LALS Faculty - Recognition

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Associate Professor Gabriela Arredondo is the Chair of the Latin American & Latino Studies Department and is a Research Fellow in UCSC's Executive Vice Chancellor's Faculty Fellows Academy for 2018-2019.  She is the author of Mexican Chicago: Race, Identity and Nation, 1916-1939 (Illinois, 2008) and co-editor of Chicana Feminisms: A Critical Reader (Duke, 2003).  Current research projects include a history of pro-immigrant organizations and a comparative project on historical constructions of racial mixing.  Her research has been supported by a year long fellowship at the Stanford Center for the Study of Race and Ethnicity.  The Organization of American Historians elected her to serve as Distinguished Lecturer, and she won a Golden Apple Teaching Award in recognition of her passion for teaching.

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Assistant Professor Lily Pearl Balloffet is a scholar of migration in the Global South. She has published articles in venues such as the Journal of Latin American Studies, The Latin Americanist, and others. Her current book project, "Argentina in the Global Middle East," examines transregional flows of people, goods, and ideas. Prior to joining the LALS faculty at UCSC, she was a Postdoctoral Fellow in Middle East Migration Studies at North Carolina State University, a Fulbright-Hays Fellow, and a University of California Provost's Fellow. Her research has also been supported by the US Department of Education's Foreign Language and Area Studies Program, and the Hoover Institute of Stanford University. Recently, she launched a new research project based in Costa Rica on the subject of migration policy, ethnic exclusion, and migrant mobilities. She serves on the Executive Committee of the Southeastern Council of Latin American Studies, and is one of the editors of Mashriq & Mahjar: Journal of Middle East & North African Migration Studies.

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Assistant Professor Jeffrey Erbig is the author of “Where Caciques and Mapmakers Met: Border Making in Eighteenth-Century South America” (University of North Carolina Press, under contract) and has published articles in the Hispanic American Historical Review, Ethnohistory, and elsewhere. His dissertation was named best in Humanities and Fine Arts at UNC Chapel Hill (2016) and was a finalist for the Maureen Ahern Distinguished Dissertation Award (2017), issued by the Latin American Studies Association’s Colonial Section. His current research examines the historical construction of borders and the subsequent invisibilization of Indigenous Americans in Southeastern South America (Argentina, Brazil, Uruguay), and he is developing a project on unfree migrations and exile in Spanish and Portuguese America.

Sylvanna Falcón

Associate Professor Sylvanna Falcón is the award-winning author of Power Interrupted: Antiracist and Feminist Activists inside the United Nations [University of Washington Press, 2016 and winner of the 2016 National Women’s Studies Association's Gloria E. Anzaldúa Book Award] and the co-editor of New Directions in Feminism and Human Rights [Routledge, 2011]. She is the director of UC Santa Cruz’s Research Center for the Americas and a former co-consultant to the UN Special Rapporteur on Violence Against Women. She produces and hosts a weekly news and public affairs radio program called Voces Críticas/Critical Voices on KZSC. Her current research is about transitional justice in Perú.

Rosa-Linda Fregoso

Professor Rosa-Linda Fregoso is the 2014 recipient of the American Studies Association's Angela Y Davis award for Public Scholarship.  She is the author of five books including Terrorizing Women: Feminicide in the Américas (co-edited with Cynthia Bejarano, 2010); meXicana Encounters: The Making of Social Identities on the Borderlands (2003) awarded the Modern Language Association prize in U.S. Latina/o and Chicana/o Literary and Cultural Studies. An Emeritus Professor, Fregoso works pro bono as “country expert” on gender asylum cases.

Fernando Leiva

Associate Professor Fernando Leiva is the author of Latin American Neostructuralism: The Contradictions of Post-Neoliberal Development (University of Minnesota Press, 2008), among other books and articles.  He has just finished the book manuscript The Left Hand of Capital: The Center-Left, Governability, and Social Movements in Chile. His current research deploys a critical cultural political economy approach to examine the interaction between the material and semiotic underpinnings in efforts to manage the contradictory development of Chile’s extractive mining sector as well as California’s Silicon and Salinas Valleys. He is co-creator of “Building an Inner Sanctuary,” a program for supporting documented and undocumented students and immigrant communities.  He has been invited to join the  transnational research team for the project “Development and Work in 21st Century Latin America: Options, Challenges, and Promises” coordinated by Dr. Viviana Patroni (York University) and Dr. Ruth Felder (University at Albany).

Associate Professor Patricia de Santana Pinho is the author of Mapping Diaspora: African American Roots Tourism in Brazil (University of North Carolina Press, 2018) and Mama Africa: Reinventing Blackness in Bahia (Duke University Press, 2010), an updated and expanded version of the award-winning Reinvenções da África na Bahia (Editora Annablume, 2004). She has contributed book chapters to several edited volumes and published in Latin American Perspectives, Latin American Research Review, Small Axe: A Caribbean Journal of Criticism, Meridians: Feminism, Race, Transnationalism, Les Carnets du Lahic, Revista Brasileira de Ciências Sociais, and Tempo Social. She recently co-edited with Bianca Freire-Medeiros a especial issue on tourism and mobilities of Revista Plural. Pinho is a member of the Executive Committee of BRASA (Brazilian Studies Association) and the Advisory Board of Luso-Brazilian Review.


Associate Professor Catherine S. Ramírez is a scholar of race, gender, migration, mobility, and citizenship. Her current book project, Assimilation: An Alternative History, is under contract with University of California Press. She is the author of The Woman in the Zoot Suit: Gender, Nationalism, and the Cultural Politics of Memory (Duke University Press, 2009) and several essays on race, gender, and speculative fiction. As director of UC Santa Cruz’s Research Center for the Americas (2013-2018), formerly the Chicano Latino Research Center, she was the Principal Investigator of Non-citizenship, our campus’ first Andrew W. Mellon Foundation John E. Sawyer Seminar on the Comparative Study of Culture. She has also won awards from the Ford Foundation, UC Institute for Mexico and the United States, and UC Humanities Network, as well as UC Santa Cruz’s Excellence in Teaching Award. Over 2018-19, she’ll take part in our campus’ inaugural EVC Fellows Academy.

Cecilia Rivas

Associate Professor Cecilia M. Rivas is the author of Salvadoran Imaginaries: Mediated Identities and Cultures of Consumption (Rutgers UP, 2014). This book explores a diverse range of sites where the nation’s postwar identity is forged. Her article “Beyond Borders and Remittances: Discussing Salvadoran Emigrant Voting Rights” appeared in the special issue on Salvadoran Migration to the United States of Urban Anthropology and Studies of Cultural Systems and World Economic Development (2010). Her current research in Southern Mexico, supported by grants from UC-MEXUS and PIMSA, examines migration and structural conditions in that region. Professor Rivas is also writing a book about modernity and nationalism in El Salvador.


Jessica Taft

Associate Professor Jessica Taft is the author of Rebel Girls: Youth Activism and Social Change Across the Americas (NYU Press, 2011) as well as several articles on young people's involvement in social movements.  She is also a series editor for "Critical Perspectives on Youth."  She has recently completed a book manuscript on intergenerational relationships and the meaning of childhood in the Peruvian movement of working children.  Her research has been funded by the Kellogg Institute for International Studies at Notre Dame, the American Sociological Association's Fund for the Advancement of the Discipline, and the National Science Foundation. 


Patricia Zavella

Professor Pat Zavella was honored with the Society for the Anthropology of North America Distinguished Career Achievement in the Critical Study of North America Award and Scholar of the Year by the Association for Chicana and Chicano Studies in 2003. She received an “Honorable Mention” for the 2009-10 Excellence in Teaching Award in 2010. Her new book, “I’m Neither Here nor There:” Mexicans Quotidian Struggles with Migration and Poverty (Duke University Press) was published in 2011.