Latin America


Latin American history has become a strong focus of doctoral study at Georgetown. Following the emphases of our core faculty most students in the field work on the Andes, Brazil, and Mexico from the eighteenth century to the present. Still, others have studied Cuba, the Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Argentina, and Chile with good success. Thematically, our interests are broad: political economy and popular movements; indigenous peoples and agrarian communities; capitalism, globalization, and urbanization; environment, commodities, and labor; gender, ethnicity, and culture; music and sports. Our aim is to integrate diverse concerns and perspectives, seeking more comprehensive understandings of Latin American communities, regions, and nations in global context.

Many students pursuing trans-regional studies or focusing on other world areas join in the Latin American field. Notably, those studying migration, labor, and politics in the U.S. and others exploring U.S. strategic and economic expansions include work on Latin America. Others emphasizing questions of environment, gender relations, and popular movement in regions from Europe and the Islamic World through East Asia have found key comparative perspectives in the history of Latin America Our program aims to merge local depth with global perspectives to find new understandings of Latin America in the world.

Our faculty resources are deep and diverse. Erick Langer works primarily in indigenous peoples and national development in Bolivia and the Andes since the late eighteenth century, while his studies and interests extend across Spanish South America and into Brazil. Bryan McCann focuses on twentieth-century Brazil—and twentieth-century Latin America more broadly—first emphasizing politics and popular culture, especially music, and recently turning urban challenges and popular social movements. John Tutino has engaged New Spain and Mexico in the context of North America and the world from colonial times to the present. Long focused on rural communities and agrarian resistance, he turned to the global silver economy and the rise of capitalist ways and patriarchal social relations in urban and rural New Spain. He continues to study popular risings in the era of independence while beginning to explore the accelerating urbanization of late twentieth century Mexico.

Additional Georgetown History faculty contribute important perspectives on Latin America: The Americas remain a key part of John McNeill’s global environmental studies; Alison Games’ Atlantic and global studies of early modern history include North America and the Caribbean; Adam Rothman’s work on slavery in Louisiana began with Spanish New Orleans; his current focus on the nineteenth-century city includes links with Havana. David Painter’s work on U.S. international history, emphasizing oil and energy, brings him and many of his students to Latin America. Katherine Benton-Cohen’s history of the Arizona borderlands explores settlement, labor, and gender relations in a region originally Mexican as it became part of a racially polarized United States.

Our faculty resources extend beyond history to Anthropology, Government, Sociology, Spanish and Portuguese, and other disciplines. We work together through the Center for Latin America Studies in the interdisciplinary programs of the Americas Initiative. The presence in Washington of the unparalleled collections of the Library of Congress, the National Archives, and diverse other repositories, creates exceptional research opportunities.

Core Faculty

For a list of Faculty in this Field of Study, click here

For a list of PhD Candidates in this Field of Study, click here

Participating Faculty

GAMES, Alison

Recent Doctoral Graduates

Theresa Alfaro-Velcamp, Professor of History, Sonoma State University.
Velcamp book Education: BA Cal-Poly San Luis Obispo; MSc, London School of Economics; MA, Latin America Studies, Georgetown; Ph.D. 2002 Georgetown.

So Far From Allah, So Close to Mexico
University of Texas Press, 2009



Gillian McGillivray, Assoc. Prof., History Dept., Glendon College, York University
Education:  BA, Dalhousie University; MA, Latin American Studies, Georgetown; Ph.D. 2002 Georgetown.

McGillivray book

Blazing Cane: Sugar Communities, Class and State Formation in Cuba, 1868 to 1959,
Duke University Press, 2009




Waskar Ari-Chachaki, Assoc. Prof. History and Ethnic Studies, University of Nebraska, Lincoln
Education:  BA, MA, Universidad de San Andres, Bolivia; Ph.D. 2005 Georgetown.  Dissertation Title: "Race and Subaltern Nationalism: The AMP Activist-Intellectuals in Bolivia, 1921-1964"

Ari book

Earth Politics: Coloniality, Religion, and Bolivia's AMP Indigenous Intellectuals, 1921-1971
Duke University Press, 2014




Luis Fernando Granados, Asst. Prof., Universidad Iberoamericana
Education:  Licenciatura, UNAM; Ph.D. 2009 Georgetown.
Dissertation: “Cosmopolitan Indians and Mesoamerican Barrios in Bourbon Mexico City”



Sueñas las piedras, Ediciones Era S.A. de C.V., 2003



En el espejo haitiano: Los indios del Bajío y el colapso del orden colonial en América Latina México: Ediciones Era, March 2016.




Okezi Otovo, Asst. Prof. History and African and African Diaspora Studies, Florida International University
BA, Carnegie-Mellon; MA, Latin American Studies, Georgetown. Ph.D. 2009 Georgetown.
Dissertation: “To Form a Strong and Populous Nation: Race, Motherhood, and the State in Republican Brazil”

Progressive Mothers/Better Babies: Race, Public Health, and the State in Brazil, 1850-1945, Austin, TX: University of Texas Press, 2016.



Javier Puente, Asst. Prof., Instituto de Historia, Pontifica Universidad Católica de Chile
BA Catholic University of Peru, 2006, MA Georgetown University, 2010; Ph.D. 2014, Georgetown.
Dissertation: "Closer Apart: Indigenous and Peasant Communities and the State in Capitalist Peru, 1900-1990"

Larisa Veloz, Asst. Prof. of History, University of Texas, El Paso
BA, University of California, Davis; MA in Latin American and Iberian Studies from the University of California, Santa Barbara, Ph.D. 2015 Georgetown.
Dissertation, “Family Migration and Community Transformation in Post-Revolutionary Mexico.”

April Yoder, Asst. Prof. of Latin American Studies, University of New Haven
BA in English and Spanish from the University of Indianapolis; MA in Latin American Studies from the University of Arizona, Ph.D. 2014, Georgetown University
Dissertation: " Pitching Democracy: Baseball and Politics in the Dominican Republic, 1955–1978"

Fernando Perez Montesinos, Asst. Prof. of History, University of California at Los Angeles
Ph.D. 2015, Georgetown University
Dissertation:  "Poised to Break Liberalism, Land Reform, and Communities in the Purépecha Highlands of Michoacán, Mexico, 1868-1913"

Current Doctoral Students

Daniel Cano, BA Pontificia Universidad Catolica de Chile, MA Latin American History. Pontificia Universidad Catolica de Chile; Entered GU PhD program Fall 2012, Pre-Comps concentrations: Major Field: Latin American History, Research Field: Indigenous History 19th and 20th Century

Adrienne Kates, BA University of Virginia, history and art history, 2008; MA University of Chicago, interdisciplinary, 2010; entered GU PhD program fall 2011; pre-comps research interest in 19th and early 20th century history of the Yucatan peninsula, with particular interest in the legacy of the Caste War

Geraldine Davies Lenoble, BA, History, Universidad Torcuato Di Tella, Argentina; Master in Social Science and Humanities, Universidad Nacional de Quilmes, Argentina; MA, History, Georgetown University; entered GU PhD program fall 2009, Dissertation working title: "Indian Confederations and Nation-State Formation in the Pampas: War, Diplomacy, Trade, and Kinship Ties between 1852 and 1880"

For information regarding graduate studies in Latin American History at Georgetown, please contact Professor John Tutino (faculty representative to the Graduate Studies Committee). In addition, we encourage you to contact current graduate students for their perspectives on the program; they will also be glad to answer any questions you may have.  Hillar Schwertner, a doctoral student in Latin American history, has agreed to serve as contact.