Nora Jaffary’s research focuses on the social and gendered history of colonial and nineteenth-century Mexico. Her book, Reproduction and Its Discontents in Mexico: Childbirth and Contraception, 1750-1905, which examines the persistence of pre-Columbian midwifery, monstrous births, infanticide, abortion and the emergence of Mexican obstetrics, was published in the fall of 2016 with UNC-Chapel Hill Press. She is currently working on editing and translating a collection of primary sources on women’s history along with Andeanist Jane Mangan.
She received her Ph.D. in Latin American History from Columbia University in 2000. She has published a monograph on the Mexican inquisition’s investigation of popular religious practices, False Mystics: Deviant Orthodoxy in Colonial Mexico, a volume of essays treating the comparative colonization of the Americas, Gender, Race, and Religion in the Colonization of the Americas, and a collection of primary sources in translation aimed at introducing students to Mexico through a wide variety of texts and images, Mexican History: A Primary Source Reader, co-edited with Edward Osowski and Susie Porter along with many articles.
Dr. Jaffary regularly teaches classes on the colonial and modern history of Latin America including "Latin America Via the Novel: Gabriel García Márquez and Latin American History," and "Power and Culture: Mexican, Cuban, and US Relations." She is interested in working with students on issues involving Mexico’s social and cultural history in the colonial and modern eras, or more broadly on gender, medicine, race, crime, deviancy, and religion in colonial and nineteenth-century Latin America.
Max is a Master's student in Concordia's Public Policy and Public Administration program and a researcher for LLACS. He is particularly interested in examining the intersection of democracy, development, and corruption-related issues. A dual citizen of the US and Canada, he has long been fascinated by the idiosyncracies of national political systems and the unique electoral dynamics they produce. Outside of his studies, he enjoys traveling and helps run an online magazine (Graphite Publications) for which he occasionally writes music and politics-oriented articles.
Carlos is a Colombian undergraduate student who is currently enrolled in the Department of Political Science at Concordia University. Presently, he is finishing a Major in Political Science with a Minor in Human Rights and Spanish. Since 2011, Carlos has been working with different non-governmental organizations and student movements to improve the quality of life of low-income families in the city of Cali, Colombia. His most recent projects in the city of Cali have been in the area of housing deficit and public upgrading projects, environmentally sustainable projects, and workshops for the promotion of sustainable peace in comunas with high rates of violence. He is interested in the straitening of democracy and democratic institutions in regions of Colombia that are affected by the internal armed conflict. He is also interested in the perception of democracy and political participation in urban communities with high rates of internally displaced persons. Finally, he is interested in the effects of internally forced displacement and the expansion of latifundios with respect to poverty, exclusion, violence, and inequality in urban centers.
Dr. Tina Hilgers is Assistant Professor of Political Science at Concordia University. Her research focuses on informal politics and violence in Latin America. She studies exchange relationships that interact with formal political processes, focusing on the clientelistic networks of socioeconomically marginalized groups and the interconnections between state and non-state violent actors. She is also working on a project analyzing the structural roots of subnational violence and policy responses, especially in urban areas. She currently holds a SSHRC Insight Grant for a project investigating the link between Latin American citizens' evaluations of governance along institutional, economic, and identity-based lines and their decisions to engage in clientelism.
She is editor of Clientelism in Everyday Latin American Politics (2012 Palgrave Macmillan), co-editor, with Laura Macdonald, of Violence in Latin America and the Caribbean: Subnational Structures, Institutions, and Clientelistic Networks (forthcoming, Cambridge), and co-editor, with Jorge Luiz Barbosa and Laura Macdonald, of A violência na América Latina e no Caribe – vista dos profissionais da luta em contra da violência (forthcoming, Observatorio de Favelas). Her articles have appeared in Theory and Society, Latin American Politics and Society, Latin American Research Review, and Journal of Iberian and Latin American Research.
Dr. Jean François Mayer is Associate Professor of Political Science at Concordia University (Montreal, Canada). His research deals with social movements, labour politics, and democratic processes in Latin America, with a particular emphasis on Brazil and Mexico. Dr. Mayer’s current work focuses on: the manner in which people organize to advance their labour and social rights; the impact of precarious and informal labour (namely insecurity, marginalization, poverty, and violence); and the strategies designed to address the problematic socioeconomic consequences of labour precarity and informality.
Rubens Lima Moraes is a Ph.D. Candidate in the Department of Political Science at Concordia University. Originally from Brazil, Rubens has a master's degree in Public Administration from the State University of Santa Catarina (Brazil). His master's thesis analyzed the impact of a national anti-corruption movement, responsible for two electoral reforms, proposed by a democratic mechanism of the Brazilian Constitution. He worked at an anti-corruption NGO - Observatório Social de Florianopolis (Brazil) - for 3 years. His current research interests are participatory democracy, clientelism, public service delivery and water governance.
Annele Elmira Aceves Bernal, was born and raised in Mexico. She is currently studying to complete her M.A. in Political Science at Concordia University. She is interested in the mechanisms of social improvement for lower classes. She holds a Bachelors Degree in International Relations from the National Autonomous University of Mexico. Her Bachelors thesis was a comparative study of two social programs, one from Brazil and the other from Mexico. She worked for two years for the National Council for the Evaluation of Social Development Policy (CONEVAL) where she focused on the follow up of social programs and the transparency of social programs at the municipal level.
Lara Khattab is a Ph.D. candidate in Political Science. Her key interests are the struggles of marginalized groups and their social and economic integration in post-transition regimes. Her dissertation analyzes the political economy of regime change in the Middle East and Latin America, focusing on Egypt and Brazil. Lara was born and raised in Lebanon, where she worked with the post-war NGO community and was involved in research projects exploring the impact of faith-based organizations and foreign aid assistance. She is co-author of The Politics of Sectarianism in Post-war Lebanon (2015 Pluto Press) with Bassel Salloukh, Rabie Barakat, Jinan Habal, and Shoghig Mikaelian. Lara is residing in Montreal and her fieldwork sites. She loves to garden and has worked with collective gardens around Montreal.
Luisa Seidl is an undergraduate student in Political Science with two minors in French and Human Rights at Concordia University. Born and raised in Brazil, politics and history have always fascinated her. Luisa’s area of interests include women’s rights and sexual minority rights in Latin America, and she hopes to specialize in the field later in her academic career.
Otacilio de Oliveira Jr holds a PhD in Social Psychology from the Federal University of Minas Gerais / Brazil. His PhD research investigated the relationships between cultural production, literary writing, and activism in the poor suburbs of large Brazilian cities. In his master's degree, he researched the process of migration of young peasants to Brazilian metropolises. His research goals have focused on understanding the forms of resistance and intellectual and artistic productions of groups from poor territories in Brazil. In the field of public policy, he worked between 2011 and 2016 for the Brazilian Ministry of Education in different training programs for public school teachers in human rights across the country.
Cássia Reis Donato is a Brazilian Ph.D. student in the Department of Political Science at Concordia University. Cássia has a Master's Degree in Psychology (Social Psychology) from the Federal University of Minas Gerais / Brazil. Her master's thesis analyzed the processes of political engagement and participation of young Afro-Brazilian women against gender and racial inequalities in Brazil. She has experience of participating in social movements in Brazil and project management in non-governmental organizations and public policies. She also worked in specialization courses for public policy professionals and as a consultant for institutions such as UNDP. Her main issues of interest are collective actions and struggles for social justice, gender and racial relations, violence, and public policies.
Dr. Kregg Hetherington is Associate Professor in the Department of Sociology and Anthropology. He is a political anthropologist specialized in the ethnographic study of environment and infrastructure, the bureaucratic state and international development in Latin America. He has written extensively about how small farmers caught in a sweeping agrarian transition in Paraguay have experienced that country's halting transition to democracy, showing how activists create new ways of thinking and practicing government. His book, Guerrilla Auditors, is an ethnography of peasant land struggles in Paraguay, and of how rural thinking about property and information come into conflict with bureaucratic reform projects promoted by international experts. His current research focuses on how regulation in the soybean boom in Latin America's southern cone is transforming the relationship between states, plants, people and territory. At Concordia, he leads a research group on Infrastructure and Environment that brings together scholars working on a variety of intersections between these two key terms, including agrarian and energy transitions.
Audrey-Anne Doyle is a first year graduate student at Concordia University enrolled in the MA Political Science program. She is interested in the politics of violence, informality and resistance amongst low-income and otherwise marginalized groups in Latin America. Other than her involvement with LLACS, she is also a member of its subgroup; the Center for Research on Resistance, Informality and Violence (CERIV). She spent the summer months of 2018 conducting research in a local market in Guatemala studying the imbrication of illegal, informal and formal networks amongst a variety of socio-economic actors such as stall owners, the municipal market administration and union representatives.
Audrey is also a research assistant for Luis Carlos Sotelo Castro, the Canada Research Chair in Oral History Performance, assisting him with his work on various projects including a collaboration with the Colombian Truth Commission that seeks to collect testimonies from Colombian refugees living in Canada.
Anna Calderon is currently pursuing her graduate degree in Public Policy and Public Administration at Concordia University. She also holds a Bachelors of Arts degree in Political Science from Concordia University and a BA in Criminology from the Simon Fraser University in British Columbia.
Originally from Peru, Anna has travelled around most of South America having seen the different realities in the area. This has led her to focus her studies on public policy in Latin America. Having over 13 years of experience volunteering in the non-profit sector, Anna now works as the executive director of Say Ça!, a non-profit organization based in Montreal which offers free mentoring and French & English classes to refugees and immigrants aged 12-18.
Dr. James Freeman is an Assistant Professor (LTA) in the Department of Geography, Planning and Environment. His research focuses on popular culture, public space and political economy in urban Latin America, particularly Rio de Janeiro, Brazil and Managua, Nicaragua. For the last several years Dr. Freeman’s research has focused on the consequences of mega-events such as the World Cup and the Olympics for the urban poor in Rio de Janeiro, with a particular emphasis on the Police Pacification Unit program (UPP). He is currently researching the gentrification of Rio’s South Zone favelas. Dr. Freeman earned his PhD in geography from the University of California at Berkeley. He is Associate Editor of the Journal of Latin American Geography.