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Centre of Latin American Studies


Academic Staff 

Core academic staff at the Centre of Latin American Studies

Prof Gabriela Ramos (History)

Director of the Centre of Latin American Studies

Prof Joanna Page (CLAS/MML) 

currently on secondment as Director of CRASSH

Dr Pedro Mendes Loureiro (CLAS) 

University Associate Professor (On sabbatical Michaelmas 2022 & Lent  2023)

Dr Graham Denyer Willis (CLAS / Development) 

University Associate Professor

Dr Geoffrey Maguire (MMLL)

MPhil & PhD Director

Dr Tamara Wattnem (CLAS) 

University Assistant Professor

Dr Sarah Abel (CLAS) 

British Academy Fellow

Dr Lorna Dillon (CLAS) 

Leverhulme Early Career Fellow 

Other university staff teaching regularly at CLAS

​(also see Associate Staff)

Prof Maite Conde (Spanish & Portuguese) Dr Graham Denyer Willis (Development)
Prof Brad Epps (Spanish & Portuguese) Dr Carlos Fonseca (Trinity College)
Dr Hank Gonzalez (History) Dr Felipe Hernández (CLAS/Architecture)
Prof Geoffrey Kantaris (Spanish & Portuguese) Mr Michael Kuczynski (Pembroke College)
Prof Sian Lazar (Social Anthropology) Dr David Lehmann (Sociology)
Dr Ella McPherson (Sociology) Dr Mónica Moreno Figueroa (Sociology)
Prof Rory O'Bryen (Spanish & Portuguese) Dr Helena Pérez Niño (Development)
Prof Sarah A Radcliffe (Geography) Dr Stephanie Rohner (Spanish & Portuguese)

Affiliated Lecturers

(also see Associate Staff)

In addition to the full-time staff members listed above, CLAS benefits from the teaching provided by part-time lecturers who are formally affiliated to the Department of Politics and International Studies, its ‘parent’ Department.

Dr Grace Livingstone (POLIS) Dr Dana Brablec Sklenar (POLIS)

Gabriela Ramos

Director of the Centre of Latin American Studies; Director of Graduate Studies

Gabriela RamosGabriela Ramos is a University Associate Professor in Latin American History in the Faculty of History, and Fellow at Newnham College. She specializes in the colonial history of the Andes. Her research interests include religion, culture, and politics in colonial and modern Latin America. Her book Death and Conversion in the Andes. Lima and Cuzco 1532-1670 (Notre Dame, IN: University of Notre Dame Press, 2010) won the Howard F. Cline Prize 2011, for its contribution to the history of indigenous peoples in Latin America. She has recently co-edited Indigenous Intellectuals: Knowledge, Power, and Colonial Culture in Mexico and the Andes (Duke University Press, 2014) with Yannis Yannakakis. She teaches the Race and Ethnicity module on the MPhil in Latin American Studies.

Joanna Page

Former Director of the Centre of Latin American Studies (2014-18)

Joanna PageJoanna Page is a Professor of Latin American Studies. Her research interests include literature, film, graphic fiction and visual arts from Latin America, particularly Argentina, Chile, and Brazil. Many of her recent projects focus on the relationship between science and the arts, but she has also worked on questions of memory, modernity, capitalism, posthumanism, new materialism, decoloniality and environmental thought in Latin America. She is the author of Crisis and Capitalism in Contemporary Argentine Cinema (Duke University Press, 2009), Creativity and Science in Contemporary Argentine Literature (University of Calgary Press, 2014) and ​Science Fiction from Argentina: Technologies of the Text in a Material Multiverse (University of Michigan Press, 2016), Posthumanism and the Graphic Novel in Latin America (with Ed King, UCL Press, 2017) and Decolonizing Science in Latin American Art (UCL Press, 2021). She was the Principal Investigator for the AHRC-funded international research network "Science in Text and Culture in Latin America" (2014-16) and two of her recent research projects were funded by the British Academy.

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Pedro Mendes Loureiro

Lecturer at the Centre of Latin American Studies

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Pedro Mendes Loureiro is a University Associate Professor of Latin American Studies at the Centre of Latin American Studies. Primarily a political economist, at the heart of his work is a commitment to interdisciplinarity and pluralism, with interest ranging wide across the social sciences. His research encompasses different aspects of the political economy of Latin America, focusing on inequality, structural change and development strategies. In particular, his recent work has assessed how the strategies of the ‘Pink Tide’ governments – the left-of-centre parties that were in power in Latin America roughly during the 2000s – were capable or not of upgrading the structures of their economies, reducing multidimensional inequality, and launching an inclusive, sustainable process of development. He also works on inequality measurement, complexity economics, heterodox frameworks in economics (Marxist, post-Keynesian, Institutionalist, the Capabilities approach), class analysis, financialisation, state theory, Brazilian economic history, interdisciplinary and pluralist approaches, and mixed methods in the social sciences.

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Tamara Wattnem

University Assistant Professor of Development Studies and Latin American Studies

Tamara Wattnem

Tamara Wattnem is Assistant Professor of Development Studies and Latin American Studies. She is a sociologist and agroecologist by training, specializing in theories of development and economic change, environmental sociology and critical agrarian studies. Broadly, her research focuses on the politics and implications of the deepening of extractivism in Latin America – particularly industrial agriculture, mining, and hydrocarbon extraction. She is currently engaged in two interrelated projects. The first analyzes the distinct trajectories of energy and mining policy throughout Mexico’s neoliberal era, with special attention to the role and reach of resource nationalism. The second project focuses on how and when the International Labor Organization’s Indigenous and Tribal Peoples Convention – more commonly known as the ILO Convention 169 – is used as a tool to both resist and legitimate extractivism. She has also written about global trends in seed legislation that erode farmers’ rights to save and replant seeds.  

Sarah Abel

British Academy Fellow

Sarah Abel

Sarah Abel holds a British Academy Postdoctoral Fellowship at the Centre of Latin American Studies. As a cultural anthropologist with an interdisciplinary background, her research specialises in the dynamics of race and racism in American societies. Sarah's current project focuses on representations of skin colour in art, science and politics in Mexico, and her work is broadly concerned with how scientific technologies (DNA tests, genealogies, photography, colour palettes) have been used to construct and deconstruct relationships between ancestry, identity, and the body. To date, her research has centred particularly on slavery and its legacies in the Atlantic World, and she has conducted fieldwork in the US, Brazil, Iceland, and Cuba. Sarah’s publications cover topics such as DNA ancestry testing, concepts of Blackness in American societies, and the socio-political dimensions of family history research, and she is currently preparing a monograph under the working title Permanent Markers: Race, Ancestry, and the Body after the Genome.

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Lorna Dillon

Leverhulme Early Career Fellow

Lorna Dillon

Lorna Dillon is a Leverhulme Early Career Fellow. Her research focus is Latin American textile art. Her current project explores the link between symbolic representations and human rights through the analysis of transnational art movements and diasporas. Lorna is looking at embroideries, quilts and arpilleras (appliqués) created by artists and art collectives in Colombia, Mexico and Chile.

Lorna's doctoral research was on the embroideries, papier-mâché sculptures and oil paintings created by the Chilean artist Violeta Parra and this led to two books, the edited volume Violeta Parra: Life and Work (Tamesis, 2017) and the monograph Violeta Parra's Visual Art: Painted Songs (Palgrave, 2020).

Lorna's work confronts exclusionary biases in the art world, particularly with regard to crafts, participatory textile art movements and the art of the Global South. Her other interests include the decolonisation of art history, Surrealism, Pop art, muralism and the translation of theatre.

Lorna’s work has been recognised with awards from the Arts and Humanities Research Council, the British Academy, the Leverhulme Trust, the Henry Moore Foundation and the Institute of Fine Art of the University of New York.

She is currently a research fellow at Murray Edwards College and an Isaac Newton Trust fellow. She is also a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy.  

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Other University staff teaching regularly at CLAS

The academic staff below teach regularly for the Centre whilst being formally attached to other University departments.

Maite Conde

Maite CondeMaite Conde is University Professor of Brazilian Studies and Visual Culture in the Department of Spanish and Portuguese. She specialises in Brazilian literature, cinema and cultural theory. She is the author of Consuming Visions. Cinema, Writing and Modernity in Brazil (Virginia University Press, 2012), for which she was received the Andrew Mellon/MLA award and Foundational Films. Early Cinema and Modernity in Brazil (University of California Press, 2018) for which she received the Antonio Candido Prize (honourable Mention) for the best book in the humanities by the Brazil Section of the Latin American Studies Association and the Richard Wall Memorial Prize (finalist) for the best book on Film or Theatre by the Theatre Library Association. She also edited, translated and wrote the introduction to Between Conformity and Resistance. Essays on Politics, Culture and the State (Palgrave Macmillan, 2011), a collection of key essays by renowned Brazilian philosopher Marilena Chauí, and co-edited a collection of essays by Brazilian film scholar Paulo Emílio Salles Gomes, translated for the first time into English, titled Paulo Emílio Salles Gomes: On Brazil and Global Cinema (University of Wales Press, 2018). 

Graham Denyer Willis

Graham Denyer Willis

Graham Denyer Willis is a University Associate Professor at the Centre of Latin American Studies and the Centre of Development Studies, and Director of Studies in Geography at Queens’ College. His work brings together debates about public security, state-society relations and urbanization to raise and address new questions and understandings of development, security and governance in cities of the Global South. His first book, The Killing Consensus: Police, Organized Crime and the Regulation of Life and Death in Urban Brazil (California 2015) is based on research carried out alongside homicide and other detectives in São Paulo from 2009-2012. He has also written about cloned cars, why homicide rates aren't all that helpful and the ways that Brazilian cemeteries materially mingle violence and terror, past and present. 

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Brad Epps

Brad EppsBrad Epps is Professor of Spanish and Head of the Department of Spanish and Portuguese. He was Professor of Romance Languages and Literatures and Professor and former Chair of the Committee on Degrees in Studies of Women, Gender, and Sexuality at Harvard University for over two decades. He has published extensively on modern literature, film, art, architecture, urban theory, queer theory, and immigration from Spain, Latin America, Hispanophone Africa, and Catalonia, including an essay which won the first Carlos Monsiváis prize at LASA, "Retos y riesgos, pautas y promesas de la teoría queer". Amongst other publications, he is the author of Significant Violence: Oppression and Resistance in the Narratives of Juan Goytisolo; Spain Beyond Spain: Modernity, Literary History, and National Identity (with Luis Fernández Cifuentes); Passing Lines: Immigration and Sexuality (with Bill Johnson-González and Keja Valens); All About Almodóvar: A Passion for Cinema (with Despina Kakoudaki), and is currently editing a book entitled El cine como historia, la historia como cine (forthcoming, Ediciones Colihue, Buenos Aires) and a monograph entitled Barcelona and Cinema (forthcoming, Liverpool UP).

His research interests include eighteenth to twenty-first century Spanish and Latin American literature, Catalan literature and film, Ibero-American cinema, photography, and art, Hispanophone Africa, theories of visuality, modernity, critical theory, gender and sexuality studies, feminist thought, queer theory, urban cultures, immigration, and post-colonial studies, among others.

Carlos Fonseca

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Carlos Fonseca is a writer and academic. His teaching, writing and research focuses on modern Latin American literature, art and culture, with particular emphasis on concepts of history, nature and politics. He is interested in the intersection between philosophy, literature and art history. He holds a PhD from Princeton University. His research interests include the Caribbean and Central American Literature, Theories of the Postcolonial Imagination, the History of the Avant-Garde, Overlaps of Art History, Philosophy and Literary History, Theories of the Novel and the Historical Archive, and Eco-humanities, among others.

Hank Gonzalez

Hank Gonzalez

Hank Gonzalez is a University Associate Professor in the History Faculty specializing in the Caribbean.  His book 'Maroon Nation: A History of Revolutionary Haiti' comes out in 2019.  His initial research deals with the early years of Haitian independence.  He is currently writing a book on foreign influence in the twentieth-century Haitian art business, and pursuing a marine archeology project in Haiti.



Felipe Hernández

Former Director of the Centre of Latin American Studies (2018-21)

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Felipe Hernández is an Architect. He was the first Latin American to have been appointed Director of CLAS and remains the first Colombian to have hold a permanent teaching position at Cambridge University.

Felipe teaches architectural and Urban Design, while giving courses and seminars in the Theory and History of architecture and urbanism.  Felipe has worked, and published, extensively on Latin America and other areas in the Developing World, including Africa and South East Asia.

Felipe is also Chair of Cities South of Cancer (CSC), an interdisciplinary Research Group whose members work on a wide variety of urban issues in Colombia, Mexico, Argentina, Bangladesh,and Indonesia.CSC collaborates with academic, institutions in USA, Latin America and Indonesia. The group also offers internships and summer courses abroad, and operates as consultant to governmental, non-gevernmental, and private organisations involved in urban research and development in cities around the world.

Felipe is the author of Bhabha for Architects (Routledge 2010) and Beyond Modernist Masters: Contemporary Architecture in Latin America (Birkhauser 2009).

He is also co-editor of Marginal Urbanisms: Informal and Formal Development in Cities of Latin America (CSP 2017), Rethinking the Informal City: Critical Perspectives from Latin America (Berghahn 2009) as well as Transculturation: Cities, Spaces and Architectures in Latin America (Rodopi 2005).

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Geoffrey Kantaris

Former Director of the Centre of Latin American Studies (2005-10)

Geoffrey KantarisGeoffrey Kantaris is a Professor in the Department of Spanish and Portuguese and a former Director of the Centre (2005-10). He specializes in Latin American urban culture, in particular contemporary cinema. He is preparing a book provisionally entitled Contemporary Latin American Cinema: The Urban Paradigm and has published a wide range of articles in this area. He has also worked on Southern Cone literature. He has published The Subversive Psyche: Contemporary Women's Narrative from Argentina and Uruguay (Oxford University Press, 1996) and Latin American Popular Culture: Politics, Media, Affect (London: Tamesis, 2013).

Michael Kuczynski

Michael KuczynskiMichael Kuczynski is an economist specializing in international, monetary, and financial topics, in particular monetary and fiscal policy; and the relationship between financial activity and economic growth. He also works on Latin American economic issues, on problems of comparative national economic performance, and on primary commodity markets. He is at the Centre of Development Studies and a fellow of Pembroke College. He teaches on the MPhil in Development Studies, the MPhil in International Relations and the MPhil in Latin American Studies (Economic Issues in Contemporary Latin America).

Sian Lazar

Sian LazarSian Lazar is a Professor in the Department of Social Anthropology. Her research interests include social movements, especially labour movements; ethnography of the state, democracy and citizenship; gender; the city; and the anthropology of politics and development, with a particular focus on Bolivia and Argentina. Her research is focussed on collective politics in Buenos Aires, Argentina, and El Alto, Bolivia. She is the author of various articles on these topics, as well as El Alto, Rebel City: Self and Citizenship in Andean Bolivia (Duke University Press, 2008), and The Social Life of Politics: Ethics, Kinship and Union Activism in Argentina (Stanford University Press, 2017). The first has been published in Spanish translation in Bolivia by Plural (2013), and the second is forthcoming in Argentina with Siglo xxi in mid-2019. She has also co-edited journal special issues on the Bolivian uprisings of 2003, the anthropology of citizenship, and precarious labour, and is the editor of Where are the Unions? Workers and Social Movements in Latin America, the Middle East, and Europe (Zed books, 2017), and The Anthropology of Citizenship. A Reader (Wiley-Blackwell 2013). She is one of the joint editors of the Journal of Latin American Studies.

Ella McPherson

Mónica Moreno Figueroa

Monica MorenoMónica Moreno Figueroa is University Associate Professor in Sociology at the University of Cambridge and a Fellow at Downing College, Cambridge. Her research has primarily focussed on Mexico and Latin America more broadly. The interest in researching the 'qualities' of the lived experience of racism, has taken her to the study of the everyday, the relevance of emotions, issues around gender, visibility and embodiment as well as exploring the links with anti-racist practice, political activism and collaboration. Currently, she is developing various research strands: a project on Anti-Racism in Latin America, with Prof Peter Wade (Manchester); a project on the gendered experience of racism and racial identification alongside economic trajectories in Mexico's Costa Chica, with Dr Emiko Saldivar (UCSB); and a project on institutional and state racism exploring access to health, water and recognition of rights in the state of Oaxaca, Mexico, with Dr Juan Carlos Martinez (CIESAS).

Rory O’Bryen

Rory O'BryenRory O’Bryen is Associate Professor of Latin American Literature and Culture in the Department of Spanish and Portuguese. He has published Spectres of La Violencia: Literature, Testimony and Cinema in Contemporary Colombian Culture (2008), Latin American Popular Culture: Politics, Media, Affect (2013), Latin American Cultural Studies: A Reader (2015), and Transnational Spanish Studies (2020). His current research explores the representation of the Magdalena River in Colombian culture between 1850 and the present day. It engages with a range of works, including mid-nineteenth-century regional romances, late nineteenth-century Afro-Colombian poetry, the aesthetics and politics of steam in Colombian modernismo, representations of leprosy in early twentieth-century literature, music and silent film, the ‘novela de la Violencia’ of the 1950s, and late twentieth-century engagements with narcotráfico. In doing so it uses the river as a conduit into the fragile interplay between nation-formation and global political and economic processes.

Sarah A Radcliffe

Chair of Management Committee

Sarah RadcliffeSarah A Radcliffe is Professor of Latin American Geography at the Department of Geography, and Fellow of Christ's College. She specializes in social difference and development geographies, largely in the Andes. Her current research interests include social heterogeneity in development, indigenous engagements with development, and postcolonial social theory.



Erica Segre

Erica SegreErica Segre. We are sorry to announce the untimely death of Erica Segre. For more informaiton please see Erica Segre.

Erica specialised in nineteenth-century Latin-American literature and thought, and twentieth-century and contemporary visual culture (photography, art and film). She has lectured and published extensively in these areas in Britain and abroad and has organized international symposia, film seasons and curated exhibitions. Her book Intersected Identities: Strategies of Visualization in Nineteenth- and Twentieth-Century Mexican Culture was published in 2007 (New York and Oxford: Berghahn Books).  She is the contributing editor of Ghosts of the Revolution in Mexican Literature and Visual Culture (Oxford/New York, 2013). Other publications include chapters  on: ‘The Complicit Eye: Directorial and Ocular Paradigms in Luis Buñuel’s Mexican Films and Interdisciplinary Visuality (1940s and 1950s)’ in A Companion to Luis Buñuel edited by Rob Stone and Julian Daniel Gutiérrez-Albilla (Oxford and New York: Wiley-Blackwell, 2013); ‘El convertible no convertible’: Reconsidering Refuse and Disjecta Aesthetics in Contemporary Cuban Art’ in Latin American Popular Culture: Politics, Media, Affect edited by Geoffey Kantaris and Rory O’Bryen (Woodbridge and New York:  Tamesis/Boydell & Brewer, 2013) and ‘El retorno de “Nuestros dioses”  (de Saturnino Herrán) en el modernismo  fotográfico en México. Sincretismo estético, identidades amortajadas y reflexividad en un libro inédito de Manuel Álvarez Bravo’ in 1910: México entre dos épocas edited by Paul-Henri Giraud, Eduardo Ramos-Izquierdo and Miguel Rodríguez (Mexico City: EL Colegio de México, 2013).

At the time of her death, she was completing a book on interdisciplinarity and visual culture with reference to creative media (writing, photography, visual arts and film) in nineteenth and twentieth century Mexico and was working on indigeneity and contemporary art practice in Chile.  

Affiliated Lecturers

Grace Livingstone

Department Affiliated Lecturer 

Grace Livingstone

Grace Livingstone is an affiliated lecturer at Centre of Latin American Studies, University of Cambridge, and a visiting research fellow at the Institute of Latin American Studies, School of Advanced Studies, University of London.

Her research interests include US and British foreign policy towards Latin America, and the impact private corporations and social movements have on policy-making.  She also works on drugs policy in Colombia, and Latin America.     

She is the author of Britain and the Dictatorships of Argentina and Chile, 1973-82: Foreign Policy, Corporations and Social Movements (Palgrave Macmillan, 2018);   America’s Backyard: The United States and Latin America from the Monroe Doctrine to the War on Terror (Zed Books, 2009); and Inside Colombia: Drugs, Democracy and War (Latin America Bureau/Rutgers University Press, 2003).

She has also contributed a chapter on ‘The United States and the Latin American Right’ to Geraldine Lievesley and Steve Ludlum (eds.), Rightwing Politics in Latin America, (London: Zed Books, 2011) and a chapter on  ‘Drugs and Criminal Organisations’ to Pia Riggirozzi and Chris Wylde (eds.), The Handbook of South American Governance, (Routledge, 2017).

She has a PhD from the University of Cambridge, an MA in Latin American Studies from the ILAS, University of London, and a BA in history from Queen Mary, University of London.

She is also a journalist, specializing in Latin American affairs, and has reported for the BBC World Service, The Guardian, the Independent on Sunday and The Observer

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Dana Brablec Sklenar

Department Affiliated Lecturer 

Dana Brablec Sklenar

Dana Brablec holds a PhD in Sociology from the University of Cambridge. She has a background in Politics from UCL (MSc in Democracy and Comparative Politics) and Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile (BSc in Political Science). Between 2016 and 2017, Dana was a Visiting Scholar at the Institute of Latin American Studies, Columbia University. From a socio-political perspective and based on ethnographic research, her doctoral project explored the collective identity re-creation practices developed by the Mapuche diaspora within urban Indigenous associations in Santiago de Chile and the role that the state plays in this process. She has teaching experience in Sociology and Politics in Chile and the UK. Currently, she is a teaching assistant in Comparative Politics at UCL, and supervisor for several papers in the Department of Sociology and the Department of Politics and International Studies (POLIS), University of Cambridge. Her current research focus revolves around female Indigenous entrepreneurship in Latin American cities, looking at the intersection of topics such as gender and class, participation and community building, social entrepreneurship, Indigenous economic sovereignty, postcolonial inequalities, sustainable urban economies, and Neoliberal Multiculturalism.