The Ph.D Program: Latin American History

Emory's highly competitive Ph.D. in Latin American History provides students with an individually tailored graduate experience. The University's active Program in Latin American and Caribbean Studies, which includes over fifty graduate students in varied courses of study, complements graduate offerings in History, and encourages interdisciplinary approaches to research and teaching. Areas of topical strength in the program include questions of national identity and immigration for the national period and the interface of indigenous peoples with imperial institutions during the colonial period. The area of Latin American History is especially strong in the histories of Brazil and Mexico and in approaches including social and cultural history.

Core faculty from the History Department include Dr. Thomas Rogers, whose area of specialization brings together labor and environmental history in modern Brazil as well as the experiences of Latin Americans of African descent; Dr. Yanna Yannakakis, a specialist in colonial and early republican Mexico whose work focuses on ethnohistory, law, and inter-ethnic politics; Dr. Jeffrey Lesser, who studies modern Brazil with a focus on issues of ethnicity, race, public health, and national identity; and Dr. Adriana Chira, who works on ideologies of race, property, and law in the nineteenth-century Spanish Atlantic. Other historians at Emory active in mentoring History doctoral students include Dr. Javier Villa-Flores, a scholar of religion, culture, and daily life in colonial Mexico; Dr. Karen Stolley, who studies colonial Spanish American literary and cultural studies; and Dr. Pablo Palomino, a transnational cultural historian of Latin America.

The History Ph.D. program provides students with rigorous training in their fields of specialization while encouraging comparative study. Students entering the program in Latin American History will take the required “Topics in Latin American History” seminar in both their first and third semesters as they prepare for fields in the modern and colonial periods (as well as a third thematic field of their own design). As noted on the PhD Requirements page, these fields are presented as part of the Comprehensive Portfolio. The faculty is particularly committed to student professionalization and Ph.D. candidates are encouraged to learn about fellowship writing, pedagogy, and comparative approaches in complementary fields and disciplines including anthropology and literature. Students have a wide range of course opportunities in areas like race and ethnicity, gender, law, political culture, religion, and Atlantic World studies. Graduate students in Latin American History in the last few years have won Fulbright, Fulbright-Hays, and Social Science Research Council grants, and our Ph.D.’s are in tenure track positions across the United States and Latin America.

Current Latin Americanist Graduate Students and their Topics

Recent Graduate Students

Graduation Year PhD Recipient Dissertation Title Current Position
2022 Hannah R. Abrahamson "Women of the Encomienda: Households and Dependents in Sixteenth-Century Yucatan, Mexico" Assistant Professor, College of the Holy Cross
2022 Alexander M. Cors "Newcomers and New Borders: Migration, Settlement, and Conflict over Land along the Mississippi River, 1750-1820" Senior Program Coordinator, Emory University
2021 Rachel Lora Lambrecht "Encountering Sovereignties: Popular Politics and State-Building in the Río de la Plata (1810-1820)" IBDP History and Theory of Knowledge Teacher & Social Studies Team Leader, Asociación Escuelas Lincoln
2019 Jonathan Earl Coulis "Marching Rows of Coffee: The Pursuit of Modern Agriculture in Brazil, 1950–1990" Oral History Coordinator, Emory University
2019 María de los Ángeles Picone "Landscaping Patagonia: A Spatial History of Nation-making in the Northern Patagonian Andes, 1895-1945" Assistant Professor, Boston College
2018 Andrew G. Britt "'I’ll Samba Someplace Else': Constructing Identity and Neighborhood in São Paulo, 1930s-1980s"

Assistant Professor, University of North Carolina School of the Arts

2018 Christopher David Brown "Envisioning a City through Soccer in the Brazilian Amazon: Manaus, 1896–2016" InGenius Prep
2016 Juan Andrés Camou Viacava "The Schoolchildren Will Come to Salute the Sun: The Making of Uruguay's Public Education System, 1830s" SIS Swiss International School, Ingolstadt
2016 Benjamin J. Nobbs-Thiessen "The Cultivated State, Migrants and the Transformation of the Bolivian Lowlands, 1952-2000" Assistant Professor, The University of Winnipeg
2016 Ariel Svarch "Four Jews, Five Identities: Representation, Popular Culture, and Language Politics in the Making of Jewish-Argentines (Buenos Aires, 1920-1950)" Assistant Professor, Pontificia Universidad Javeriana

Glen Goodman

"From 'German Danger' to German-Brazilian President: Immigration, Ethnicity, and the Making of Brazilian Identities, 1924-1974" Humanities Practice Manager and Clinical Assistant Professor, Arizona State University
2015 Jennifer L. Schaefer

"Rebels, Martyrs, Heroes: Authoritarianism and Youth Culture in Argentina, 1966-1983"

Visiting Assistant Professor, Carleton College

2014 Alicia Monroe "Brotherhoods of their Own: Black Confraternities and Civic Leadership in São Paulo, Brazil, 1850-1955" Teaching Assistant Professor, University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill
2014 Lena Suk "Becoming Modern at the Movies: Gender, Class, and Urban Space in Twentieth-Century Brazil"

Program Administrator, Texas Global, University of Texas-Austin

2014 Jorge Troisi- Melean "Uncomfortable Partners: The Franciscans of Cordoba, 1767-1829" Universidad Nacional de La Plata
2013 Leonardo Marques "The United States and the Transatlantic Slave Trade to the Americas, 1776-1867" Universidade Federal Fluminense
2011 Alex Borucki "From Shipmates to Soldiers: Emerging Black Identities in Montevideo, 1770-1850" Department of History, University of California, Irvine
2011 Agnieszka Czeblakow "A Prison by Any Other Name: Incarceration in Seventeenth- and Eighteenth-Century Audiencia de Quito" Special Collections Library, University of Texas at San Antonio
2011 Cari Williams Maes "Progeny of Progress: Child-Centered Policymaking and National Identity Construction in Brazil, 1922-1954" Oregon State University
2011 Uri Rosenheck "Fighting for Home Abroad: Remembrance and Oblivion of World War II in Brazil" Tel Aviv University
2009 Rafael Rossotto Ioris "'Fifty years in Five' and the Meanings of National Development in 1950s Brazil" Department of History, University of Denver
2009 Fabricio Prado "In the Shadows of Empires: Trans-Imperial Networks and Colonial Identity in Bourbon Rio de la Plata (c. 1750-1813)" Department of History, William & Mary
2008 Mollie Nouwen Lewis "Con Men, Crooks, and Cinema Kings: Popular Culture and Jewish Identities in Buenos Aires, 1905-1930" Pacific Northwest College of Art
2008 Cathy Marie Ouellette "Two Times Brazilian: Rio Grande do Sul and the Making of the Nation, 1891-1930" Department of History, Muhlenberg College
2005 Viviana L. Grieco "Politics and Public Credit: The Limits of Abslutism in Late Colonial Buenos Aires" Department of History, University of Missouri, Kansas City
2004 Michael Perri "The Spanish Conquest of the Pearl Coast and the Search for the Province of the Meta" Department of History, Texas A & M University, Texarkana
2003 Frank Trey Proctor "Slavery, Identity, and Culture: An Afro-Mexican Counterpoint, 1640-1763" Department of History, Denison University
2002 Maria N. Marsilli "God & Evil in the Gardens of the Andean South: Mid-Colonial Rural Religion in the Diocese of Arequipa " Department of History, John Carroll University
2001 Ondina Gonzalez "The Innocents: Children of Colonial Spanish America with a Case Study of Eighteenth-Century Havana " Agnes Scott College
2000 Jason Lemon "The Encomienda in Early New Spain" University of San Diego