The Faculty and Program
Rutgers University's graduate program in Latin American History ranks as one of the best in the United States. It is both geographically and topically inclusive. Faculty members specialize in Argentina, Brazil, the Caribbean, Central America, and Mexico. They focus on social history (revolutions, African diaspora in the Americas, agrarian society, gender, social movements); economic history (elites, business history, peasants); Colonial history (race, conquest, kinship, slavery, and indigenous peoples) and political history (the Mexican Revolution, state formation, Central American revolutions). The faculty is particularly strong in nineteenth and twentieth century studies. There is also a strong emphasis on comparative approaches to history which benefit from the department’s strengths in other areas of study, particularly in women’s history and global history.
Students concentrating in Latin American history work with Professors Mark Wasserman (Mexico, business & elite history), Temma Kaplan (Argentina, Chile, social movements and gender), Gail Triner (Brazil, financial & economic history), Aldo Lauria Santiago (Caribbean, Central America, Mexico, US Latinos), and Camilla Townsend (Mexico, indigenous peoples, colonial, comparative, nineteenth century).
Associated Faculty who teach less regularly in the Graduate Program include Kim Butler (History & Africana studies), whose specialty is Brazil and African culture in the Americas.
The core courses for students concentrating in Latin American history include a two-semester "Problems and Directed Readings in Latin American History" course, a two-semester "Colloquium in Latin American History," and a two-semester "Seminar in Latin American History." Latin Americanists frequently opt for minor fields in Women's and Gender, and Comparative and Global History.
Among the recent dissertations completed in the program:
- Frank Argote-Freyre, "Fulgencio Batista: From Revolutionary to Strongman"
- Jadwiga E. Pieper, "From Contested Duties to Disputed Rights: The Social Politics of Fertility Regulation in Chile, 1964-1989"
- Noah Elkin, "Promoting a New Brazil: National Expositions and Images of Modernity: 1861-1922”
- Glen Kuecker, "A Desert in a Tropical Wilderness: Limits to the Porfirian Project in Northeastern Veracruz, 1876-1910"
- Sarah Buck, “Activists and Mothers: feminist and Maternalist Politics in Mexico, 1923-1953.”
Current dissertation projects include::
- Robert Alegre, “Combative Communities: Gendered Railway Workers and the Struggle for Democracy in Mexico, 1948-1958.”
- Andrea Campetela, “At the Periphery of Empire: Indians and Spaniards in the Pampas, 1580-1776.”
- Carolina Giraldo Botero, “Excess in Baroque Lima and Santa Fe de Bogotá: Ecstasy, Sexuality, and Violence in the New World.”
- Sandra Mendiola, "Street Vending, Marketplaces, and Politics in Twentieth Century-Puebla, Mexico."
- Gregory Swedberg, “Dangerous Women and Macho Men: Preserving Sexual Difference in Post-Revolutionary Orizaba, Mexico, 1910-1945."