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Steering Committee

CLACX’s steering committee composition reflects our faculty base. Our hybrid model consists of seven elected or appointed positions that rotate on a staggered two-year term. Representatives from core departments will be elected: Spanish and Portuguese (odd years), History (odd years), Political Science (even years), Anthropology (even years). Representatives from the professional schools and other departments will be appointed: Peabody/Law/Business (odd years), Medicine/IGH/VSN (even years) and Other (even years). This composition was proposed to the Steering Committee May 2010 and enacted in August 2010.


Candice Amich, English (email)

Candice Amich joined Vanderbilt’s English faculty as an Assistant Professor in 2014. Her research and teaching interests include transnational American literatures, performance studies, gender studies, and Latino/a studies. She is the author of Precarious Forms: Performing Utopia in the Neoliberal Americas (Northwestern University Press, forthcoming spring 2020), in which she argues that utopian longing in the Americas paradoxically arises from the material conditions of socioeconomic crisis. In her analysis of poems, body art, and multimedia installations that illuminate the persistence of a radical utopian imaginary in the Americas, Amich engages critical debates in performance studies, Latin American cultural studies, literature, and art history. View faculty page


Lesley Gill, Anthropology (email)

Lesley Gill is a Professor of Cultural Anthropology, political violence, human rights, global economic restructuring, the state, and transformations in class, gender, and ethnic relations in Bolivia, Columbia, and elsewhere in Latin America. She is interested in how free-market reforms and political violence have generated new, and aggravated old forms of inequality and reshaped the nature of collective action. View faculty page


Jon Hiskey, Political Science (email)

Jonathan Hiskey is Professor of Political Science at Vanderbilt University with a courtesy appointment in the Department of Sociology. His research focuses on the role local politics play in the formation of democratic citizenries across the emerging democracies of Latin America. His recent book (co-authored with M. Moseley), Life in the Political Machine (Oxford University Press 2020), explores the ways in which subnational “dominant-party enclaves” in Mexico and Argentina shape the political attitudes and behaviors of their citizens. A concurrent line of research concerns the political implications of migration for sending communities across Latin America, analyzing the political lives of those individuals with connections to a migrant network and the role they play in community politics. View faculty page


Felipe Barrera-Osorio, Peabody (email) 

Felipe Barrera-Osorio is an Associate Professor of Public Policy, Education and Economics in the Department of Leadership, Policy, and Organizations. The main objective of Barrera-Osorio’s research is to study the effects of educational policies in developing countries. This agenda intersects development economics and the economics of education. He is part of a new generation of development economists who aim to test the effects of different school- and system-wide education policies. The premise of this evidence-based agenda is to formulate clear hypotheses about why a policy may work, create an intervention that can test the idea, measure and evaluate the impacts of the intervention, and, if successful, scale up the intervention. View faculty page


Shelza Rivas, Nursing (email)

Shelza Rivas is a board-certified women’s health nurse practitioner and adult-gerontology primary care nurse practitioner. Her special interests include providing healthcare access and patient education to underserved Latino populations. Her volunteer activities include providing education on breast and cervical cancer screenings within diverse communities in Nashville. Her current practice site is at Vanderbilt Nurse-Midwives and Primary Care at Melrose where she provides women’s health and primary care services to female patients across the lifespan. View faculty page


Eddie Wright-Rios, History (email)

Edward Wright-Rios is a cultural historian specializing in modern Mexico. He is currently a Guggenheim Fellow (2018-2019), and thus on sabbatical, researching and writing a book on pilgrimage in southern Mexico – Devotion in Motion: Pilgrimage in Modern Mexico. The project is simultaneously a historical, visual, and digital analysis of a cultural phenomenon that has proven extraordinarily resilient and remarkably dynamic over the centuries. In particular, he focuses on the last 60 to 70 years as technological changes, social media, and transportation improvements fueled the expansion of pilgrimage. View faculty page