UBC has the following clusters of particular research strengths in Latin American Studies:


Biology and Zoology

UBC faculty working in the Biodiversity Centre have more research collaborations with South America than with any other continent save Europe. These collaborations cover diverse areas of Biology, including forest ecology, marine ecology, fisheries, marine conservation, cell biology, fish and reptilian physiology, and invertebrate evolution and systematics.

  • Doug Altshuler (Zoology, Chile, Peru)
  • Leticia Aviles (Zoology, Brazil, Ecuador)
  • Colin Brauner (Zoology, Brazil)
  • Sandra Brown (Land and Food Systems, Bolivia, Colombia, Honduras, Nicaragua, Ecuador, Peru)
  • Chris Harley (Zoology, Argentina, Chile)
  • Jill Jankowski (Zoology, Colombia, Costa Rica, Peru)
  • Mark Johnson (IRES, Brazil)
  • Wayne Maddison (Zoology, Ecuador)
  • Kathy Martin (Forest Sciences, Argentina, Chile)
  • Patrick Martone (Botany, Argentina)
  • Bill Milsom (Zoology, Brazil)
  • Daniel Pauly (Fisheries/Zoology, Peru)
  • Jeff Richards (Zoology, Brazil)
  • Dolph Schluter (Zoology, Panama)
  • Diane Srivastava (Zoology, Argentina, Brazil, Costa Rica)
  • Andrew Trites (Fisheries/Zoology, Peru)
  • Roy Turkington (Botany, Argentina)
  • Amanda Vincent (Fisheries/Zoology, Brazil, Peru)


Colonialism and Power

  • Kim Beauchesne has a SSHRC-funded project on “The Invention of Asia: Spanish Accounts of the Early Modern Philippines, China and Japan”
  • Mauricio Drelichman is an expert on the early modern economy of Spain, and his publications include “The Curse of Moctezuma: American Silver and the Dutch Disease, 1501-1650.”
  • Gastón Gordillo has published extensively on the postcolonial struggles of the Toba people of Northern Argentina, for instance in his article “Shamanic Forms of Resistance in the Argentinean Chaco.”
  • Shaylih Muehlmann studies the Cucapá, an indigenous group in northern Mexico, and their experience of a trans-national water conflict at the end of the Colorado River.
  • Anthony Shelton‘s interests in critical museology include investigations into the imitation and appropriation of nature from the early modern period through painting and the wunderkammer.
  • Juanita Sundberg has published on “Conservation Encounters and Transculturation in the ‘Contact Zones’ of Empire.”


Gender, Race, and Subalternity

  • Alejandra Bronfman has worked extensively on the histories of social science and race in Cuba
  • Rita De Grandis works on the gendered representations of figures such as Evita Perón and Cristina Kirchner
  • Bill French has worked extensively on gender in Mexico, and co-edited the book Gender, Sexuality and Power in Modern Latin America.
  • Gastón Gordillo is working on a project that analyzes Guaraní land claims in northwest Argentina with the aim of examining the fractured spatial dimensions of a diasporic, urban indigeneity.
  • Brianne Orr-Alvarez‘s most recent research project explores a new masculinity that struggles to break with traditional machista praxis dominant in patriarchal societies.
  • Pilar Riaño-Alcalá‘s books include Women in Grassroots Communication: Effecting Global Social Change
  • Wendy Roth is interested in how concepts of race and ethnicity change and how those changes shape actual social interactions and relations between ethnic and racial groups.
  • Jessica Stites Mor has worked on women film-makers, as in her article “Transgression and Responsibility: Shifting Discourses in Argentine Women’s Filmmaking from Maria Luisa Bemberg to Lucrecia Martel.”
  • Juanita Sundberg seeks to foster conversations between feminist theory, critical race theory, post-humanism, political ecology, and Latin American Studies.


Global Equity and Social Justice

  • Jerry Spiegel is co-chair of the School of Population and Public Health “Global Health and Vulnerable Population” theme and Director of Global Health for the UBC Liu Institute.
  • Annalee Yassi‘s publications include “Building sustainable capacity to promote the health of marginalized populations through international collaboration: Examining community-oriented training innovations in Ecuador.”


Political Theory and the Latin American Left

  • Jon Beasley-Murray wrote Posthegemony: Political Theory and Latin America
  • Max Cameron
  • Rita De Grandis
  • Gastón Gordillo
  • Brianne Orr-Alvarez
  • Manuel Piña
  • James Rochlin


The Politics of the Environment

  • Lori Daniels studies conservation and natural resource management.
  • Shaylih Muehlmann examines the intersections between environmental conflict, language and identity.
  • Diane Srivastava‘s research in Brazil and Costa Rica explores the effects of landscape changes, such as forest fragmentation, on food webs and processes.
  • Juanita Sundberg studies the environmental dimensions of United States’ border security policies in the US-Mexico borderlands.
  • Marcello Viega has a research grant from the US Department of State to reduce mercury pollution in artisanal gold mines in Piura, Peru.
  • Felice Wyndham‘s current research project is entitled “Narrating Ecological Histories: Women, Children and Changing Landscapes of the Sierra Tarahumara, Mexico.”
  • Hisham Zerriffi is an expert on rural energy use and has a recent article on “From Açaí to Access: Distributed Electrification in Rural Brazil.”


Science and Science Studies

  • Alejandra Bronfman‘s current book project, Talking Machines, examines the histories of radio and related sonic technologies in the Caribbean.
  • Lori Daniels
  • Tony Pitcher
  • Alejandro Rojas
  • Jerry Spiegel
  • Diane Srivastava studies invertebrate food webs in bromeliads in Costa Rica and Brazil, and forest fragmentation and plant-herbivore-parasitoid food webs in Argentina
  • Annalee Yassi


Visual Art, Film, and the Politics of the Image

  • Jon Beasley-Murray has published on the imagery of Peronism as well as on the contemporary Chilean art critic and theorist Nelly Richard
  • Rita De Grandis has a current project on “Children’s Perspectives on the Utopias of the Seventies in Contemporary Latin American Cinema”
  • Antonio Fernández
  • Serge Guilbaut
  • Brianne Orr-Alvarez
  • Manuel Piña
  • Pilar Riaño-Alcalá
  • Anthony Shelton
  • Jessica Stites Mor