The Americas



Kim Butler, Associate Professor

Ph.D., Johns Hopkins University

RESEARCH INTERESTS:African diaspora history; Brazil; race and politics of identity

Kim D. Butler, Associate Professor, received her Ph.D. in History from Johns Hopkins University in 1995, and holds M.A.s in History from Johns Hopkins and Howard Universities. She is a historian specializing in African diaspora studies with a focus on Brazil and Latin America/Caribbean. Two of her courses, "Afro-Atlantic Diaspora" and "Afro-Brazilian History" engage students with diaspora studies directly. Dr. Butler also brings her training in material and oral history, and her curating experience at the Smithsonian Institution, to a special course in Advanced Methodologies for Africana Studies Research. As a member of the graduate faculty in History, Dr. Butler teaches a graduate colloquium in African diaspora studies as well. Professor Butler is the author of Freedoms Given, Freedoms Won: Afro-Brazilians in Post-Abolition Sao Paulo and Salvador, winner of the Wesley-Logan Prize in African Diaspora History from the American Historical Association, and the Letitia Woods Brown Publication Prize from the Association of Black Women Historians. She has published numerous articles on Afro-Brazilian history and, more recently, diaspora theory. Her current work applies advances in diaspora studies to new interpretations of African diaspora history.


AldoLauriaSantiago Aldo Lauria Santiago, Professor

Ph.D, The University of Chicago

RESEARCH INTERESTS: El Salvador; Mexico; Guatemala; Caribbean; US Puerto Ricans and Latinos.

Aldo Lauria Santiago is Professor I in the Departments of Latino and Caribbean Studies and the History Department. He is a historian of Latin America, the Caribbean and U.S. Latinos with a Ph.D. from the University of Chicago who specializes in peasant and working class history. His most recent publication To Rise in Darkness (Duke UP), co-authored with Jeffrey Gould (Indiana University), is a history of the 1932 peasant/communist revolt of El Salvador and the traumatic memory of state-sponsored mass murder that followed it and has haunted the country ever since. His previous An Agrarian Republic (Pittsburgh 1999) traces the social, economic and political history of El Salvador during the nineteenth century.  His current research focuses on the regional history of the peasantry in Western Mexico and the history of the Puerto Rican (and other Latino) working class in New York City. He has served professionally in different capacities: as President of the New England Council of Latin American Studies, as Chair of the Latino Studies Section of the Latin American Studies Association and as coordinator of many Central America-related conferences, panels and organizations.


klopezKathleen Lopez, Associate Professor

Ph.D, University of Michigan

RESEARCH INTERESTS: Latin American and Caribbean History, Asians in Latin America and the Caribbean, Race and Ethnicity in the Americas, Diaspora and International Migration.

Professor López is an Associate Professor in the Department of Latino and Caribbean Studies and the Department of History. She specializes in the historical intersections between Asia and Latin America and the Caribbean. Her book Chinese Cubans: A Transnational History examines Chinese migrants in Cuba from the mid-nineteenth century to the present through archival and ethnographic research in Cuba, China, and the United States and received the 2014 Gordon K. and Sybil Lewis Prize of the Caribbean Studies Association. She is currently working on two new projects, one on Asian migrants, gender, and citizenship across Caribbean societies in the early twentieth century, and the other on the diversity of the Cuban diaspora in the United States. Professor López is a member of the Latin American Studies Association (LASA) Section on Asia and the Americas and serves on the Board of Advisers for the Dr. Shao You-Bao Overseas Chinese Documentation and Research Center, Ohio University Libraries. At Rutgers, she is involved with Asian American Studies, Critical Caribbean Studies, Latin American Studies, and is a Faculty Fellow for the 2015-16 Center for Cultural Analysis Archipelagoes Seminar. She is also an editor, along with Ignacio López-Calvo and Debbie Lee-DiStefano, of a new book series from Palgrave Macmillan called Historical and Cultural Interconnections between Latin America and Asia.

CamillaTownsendjpgCamilla Townsend, Professor

Ph.D, Rutgers University

RESEARCH INTERESTS:Indigenous Peoples and Cultures, Impact of the West

I am interested in relations between the indigenous and Europeans throughout the Americas. My publications have spanned Mexico, the Andean Region and the Chesapeake. I am deeply immersed in the study of Nahuatl, the Aztec language, and my most intense focus is now on the sixteenth- and seventeenth-century writings left to us by Native American historians. Though the historical annals they produced, we catch a glimpse of indigenous conceptualizations of history as they existed at first contact.

TRINERGail Triner, Professor

Ph.D, Columbia University

RESEARCH INTERESTS: Brazil, Post-Colonial Societies, Socioeconomic Development


Mark WassermanMark Wasserman, Professor

Ph.D, University of Chicago

RESEARCH INTERESTS: Mexico, Society and Culture, Revolutionary Movements


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