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Faculty

Acting Co-Director, Beth Baker-Cristales, Ph.D.
Beth Baker-Cristales joined the anthropology department at CSULA in 2002 and began working with the Latin American Studies Program shortly afterwards. A cultural anthropologist, her primary areas of interests include globalization, international migration and transnationalism, ethnicity and nationalism, the state, and racial identities. She has done fieldwork in Southern Mexico, Ecuador, El Salvador, New York, and Southern California. Dr Baker-Cristales is author of Salvadoran Migration to Southern California: Redefining El Hermano Lejano (University Press of Florida, 2004) and numerous articles on migration, identity, and politics. 

Co-Director, Gaston Alzate,Ph.D.
Dr. Alzate is a Full Professor in the Department of Modern Languages and Literatures. He obtained a BA in Latin American Literature at the Universidad Javeriana de Colombia (1989) and a Phd in Mexican Theater at Arizona State University. He joined the Modern Languages Department at Cal State LA in 2006, and he currently teaches undergraduate and graduate courses on Contemporary Latin American Theater and Literature, graduate seminars on Latino and Latin American Performance Art, and on Mexican Popular Cultures from the point of view of theater and performance studies. He is the author of Imaginarios Disidentes: Teatro de Cabaret (Gestos, UC Irvine, 2002), and with the collaboration of Dr. Paola Marín, he founded the academic electronic journal Karpa in 2009, devoted to theatrical dissidences, visual arts, and culture. Since 2009 he is member of the CSULA Mariachi Band Aguilas de Oro (Golden Eagles).

Enrique Ochoa, Ph.D.
Enrique C. Ochoa teaches History and Latin American Studies at California State University, Los Angeles. His research focuses on Mexican and Central American political and economic history, the welfare state, revolution, critical pedagogy, and transnational Latino/a communities. His publications include Feeding Mexico: The Political Uses of Food Since 1910 (2000), Latina/o Los Angeles: Migrations, Communities, and Political Activism (co-editor, 2005), and a recent issue of Radical History Review “History and Critical Pedagogies: Transforming Consciousness, Classrooms, and Communities.” From 2006 to 2008, he was the Michi and Walter Weglyn Chair of Multicultural Studies at Cal Poly Pomona. He has served on the steering committee of Historians Against the War and on the editorial board of Latin American Perspectives and Radical History Review.

Louis Esparza, Ph.D.
Louis Esparza is Assistant Professor of Sociology and Latin American Studies at California State University at Los Angeles. He has a Ph.D. in Sociology from Stony Brook University (2010). His work focuses on grassroots social movements, their organizations and their strategies. Louis has received grants and awards from the National Science Foundation, the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, Oxfam America and the American Sociological Association. He has previously been a Visiting Scholar at Sophia University in Tokyo, an affiliated researcher at the Luis Angel Arango Library in Bogota, and has also taught on these topics at Stony Brook University and the University of Denver. His research appears in Sociological Forum, Environment & Society, Qualitative Sociology, and Societies Without Borders.

Associated Faculty

Raquel Ackerman (Ph.D., Cambridge University)
Department of Anthropology
Andes; religion; symbolism; social organization; sociolinguistics; political rhetoric; identity and ethnicity; Quechua

Emily Acevedo (Ph.D., Claremont Graduate University)
Department of Political Science
Latin American Politics

Jose Manuel Aguilar-Moreno (Ph.D., University of Texas at Austin)
Department of Art
Pre-Colombian Art and History (Maya and Aztec); Colonial Art of Mexico; Indian-Christian Transculturation; Tequitqui Art

Alzate, Gaston (Ph.D., Arizona State University)
Department of Modern Languages and Literatures
Mexican and Colombian literature with a focus on theater and performance art; Latin American films and popular culture, political and sexual dissidence in contemporary Mexico

Beth Baker-Cristales (Ph.D., University of New Mexico)
Department of Anthropology
Latin America with an emphasis on Central America and Mexico; international migration and transnationalism; social movements; ethnicity and nationalism; the state; racial identities; social theory; ethnography

Pablo Baler (Ph.D., University of California, Berkeley)
Department of Modern Languages and Literatures
20th Century Latin American culture, literature, and visual arts

Francisco E. Balderrama (Ph.D., University of California, Los Angeles)
Departments of Chicano Studies and History
20th century Chicano history; U.S.-Mexico border

Enrique Berumen (M.F.A., University of Southern California, Los Angeles)
Department of Communication Studies
Latin American cinema; screenwriting

Cristina Bodinger-de Uriarte (Ph.D., Harvard University)
Department of Sociology
U.S. Latin American relations; Latin America in U.S. press

William Bollinger (M.A., University of California, Los Angeles)
Latin American Studies program
Mexico; Central America; Peru; labor studies; U.S.-Latin America relations

James Brady (Ph.D., University of California, Los Angeles)
Department of Anthropology
Archeological method and theory, Maya ideology, Maya caves, ceramic analysis

Roberto Cantu (Ph.D., University of California, Los Angeles)
Departments of Chicano Studies and English
Chicano/Mexican literature

Mario Castaneda (Ph.D., Pepperdine University)
Division of Curriculum and Instruction, Charter College of Education
Social and educational success of the Central American community, the African legacy of Central America, issues of inter-group relations between ethnic minority groups, and museum community outreach programs for the Latino community

Paul de Castro (D.M.A., University of Texas at Austin)
Department of Music
Latin American folk and popular music; piano and corneta china performance

Ramon A. Castillo-Ponce (Ph.D., University of California, Irvine)
Department of Economics and Statistics
Latin American Economies

Maria Costa (Ph.D., University of Massachusetts)
Department of Modern Languages and Literatures
18th, 19th, 20th century narrative

David Diaz (Ph.D., University of California, Los Angeles)
Department of Chicano Studies
Urban political economy, environmental policy, urban social justice movements

Dionne Espinoza (Ph.D. Cornell University)
Department of Chicano Studies
Chicana/Latina studies; women’s movements and feminisms; cultural and critical theory

Eileen Ford (Ph.D., University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign)
Department of History
Intersection of culture and politics in post-revolutionary Mexico; child population and policies in Mexico; state formation and population culture in modern Latin America

Gabriela Fried-Amilivia (Ph.D., University of California, Los Angeles)
Department of Sociology
Human rights, cultural sociology, collective memory and trauma after political conflict, gender, southern cone studies

Jennifer Garrison (Ph.D., University of California, Los Angeles)
Department of Geology
Recent volcanic activity and volcanic hazards in El Salvador and Nicaragua

Ricardo Gomez (Ph.D., Indiana University)
Department of Philosophy
Philosophy of Science and Technology

Ester E. Hernandez (Ph.D. University of California, Irvine)
Department of Chicano Studies
Latinos in the U.S.; community health; gender; immigration and globalization

Barry Hibbs ( Ph.D., University of Texas, Austin)
Department of Geology
Hydrology and Environmental Issues; U.S.-Mexico border

Rita Ledesma (Ph.D., University of California, Los Angeles)
Department of Social Work
Bicultural practice issues; child and family focused practice and policy; qualitative research; research and practice in Latino and American Indian communities

Paola Marin (Ph.D., University of Minnesota, Twin Cities)
Department of Modern Languages and Literatures
Colonial Latin America with a focus on Mexico, contemporary Latin American theater and gender studies; media literacy

Enrique Ochoa (Ph.D., University of California, Los Angeles)
Department of History and Latin American Studies
Modern Mexico; political economy, revolution; Central America history; critical pedagogy

John J. Ramirez (Ph.D., University of California, Los Angeles)
Department of Communication Studies
Latin American film; documentary theory and history; queer theory and gender studies; media literacy

Jaime A. Regalado (Ph.D., University of California, Riverside)
Department of Political Science, Pat Brown Institute
Comparative urban political economy; work migration; undocumented Latinos

Kittiya Lee (Ph.D., Johns Hopkins University)
Department of History
Group identities in Colonial Latin America; Brazil

Michael Soldatenko (Ph.D., University of California, Los Angeles)
Department of Chicano Studies
Chicano(a)/Latino(a) Intellectual History

Alejandro Solomianski (Ph.D. University of Pittsburgh)
Department of Modern Languages and Literatures
Latin American Literature

Aaron Huey Sonnenschein (Ph.D., University of Southern California)
Department of English
Documentation and revitalization of the indigenous language of Mexico

Valerie Talavera-Bustillos (Ph.D., University of California, Los Angeles)
Department of Chicano Studies
Education; Chicano/Chicana Studies

Molly Talcott (Ph.D., University of California, Santa Barbara)
Department of Sociology
Sociology inequality and change; globalization studies; human rights

Tejeda, Carlos (Ph.D., University of California, Los Angeles)
Division of Educational Foundations and Interdivisional Studies, Charter College of Education
Decolonizing pedagogies; critical educational theory; sociology of education

Vergara, Angela (Ph.D. University of California, San Diego)
Department of History
Modern Latin America, Chilean history; labor history social movements and globalizations

Marlene Zepeda ( Ph.D., University of California, Los Angeles)
Department of Child and Family Studies
Mother-infant behavior in Mexican immigrant and Mexican American families; the development of cultural competency in preschool teachers

Emeritus Faculty

Donald Bray (Ph.D., Stanford University)
U.S.-Latin American relations; Cuba; Chile; Central America
email: DonaldWBray@aol.com

Marjorie Bray (Ph.D., Claremont Graduate School)
International economic relations; Cuba; Central America; film
email: braymarjorie@aol.com

John Kirchner (Ph.D., University of Chicago)
South America; transportation; tropical agriculture
email: jkirchn@calstatela.edu

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Last Update: 11/21/2012