Steering Committee

2017-2018 Steering Committee

CLAS’s steering committee composition reflects our faculty base. Our hybrid model consists of seven elected or appointed positions that rotate on a staggered 2-year term. Representatives from core LAS 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 CLAS Steering Committee May 2010 and enacted in August 2010.

P_SC_celso-castilhoCelso Castilho, History (email)
Celso Thomas Castilho is an Assistant Professor of History at Vanderbilt University, where he was hired initially as a post-doctoral fellow in 2008.  His research and teaching interests align around the themes of performance and citizenship, racial and gender formations, and comparative slavery and abolition. With Professor Jane Landers, he co-directs the Circum-Atlantic Studies Seminar, funded by the Robert Penn Warren Center for the Humanities. View faculty page


Arthur Demarest, Anthropology (email)
Arthur Demarest is leading authority on the ancient Maya civilization and its mysterious collapse as well as ancient religion, the collapse of civilizations, ethics in development, and anthropological theory. His work in archaeology and development and the Vanderbilt regional system of Q’eqchi Maya community-managed archaeological sites and parks have been honored by awards and exhibitions in New York, Scandinavia, Guatemala, and Brazil. View faculty page


Earl Fitz, Spanish and Portuguese (email)
As a Professor of Portuguese, Spanish, and Comparative Literature at Vanderbilt University, Professor Fitz has pioneered the application of comparative methodologies to the study of both Brazilian and Spanish American letters, the use of literature written in Spanish and Portuguese to comparative scholarship, and to the establishment of a new Ph.D. track concentrating on inter-American literary study. Professor Fitz also encourages a comparative approach to the literature of Spain and Portugal and to the development of Comparative Iberian Studies as an emerging field. View faculty page

T.S. Harvey, Anthropology (email)


Carolyn Heinrich, Education, Business, and Law (email)
Carolyn J. Heinrich is a Professor of Public Policy and Education in the Department of Leadership, Policy, and Organizations at the Peabody College and a Professor of Economics in the College of Arts and Sciences. Her research focuses on education, workforce development, social welfare policy, program evaluation, and public management and performance management. She works directly with federal, state and local governments in her research to improve policy design and program effectiveness and also collaborates with nongovernmental organizations (such as the World Bank, UNICEF and others) to improve the impacts of economic and social investments in middle-income and developing countries. View faculty page

PoliSci-hiskeyJon Hiskey, Political Science (email)
Jon Hiskey’s  research interests center on local development processes in Latin America during times of political and economic reform. In particular, much of his research has focused on the development consequences of Latin America’s uneven political and economic transitions over the past thirty years, with a particular interest in Mexico. More recently, Hiskey has carried out research on the political implications of migration for sending communities across Latin America.  He is the author of articles in such journals as the American Journal of Political Science, British Journal of Political Science, Comparative Politics, Electoral Studies and the Latin American Research Review. View faculty page

P_SC_Morgan_DouglasDoug Morgan, School of Medicine (email)
Doug Morgan is an associate professor in the Division of Gastroenterology, Hepatology, and Nutrition. His primary interest is in cancer epidemiology and prevention in Hispanic-Latin populations, with a particular focus on stomach cancer in Central American. globally, gastric cancer is the second leading cause of cancer mortality, and the leading infection-associated cancer. Morgan attended Dartmouth College and received his medical degree from Case Western Reserve University. He completed his postgraduate training in internal medicine and gastroenterology at the University of California, San Francisco, with a master’s degree in public health in epidemiology at the University of California, Berkeley. He is also has received the Ohtli Award on behalf of the UNC Center for Latin Health, where he was director from 2007-2011, for innovations in health care in the service of the North Carolina Hispanic-Latino Population. The Ohtli Award is the highest honor from the government of Mexico. View faculty page

Tiffany Patterson, African American and Diaspora Studies (email)
Professor Tiffany Ruby Patterson is Associate Professor of African American and Diaspora Studies, and History, at Vanderbilt University. Her research specializations include African American and African Diaspora History with emphasis on colonialism and anti-colonial movements, migrations, social history of gender and color, color and class in Afro-American Communities, gender matters in the African Atlantic world, decolonial movements and the moral imaginations of intellectuals in the African Diaspora. View faculty page