LAS Affiliated Faculty

Latin American Studies students at UCSD works closely with university faculty from a wide range of departments and with diverse expertise.

Latin American Studies Graduate Students:  Click here for information on Thesis Committee Membership.

Department of Anthropology

  • Guillermo Algaze, Ph.D.,Professor

    Guillermo Algaze, Ph.D.,Professor

    Algaze is an expert on Near Eastern, Anatolian, and Mesopotamian archaeology, early civilizations, and complex societies.
  • Geoffrey Braswell, Ph.D., Associate Professor

    Geoffrey Braswell, Ph.D., Associate Professor

    Braswell is an expert on the archaeology of Mexico and Central America, particularly the ancient Maya civilization.
  • Thomas Csordas, Ph.D., Professor

    Thomas Csordas, Ph.D., Professor

    Tom Csordas is an expert on psychological and medical anthropology, anthropological theory, and comparative religion.
  • Hannah Garth, Ph.D, Assistant Professor

    Hannah Garth, Ph.D, Assistant Professor

    Dr. Garth is a sociocultural and medical anthropologist specializing in the anthropology of food. Her work addresses issues of inequality and structural violence, with regional interests in Latin American, the Caribbean, and the United States.  She currently has active research projects in Cuba and Los Angeles. In Cuba, she has conducted research on household food acquisition practices and the changing Cuban food system.  In Los Angeles, she has been researching the food justice movement and the organizations that work toward increasing healthy food access in low-income areas. Both projects address issues of race and gender based inequality. 
  • Paul Goldstein, Ph.D., Associate Professor

    Paul Goldstein, Ph.D., Associate Professor

    Goldstein is an expert on complex societies, anthropological archaeology, Latin America, Peru and Andean South America, El Nino, and ancient climate change.
  • John B. Haviland, Ph.D., Professor

    John B. Haviland, Ph.D., Professor

    Haviland is an anthropological linguist, with interests in the social life of language. His major research has been on Tzotzil (Mayan) in highland Chiapas.
  • Janis H. Jenkins, Ph.D., Professor

    Janis H. Jenkins, Ph.D., Professor

    Jenkins is an expert on psychological and medical anthropology, mental health, and Mexican and Central American migrants.
  • Amy Non, Ph.D., MPH Assistant Professor

    Amy Non, Ph.D., MPH Assistant Professor

    Amy Non's interests are in the genetic and sociocultural contributors to racial and social inequalities in health. Currently, she is investigating how social experiences can become biologically embedded early in life to affect health throughout the life course. 
  • David Pedersen, Ph.D., Associate Professor

    David Pedersen, Ph.D., Associate Professor

    David Pedersen is an expert on relations between El Salvador and the United States, particularly the recent decades of Salvadoran migration.
  • Nancy Grey Postero, Ph.D., Associate Professor

    Nancy Grey Postero, Ph.D., Associate Professor

    Postero is an expert on political economy, multiculturalism, citizenship, identity, indigenous politics, development, and non-governmental organizations.

Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry

  • Mario J. Molina, Ph.D., Professor

    Mario J. Molina, Ph.D., Professor

    Molina is the 1995 Nobel Prize winner in Chemistry for his research on the threat to the ozone layer. His current research involves assessing and mitigating the air pollution problems of rapidly growing cities around the world.

Department of Cognitive Science

  • Rafael Núñez, Ph.D., Professor

    Rafael Núñez, Ph.D., Professor

    Rafael Núñez is an expert in how the human mind creates abstraction. His particular interest is in high-level cognitive phenomena.

Department of Communication

Department of Economics

Department of Education Studies

  • Luz Chung, M.A. and Ed.D., Lecturer/Supervisor Secondary World Languages

    Luz Chung, M.A. and Ed.D., Lecturer/Supervisor Secondary World Languages

    Dr. Chung’s areas of interest are critical pedagogy, multicultural and multilingual education, and service-learning.
  • Shana Cohen, Ph.D., Assistant Professor

    Shana Cohen, Ph.D., Assistant Professor

    Dr. Cohen's research examines Mexican heritage families’ beliefs and experiences with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). She is particularly interested in how parents’ beliefs about ASD causes, symptoms, and treatments shape parents’ educational decisions, childrearing goals, and parenting practices. She utilizes a sociocultural framework informed by the literature on cultural models of education and child socialization from typically developing Mexican immigrant families to inform her work.  
  • Frances Contreras, Ph.D., Associate Professor

    Frances Contreras, Ph.D., Associate Professor

    Dr.Contreras’ most recent books include: Achieving Equity for Latino Students, Expanding the Pathway to Higher Education through Public Policy and The Latino Education Crisis with P. Gandara. Her current book, Cultivating Latino Students in STEM examines the promising approaches of campus programs as well as individual agency among Latinx high achievers in college to succeed in STEM pathways.
  • Alison Wishard Guerra, Ph.D., Associate Professor

    Alison Wishard Guerra, Ph.D., Associate Professor

    Dr. Wishard Guerra’s research focuses on culture and development in early childhood, with particular focus on social and language development among Latino children from low-income families. Her research looks specifically at how social relationships and interactions may serve as protective factors for later cognitive development among at-risk children. She studies within group variations related to immigration and acculturation experiences and their associations to children's developmental outcomes. 

Department of Ethnic Studies

  • Kirstie Dorr, Ph.D, Assistant Professor

    Kirstie Dorr, Ph.D, Assistant Professor

    Dorr is an expert on critical race, gender and transnational cultural studies.
  • Ross Frank, Ph.D., Associate Professor

    Ross Frank, Ph.D., Associate Professor

    Frank is an expert on northern Mexico during the colonial and early national period, and on Native American history and culture.
  • Jillian Hernandez, Ph.D., Assistant Professor

    Jillian Hernandez, Ph.D., Assistant Professor

    Dr. Hernandez's research investigates questions regarding processes of racialization, sexualities, embodiment, girlhood, and the politics of cultural production ranging from underground and mainstream hip hop to visual and performance art.
  • Daphne Taylor-García Ph.D., Assistant Professor

    Daphne Taylor-García Ph.D., Assistant Professor

    Daphne V. Taylor-García’s research interests are colonialisms in the Americas; the coloniality of gender, sexuality and being; the visual economies of the casta system and plantation slavery; and contemporary decolonial analysis and politics.

Department of History

  • Luis Alvarez, Ph.D., Associate Professor

    Luis Alvarez, Ph.D., Associate Professor

    Dr. Alvarez's research and teaching interests include relational race and ethnicity, popular culture, and social movements in the history of Chicanas/os, Latinas/os, African Americans, and the U.S.-Mexico Borderlands. His current projects include, From Civil Rights to Global Justice: Popular Culture and the Politics of the Possible, an investigation of race, pop culture, and social movements in the Americas since World War II, and Latino Soldiering: Ethnic Politics and Military Service in World War II, which explores the multiracial, gender, and transnational politics of Mexican American and Afro Latino soldiers from boot camp to combat to post war life.
  • Jessica Graham, Ph.D., Assistant Professor

    Jessica Graham, Ph.D., Assistant Professor

    Graham spent two months in Brazil, where her experiences with Afro-Brazilian academics and activists led to an interest in Brazilian history.  Her current book manuscript, Shifting the Meaning of Democracy: Racial Inclusion as a Strategy of the U.S. and Brazilian States, 1930-45, assesses Brazil and the United States during the Great Depression and World War II.  
  • David G. Gutiérrez, Ph.D., Professor

    David G. Gutiérrez, Ph.D., Professor

    Gutiérrez is an expert on Chicano history, the history of the American Southwest, comparative ethnic studies, and immigration.
  • Christine Hunefeldt, Ph.D., Professor

    Christine Hunefeldt, Ph.D., Professor

    Hunefeldt's research interests include economic and social history of the Andean region, slavery and abolition, and women and family history.
  • Natalia M. Molina, Ph.D.,  Professor

    Natalia M. Molina, Ph.D., Professor

    Associate Vice Chancellor for Faculty Diversity and Equity, Vice Chancellor Office, Equity, Diversity and Inclusion

    Molina is an expert on comparative ethnicities, Latina/o history, and public health attitudes toward immigrants.

  • Dana Velasco Murillo, Ph.D, Associate Professor

    Dana Velasco Murillo, Ph.D, Associate Professor

    Velasco Murillo's research interests center on the intersections of colonialism with ethnicity, gender, identity formation, and urbanism in early Latin America.
  • Pamela Radcliff, Ph.D., Professor

    Pamela Radcliff, Ph.D., Professor

    Radcliff's research interests include Spanish politics, culture, and Labor Reform in the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries.
  • Daniel Widener, Ph.D., Associate Professor

    Daniel Widener, Ph.D., Associate Professor

    Widener is an expert on African-American and California history.
  • Matthew Vitz

    Matthew Vitz

    Professor Vitz’s research spans the urban and environmental history of Mexico and Latin America, energy history, the ecological and social impacts of beachfront tourism in twentieth-century Mexico, and food history. He is particularly drawn to questions of environmental justice, the way power is anchored in the material environment, urban metabolisms, and the dialectical relationships between cities and their national and transnational hinterlands

School of Global Policy and Strategy (GPS)

  • Peter Cowhey, Ph.D., Professor
  • Richard Feinberg, Ph.D., Professor

    Richard Feinberg, Ph.D., Professor

    Research Fields: Cuba, Latin America, U.S. foreign policy, multilateral institutions, trade and investment, globalization, democratization, non-governmental organizations

  • Stephan Haggard, Ph.D., Professor

    Stephan Haggard, Ph.D., Professor

    Professor Haggard's research interests center on the international relations and comparative political economy of East Asia and Latin America.

  • Gordon Hanson, Ph.D., Professor

    Gordon Hanson, Ph.D., Professor

    Professor Hanson is an authority on foreign investment, the economics of immigration, and international trade.

  • Sandra L. Pedregal, M.A., Lecturer

    Ms. Pedregal teaches content-oriented, Spanish language courses at advanced levels. Past course themes have included technology and science; international politics and economics; business and maquiladoras; and, environmental policy.

Department of Linguistics

Department of Literature

  • John Blanco, Ph.D., Associate Professor

    John Blanco, Ph.D., Associate Professor

    Blanco is an expert on Filipino Literature, 19th century Latin American and Caribbean Literature, and Anti-Colonial Thought.

  • Robert Cancel, Ph.D., Associate Professor

    Robert Cancel, Ph.D., Associate Professor

    Cancel is an expert on Caribbean and African literature and Third World Studies.

  • Gloria Chacon, Ph.D., Assistant Professor

    Gloria Chacon, Ph.D., Assistant Professor

    Chacon's interests lay in Indigenous literatures of the Americas; Chican/Latin literary and cultural movements; Central American poetics and politics; US Central Americans; Latin American literary and cultural theories.

  • Stephanie Jed, Ph.D., Professor

    Johnson research includes 19th and 20th century literature of the Spanish Caribbean literature, popular culture in the Caribbean.
  • Sara Johnson, Ph.D., Assistant Professor

    Sara Johnson, Ph.D., Assistant Professor

    Kokotovic is a specialist in Central American and Andean Literatures as well as Latin American(ist) cultural theory and political economy.
  • Misha Kokotovic, Ph.D., Associate Professor

    Misha Kokotovic, Ph.D., Associate Professor

    Mariscal is an expert on Latinos in the U.S. military (past and present) and Chicano history with a focus on the Chicano Movement of the 1960s.
  • Jorge Mariscal, Ph.D., Professor

    Jorge Mariscal, Ph.D., Professor

    Luis Martin-Cabrera is an expert on Peninsular and Latin American Literature and Culture (Transatlantic Studies).
  • Luis Martín-Cabrera, Ph.D.,Associate Professor

    Luis Martín-Cabrera, Ph.D.,Associate Professor

    Professor Martin-Cabrera is interested in Marxism and Psychoanalysis as a theoretical matrix to address a series of problems such as the politics of memory in Spain and Latin America, the convoluted relationship between market, culture and State, the privatization of the public university, the critique of Neo-liberalism in Latin America and the development of intersectional analysis (the asymmetrical relationship between race, gender, class, and sexuality) as a tool to rethink labor history, neo-colonialism, migration and the global and national struggles against the expansion of capitalism.
  • Jacobo Myerston Santana, Ph.D. Assistant Professor

    Jacobo Myerston Santana, Ph.D. Assistant Professor

    Dr. Myerston is interested in questions related to literary globalization in the ancient world, and his research addresses the relationship between literatures and hermeneutics of Ancient Greece and Mesopotamia. He is also interested in the reception of Ancient Mediterranean literature by Latin American writers and the digital humanities.
  • Max Parra, Ph.D., Associate Professor

    Max Parra, Ph.D., Associate Professor

    Parra's research interests include Latin American Literature, Mexican literature, Caribbean literature, and Indigenismo Narrative.

  • Beatrice M. Pita, Ph.D., Lecturer

    Pita's research interests include women's fiction, California narratives, and Latin American short stories.

  • Rosaura Sánchez, Ph.D., Professor

    Sanchez research interests include Chicana literature, gender studies, and Marxist theory.

  • Shelley S. Streeby, Ph.D., Professor

    Shelley S. Streeby, Ph.D., Professor

    Streeby works in the interdisciplinary fields of American Studies and Ethnic Studies, with a specialization in U.S. literary, cultural, and historical studies through the early 20th century. Her teaching and research interests include 19th and 20th century U.S. Literature and Culture; Chicana/o and Latina/o Studies; The Cultures of Sentiment and Sensation; Comparative Colonialisms, War, and Cultural Memory; Gender Studies and Queer Theory; Film, Media, and Visual Culture; Transnational Literatures and Movements; and Fantasy, SF, and Speculative Fiction.  In 2006, she received the Chancellor’s Associates Award for Excellence in Graduate Teaching. She is Associate Editor of American Quarterly: The Journal of American Studies Association and serves on the editorial board of Literature Compass. 
  • Winifred Woodhull, Ph.D., Associate Professor

    Woodhull is an expert on literatures of France, Africa, and the Caribbean, critical gender studies and postcolonial studies.

School of Medicine

Department of Political Science

  • Marisa Abrajano, Ph.D., Professor

    Marisa Abrajano, Ph.D., Professor

    Abrajano is an expert on campaigns and elections, political behavior, Latino politics, and race and politics in the United States.

  • Scott Desposato, Ph.D., Associate Professor

    Scott Desposato, Ph.D., Associate Professor

    Scott Deposato is an expert on area comparative politics, especially political parties, legislatures, and elections.

  • David R. Mares, Ph.D., Professor

    David R. Mares, Ph.D., Professor

    Mares' research interests include international security, international political economy and Latin American civil-military relations.

  • Simeon Nichter, Ph.D., Assistant Professor

    Simeon Nichter, Ph.D., Assistant Professor

    His research explores the political voice of poor and marginalized populations in emerging democracies, with central reference to Latin America.  He examines how politicians offer material benefits to the poor in exchange for political support, and investigates how individuals' vote choices affect subsequent access to services.  Nichter has published articles in the American Political Science ReviewComparative Political StudiesReview of Economics and Statistics, and World Development.  
  • Sebastian M. Saiegh, Ph.D., Associate Professor

    Saiegh's research focuses on comparative politics, political economy and institutions.

  • Tom K. Wong

    Tom K. Wong

    His research focuses on the politics of immigration, citizenship, and migrant "illegality." As these issues have far-reaching implications, his work also explores the links between immigration, race and ethnicity, and the politics of identity. 

Department of Sociology

Department of Urban Studies and Planning

Department of Visual Arts

Latin American Studies Librarian

  • Sarah Buck Kachaluba

    Sarah Buck Kachaluba

    Sarah’s historical research focuses on 20th-century women’s history, gender roles, and population and reproductive politics in 20th-century Latin America (especially Mexico) and her library research examines the advantages and disadvantages offered by digital vs. print resources, the development of the e-book, and the future of the book in Spain and Latin America.

    Her book, Eugenia: A Fictional Sketch of Future Customs (the critical edition of a novel by Eduardo Urzaiz, translated and edited with Aaron Dziubinskyj) is forthcoming with the University of Wisconsin Press.

    http://uwpress.wisc.edu/books/5365.htm

    sbuckkachaluba@ucsd.edu

    Tel: 858-534-1270 

    http://libraries.ucsd.edu/

Professor Emeritus

  • Robert R. Alvarez, Ph.D. - Emeritus

    Alvarez is an expert on national and regional identity in the U.S.-Mexico Borderlands.
  • Jaime Concha, Ph.D., Professor - Emerti

    Concha is a specialist in 19th Century Latin American intellectual history and Latin American Poetry.
  • Paul Drake, Ph.D. Professor of  – Emeritus

    Paul Drake, Ph.D. Professor of – Emeritus

    Drake is a distinguished professor and emeritus in Political Science. Drake specializes in Chilean politics and, more generally, Latin American political economy.
  • Louis J. Hock, M.F.A., Professor Emeritus

    Hock's research interests include film and video making and public art.
  • Michael Monteón, Ph.D., Professor of History - Emeritus

    Monteón is an expert on Latin America's political economy, who has written on Chile, Mexico, Argentina, Latin American labor and the region's debt crises.
  • David R. Ringrose, Ph.D. Professor of History - Emeritus

    Ringrose is an expert on early modern Europe, with an emphasis on the economic history of Europe and the history of Spain.
  • Peter H. Smith

    Peter H. Smith

    Peter H. Smith, Ph.D., Professor Emeritus of Political Science

    Books include Talons of the Eagle: Latin America, the United States, and the World (4th edition, 2011), Democracy in Latin America: Political Change in Comparative Perspective (2nd edition, 2012), and Modern Latin America (coauthored, 8th edition, 2014), all published by Oxford University Press.  His works have been translated into Spanish, Portuguese, Korean, and Chinese.  He has also written numerous articles and book chapters, many intended for the general public, and for several years he hosted a UCSD-TV talk show about Latin America and its relationship with the United States.  

  • Carlos Waisman, Ph.D., Professor of Sociology - Emeritus

    Carlos Waisman, Ph.D., Professor of Sociology - Emeritus

    Waisman is an expert on democratization and the economic and political institutions of the southern cone particularly Argentina.
  • Ana Celia Zentella, Ph.D. - Emeritus

    Ana Celia Zentella, Ph.D. - Emeritus

    Zentella is one of the foremost researchers in “anthro-political linguistics”; other research interest include bilingualism, child language specialization, Latino Spanish and English Dialect.