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Graduate Studies at Vanderbilt - Latin American and Caribbean History

Updated October 9, 2018

Vanderbilt University has one of the oldest programs in Latin American studies in the United States. Our doctoral program focuses on developing scholars and teachers with both a broad knowledge of Latin American and Caribbean history and intensive training in research and writing in their specialty. Doctoral students normally do four semesters of classes, then take their general exams at the end of their fourth semester or the beginning of their fifth semester. Working closely with our seven historians of Latin America and the Caribbean, students develop a dissertation topic and prospectus during their fifth semester.

From their first semester, we encourage our doctoral students to become actively engaged in the profession through field research, networking, publishing, collaborative projects, and grant applications. Our students have presented their research at numerous national and international conferences including the American Historical Association, Conference on Latin American History, Latin American Studies Association, Brazilian Studies Association, Association of Caribbean Historians, and the Southern Historical Association. Over the last decade our students have won many prestigious internal and external research awards (ACLS, Mellon, Boren, SSRC, and Fulbright).

Since 1989, thirty-three students have entered our doctoral program. Nineteen have completed their dissertations, and ten students are currently in the program. The average time to completion of dissertation has been 6 years. Close individual supervision of our students has been key to the timely and successful progress of our students.

Vanderbilt University has a distinguished tradition in Latin American and Caribbean history beginning with the hiring of Alexander Marchant (and four other Brazil specialists) and the creation of an Institute of Brazilian Studies in 1947. Among other noted historians of Latin America who have taught at Vanderbilt are Simon Collier, Robert Gilmore, J. León Helguera, and Barbara Weinstein.

Current faculty include: Richard Blackett (emeritus,19th-century British Caribbean), Celso Castilho (19th-century Brazil), Marshall Eakin (19th/20th-century Brazil), James Epstein (emeritus,19th-century Caribbean), Jane Landers (Iberian Atlantic world); Tiffany Patterson (20th Century Caribbean), Frank Robinson (20th-century Panama), Edward Wright-Rios (19th/20th-century Mexico).

Current Graduate Students – link on their name for more information

Paula Andrade, 2nd year, Brazil, 19th/20th centuries
Fernanda Bretones Lane
, 6th year, Caribbean, 19th century

Jorge Delgadillo, 4th year, Mexico, 17th-18th centuries 
Abraham Liddell, 4th year, Atlantic world,
Tiago Fernandes Maranhão,4th year, Brazil, 20th century
Alexandere Pelegrino, 3rd year, Brazil, Indians, colonial
Viviana Quintero, 2nd year, Colombia, 20th century
Danyelle Valentine, 7th year, British Caribbean 18th/19th centuries

Recent Graduates

Genkins, Daniel (2018) "Entangled Empires: Anglo-Spanish Competition in the Seventeenth Century Caribbean," CLIR/DLF Postdoctoral Fellow in Data Curation for Latin American and Caribbean Studies, John Carter Brown Library, Brown University.


Ingwersen, Lance (2017) "Mexico City in the Age of Theater, 1830-1901," Visiting Assistant Professor of History and Global and Intercultural Studies, Miami University, 2017-18

Schultz, Kara (2016) “An African South Atlantic: La Plata, Brazil, and Angola, 1580-1680,” ACLS Postdoctoral Fellow in the Digital Humanities, Vanderbilt University

Erickson, Miriam Martin (2015) "The Black Auxiliary Troops of King Carlos IV: African Diaspora in the Spanish Atlantic World, 1791-1818," CASPAR Advisor and Senior Lecturer, Vanderbilt University

Kostiw, Nicolette (2015) "Child and Citizen: The Tutelage of Minors, Slavery, and Transition in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, 1871-1900," Assistant Director, Center for Latin American Studies,Vanderbilt University

Campbell, Courtney (2014) "The Brazilian Northeast, Inside Out: Region, Nation, and Globalization (1926-1968)," Lecturer, University of Birmingham (UK)

Sutton, Angela (2014) "Mercantile Culture of the Gold Coast Slave Trade in the Atlantic World, 1621-1720," Postdoctoral Fellowship, 2014-2017

Woodruff, Erin (2014) "Indian Harvest: the Rise of the Indigenous Slave Trade from Española to the circum-Caribbean, 1492-1560," Assistant Professor, University of West Florida, Pensacola

LaFevor, David C. (2011) "Forging the Masculine and Modern Nation: Race, Identity and the Public Sphere in Cuba and Mexico, 1890s – 1930s," Assistant Professor, University of Texas Arlington

Gomez, Pablo (2010) "Bodies of Encounter: Health, Illness and Death in the Early Modern African-Spanish Caribbean," Assistant Professor, University of Wisconsin, Madison

Wheat, David (2009) "The Afro-Portuguese Maritime World and the Foundations of Spanish Caribbean Society, 1570-1640," Associate Professor, Michigan State University

Berger, Eugene (2006) "Permanent War on Peru's Periphery: Frontier Identity and the Politics of Conflict in 17th Century Chile," Associate Professor, Georgia Gwinnett College

Story, Emily (2006) "Constructing Development: Brasília and the Making of Modern Brazil," Assistant Professor, Salisbury University

Robinson, Barry (2005) "The Limits of Loyalty in Colotlán: Subversion, Pardon, and Society in Late Colonial New Spain, 1780-1821," Associate Professor, Queens University of Charlotte, North Carolina

Williford, Tom (2005) "Armando los Espíritus: Political Rhetoric in Colombia on the Eve of La Violencia, 1930-1945," Associate Professor, Southwest Minnesota State University

Breuer, Kim (2004) "Reshaping the Cosmos: Maya Society on the Yucatecan Frontier," Adjunct Assistant Professor, University of Texas, Arlington

Guitar, Lynne (1998) "Cultural Genesis: Relationships among Indians, Africans and Spaniards in Rural Hispaniola, First Half of the Sixteenth Century," Director, Council on International Educational Exchange, Dominican Republic (retired)

King, John (1998) "Cooperation or Conflict?: Relations between Chile and the United States during the 1960s," Director of Social Studies, Ransom Everglades School, Coconut Grove, Florida

Ford, Talisman (1995) "Passion Is in the Eye of the Beholder: Sexuality as Seen by Brazilian Sexologists, 1900-1940," Adjunct Assistant Professor, University of Colorado, Colorado Springs

Corse, Theron (1995) "Projecting Peron: The Constructed Image of Juan Peron, 1945-1949," Associate Professor, Tennessee State University

Related Resources

Center for Latin America Studies
Latin American Collection, Vanderbilt University Library
Program in African American and Diaspora Studies
Department of Anthropology
Department of Spanish & Portuguese