowther Suites
Offers furnished apartments close to the downtown campus. Detailed information is available at

2. Glen Grove Suites & Condominium Residences
Offers locations in downtown Toronto with fully equipped kitchens. Tell them you will be visiting the University of Toronto so that you can get the University rates. For more information, please visit:

3. 89 Chestnut Residence
Offers hotel-like accommodation for both students and non-students. For information, view their web site at