Visiting Scholars

Visiting Scholars


Meet our Visiting Scholars for 2016 / 2017:
Ximena Berecochea  |    Wendy Kramer

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


RetratoDr. Ximena Berecochea recently completed her Ph.D. in Spanish at the University of Toronto. Her area of specialization is Contemporary Mexican Narrative. In her Ph.D. dissertation "Text and Image in Contemporary Mexican Narrative: The Effect of Interdisciplinarity in Six Novels", she argues that these novels are conceived and created through the inclusion of images and allusions to visual art, and that an informed reading of the imbrications of image and text is integral to understanding this artistic and cultural movement. In Ximena's current project, the Institute for Cultural Exchange (ICE), she continues to explore the topic of interdisciplinarity, which was central to her Ph.D. research. The ICE is a newly formed organization dedicated to motivation and nurturing creative expression in the arts through a focus on the creative process. ICE seeks to bring writers, visual artists, musicians, choreographers, and other cultural practitioners in an interdisciplinary international exchange that expands the idea of how art practices evolve and innovate in the Americas today. 




Photo Wendy KramerSince 1978 Dr. Wendy Kramer has been engaged in archival research in Guatemala, Spain, England, France and North America focusing on early Spanish conquest, colonial government and the encomienda system in Guatemala, with particular specialization in early social history of the first generation of conquistador encomenderos. She obtained her Ph.D. in Latin American History at the University of Warwick (England) in 1990 and her book, Encomienda Politics in Early Colonial Guatemala, 1524-1544: Dividing the Spoils (Westview Press, 1994) was published in 1994. Since then, Kramer has co-authored (primarily with colleagues W. George Lovell and Christopher H. Lutz) numerous journal articles and chapters in books in addition to the book "Strange Lands and Different Peoples": Spaniards and Indians in Colonial Guatemala (Oklahoma UP, 2013); a monograph published in Guatemala, Saqueo en el archivo: El paradero de los tesoros documentales Guatemaltecos (CIRMA, 2014); and a forthcoming book to be published in Guatemala, Atemorizar la tierra (F&G Editores, 2016).


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: https://wiki.bc.net/atl-conf/display/Services/Canada+eduroam

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 http://www.utoronto.ca/campuses/maps.htm

What information do I need to obtain a visa?
Refer to the Canadian Immigration and Citizenship website at http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/index.asp

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 http://www.uhip.ca/. 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: http://uhip.ca/your-coverage.aspx#one

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.  Visiting Faculty Housing (VFH) program
Housing units are available for rent to new and visiting faculty members who are looking for short-term accommodation (approximately 3 to 12 months). Visit the website at: http://www.library.utoronto.ca/newcomers/.  If you meet the eligibility criteria and are interested in applying for VFH, please complete the online application form under the "Application for Housing" section  (http://www.library.utoronto.ca/newcomers/application-new.htm).

Faculty Housing Coordinator
University of Toronto
229 College Street, Suite 215
Toronto, Ontario  M5T 1R4
Tel:  (1) 416-946-5671
Fax:  (1) 416-978-1081
Visiting Faculty email:  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

2. Lowther Suites
Offers furnished apartments close to the downtown campus. Detailed information is available at http://www.lowthersuites.com/

3. 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: http://www.glengrove.com/

4. 89 Chestnut Residence
Offers hotel-like accommodation for both students and non-students. For information, view their web site at http://89chestnut.com/accommodation/info.html

5. The Bulletin
The Bulletin is the University of Toronto's faculty and staff newspaper. You can download the current issue at http://www.news.utoronto.ca/bulletin.html and view the accommodation section for rental in houses near the campus.