2024 Biographies


Kevan Antonio Aguilar is an assistant professor in the Department of History at the University of California, Irvine. His research focuses on transnational histories of race formation, migration, and working-class culture in twentieth century Mexico, Spain, and the United States. He is currently working on his first book manuscript, “Revolutionary Encounters: Race, Ideology, and Exile in Mexico and Spain,” which examines the racial and class solidarities between Mexico’s and Spain’s laboring classes during and after the Spanish Civil War. He has published articles in the Journal of Latin American Studies, the Oxford Research Encyclopedia of Mexican History and Culture, and the edited volume, Wobblies of the World: A Global History of the IWW. His forthcoming article, “The Indios of Spain and the Mexican Revolution,” will be published in summer 2024 in the Hispanic American Historical Review.

Amy Kerner is a historian of modern Europe and Latin America, currently researching the Argentine exile diaspora’s activist engagements with the category of “forced disappearance” in the 1970s and after. Her work emphasizes the social and political effects of global and transnational migrations on cultural formations – especially language – and, increasingly, on international law. She comes to the GHI from UT Dallas, where she was the Wald Professor of Holocaust and Human Rights Studies, and was previously a Research Fellow at the Frankel Institute of Jewish Studies at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. She holds an MA/MSc in International and World History from Columbia and the London School of Economics and a PhD in History from Brown. She is completing her first book manuscript, a transnational history of Argentine Yiddish from mass migration to the dirty war.

Fabio Santos is a sociologist with an interdisciplinary profile. His research interests include social inequalities, mobility and migration, belonging and conviviality, as well as the history and present of colonialism. He currently is a Visiting Scholar at the GHI and UC Berkeley. He studied European Ethnology as well as Cultural Theory and History at Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin and Sociology at Freie Universität Berlin before receiving his Ph.D. in Sociology from the same institution. Prior to coming to Berkeley, Fabio worked as an Assistant Professor at the Institute for Latin American Studies at Freie Universität Berlin and was a Visiting Professor in International Development at the University of Vienna and in Brazilian and Global Studies at Aarhus University. His first book, “Bridging Fluid Borders: Entanglements in the French-Brazilian Borderland”, examines social change and the negotiation of border demarcations and belongings in a rarely studied borderland at the fringes of the Amazon rainforest.

Chelsea Schields is Associate Professor of History at the University of California, Irvine with interests in the histories of sexuality, energy, and empire in the Caribbean and Europe. She is the author of Offshore Attachments: Oil and Intimacy in the Caribbean (UC Press, 2023) and, with Dagmar Herzog, co-editor of The Routledge Companion to Sexuality and Colonialism (2021). In 2023-24, Schields will hold fellowships from the Linda Hall Library and the NEH/Consortium for the History of Science, Technology, and Medicine to begin a new project on the history of electrification in the Caribbean.


Abigail Lapin Dardashti examines modern and contemporary Latin American and Latina/o/x art with a focus on international exchange, migration, racial and ethnic formation, and activism. Broadly, her work unpacks the impact of migration and movement on artistic productions during the twentieth and twenty-first centuries, focusing on Jewish and African diasporas in Latin America. Her current book project, “Itinerant Modernism: Politics and the Rise of Afro-Brazilian Art,” examines Afro-Brazilian art and international exchange during the period of the military dictatorship from the 1960s to the 1980s, focusing on state-sponsored exhibitions as well as activist art in the United States, Nigeria, Senegal, and Brazil. A second book project will examine the work of Jewish German photographers in Brazil immediately following World War II. Her curatorial work has explored Dominican and Haitian contemporary art on the island and in the diaspora. She has curated exhibitions at BRIC, Brooklyn, and Taller Puertorriqueño, Philadelphia, and has served as curatorial fellow at The Museum of Modern Art, New York, the Studio Museum in Harlem, and the Museo de Arte Moderno, Santo Domingo. Her work has been published in peer-reviewed journals, exhibition catalogues, and edited volumes in Brazil, the Dominican Republic, France, and the United States.

Isabel Richter is leading the GHI Pacific Office at the University of California, Berkeley and is Deputy Director of the GHI. She studied Modern History, German Studies and Spanish at the University of Freiburg/Br., the Universidad Complutense in Madrid and the Free University Berlin (M.A.). She was a graduate students at the Center for Womens’ and Gender Studies at the Technical University in Berlin and received her Ph.D. from the TU Berlin. She was Assistant Professor at the Ruhr University Bochum where she also completed her Habilitation. She was Postdoctoral Feodor Lynen Fellow at the University of California Los Angeles and Temporary Full Professor (Vertretungsprofessur) at the Universities of Göttingen, Bielefeld and Vienna. Between 2017 and 2022 she held the DAAD professorship in German history at University of California, Berkeley and joined the GHI Pacific Office at UC Berkeley in fall 2023. Her research focuses on modern German history. In her first monograph, she explored gender relations in the political resistance in Nazi Germany before World War II. Her second book focused on how (predominantly white and middle-class) men and women in the German speaking countries grappled with aging, the impermanence and the end of life in the long 19th century. Arguing that the mediality of self-reflections shaped forms and constructions of experience her analysis explored three different media as cases: written self-narratives (diaries), material culture (death masks and mourning jewelry made of human hair) and visual culture (early photography). In her current research on West Germany as local-global intersection she examines how the popular overland route to India and Nepal shaped and formed countercultures in the global 1960s.

Luis Sánchez-López is a Zapotec scholar from Tlacolula, Oaxaca. He received his PhD in History from UC San Diego and is currently an Assistant Professor in the Department of Chicano/Latino Studies at UC Irvine. He is a member of the Critical Latinx Indigeneities Working Group. His research focuses on Indigeneity, settler colonialism, autonomy, and customary law.


Guyanese-born Grace Aneiza Ali is a curator and assistant professor in the Department of Art and the Department of Art History’s Museum and Cultural Heritage Studies Program at the College of Fine Arts, Florida State University (FSU). As a curator-scholar of contemporary art of the Global South, her curatorial research practice examines the conceptual links and slippages at the nexus of art and migration. Ali specialises in art of the Caribbean Diaspora with particular attention to her homeland Guyana. Her book, ‘Liminal Spaces: Migration and Women of the Guyanese Diaspora’ explores the art and migration narratives of women of Guyanese heritage. Ali serves as the Editor-in-Chief of the College Art Associations’ ‘Art Journal Open’ and is a member of the international advisory board for ‘British Art Studies.’

Ernesto Bassi is Associate Professor of History and Director of the Latin American and Caribbean Studies Program at Cornell University. He is the author of An Aqueous Territories: Sailor Geographies and New Granada’s Transimperial Greater Caribbean World and is currently working on a book that analyzes imperial reform and the workings of late eighteenth-century globalization from the perspectives of the province of Santa Marta, on South America’s Caribbean coast.

Agustina Carrizo de Reimann has a degree in Anthropology and a PhD in Latin American History. She is an associate researcher at the Research Centre for Global Dynamics and a lecturer at the Global and European Studies Institute at the University of Leipzig (Germany). She specialises in Latin American political and cultural history, focusing on the nineteenth century. Her research has focused on the dis/orders of state formation and socio-cultural modernisation, with an emphasis on subaltern tactics and narratives. As a result, she has published the monograph Una historia densa de la Anarquía Posindependiente (2019) and edited the bilingual volume Making Modern Police in Latin America (2020). Currently, she is exploring the connections and disconnections created by the forced movement across the Global South and the resulting political and cultural displacements. The synergies and tensions between microhistorical, national and global historical approaches are also at the heart of her current research.

Carlos Cruz is an insurgent learner whose political and intellectual interests are coupled and rooted in advancing the struggle of his community. Cruz is committed to research practices that refuse to objectify communities of struggle and serve as a critical component of movement building. As a researcher, this brings forth the obligation to assist those on the ground and at the front lines against the intersectional violences of late racial-gendered capitalism. Cruz is also invested in being part of political learning spaces that claim autonomy outside of the Ivory Tower, especially those that center ancestral knowledge practices in the service of life outside of racialized and gendered capitalist logic. He is also a fourth-year history Ph.D. candidate at the University of California Santa Cruz, where he investigates the unique praxis rooted in Indigenous customs and practices that activated magonismo throughout the 20th century and the current 21st century.

Tathagato Ganguly is a doctoral student at the department of Sociology, University of Delhi. His dissertation “Black Territorial Politics and Plantation Landscapes in Esmeraldas, Ecuador” charts the long history of territorial autonomy demanded by the Black groups of the northwestern Pacific coast of Ecuador and attempts to trace the emergence of territory as a key political category in the present conjuncture as their lands are taken over by oil palm plantations. His research interests are Political Ecology of Plantations, Territory and Black Territoriality, Neo-liberalism and Extractive Industries, Anthropology of Space and Place, and Sociological interpretation of Modernity and Identity. Apart from his academic commitments, he is also working with the SEPHIS Program (South-South Exchange Program in Research on Histories of Development), an institution committed to the furthering of southern perspectives, notwithstanding the differences and complexities that such a task entails.

Jeffrey Kahn is an Associate Professor in the Department of Anthropology at the University of California, Davis. His areas of interest include border securitization, migration, maritime worlds, sovereignty, space, semiotics, racialization, and ritual. Geographically, he has focused on Haiti, the United States, and the Caribbean. His award-winning first book, Islands of Sovereignty: Haitian Migration and the Borders of Empire (University of Chicago Press 2019), examines how boat migration from Haiti to the United States during the last three decades of the twentieth century led to the development of new forms of legal activism, border governance, and oceanic policing that would remake the spatiality of the American nation-state. He is working on a second book that explores the networks of maritime circulation, the land and sea-based economies, and the cosmologies of mobility that Haitians have fashioned in a Caribbean increasingly saturated by U.S. securitization projects.

Carolin Loysa is a Mexicanized Lebanese-German anthropologist. She works as scientific assistant and equal opportunity commissioner at the department of Cultural and Social Anthropology at the Institute of Latin American Studies in Berlin. She holds a BA in Philology and Cultural Studies, and an M.A. in Interdisciplinary Latin American Studies.
She obtained her PhD at the International Research Training Group “Between Spaces” with her dissertation “The Precarity of Progress: Class, Race and the Mallifcation of Puebla, Mexico.” Her research interests lie in the field of Urban Studies and are grounded in Decolonial and Feminist approaches, Critical Whiteness Studies, Affect Theory and Political Anthropology as well as Anthropology of Migration. Her current research project “The value of San Charbel” envisions Lebaneseness in/from Mexico. She is further interested in the intersections between activism, art and academia.”

Owen MacDonald is a PhD candidate in history at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. Born in Kansas, Owen has proudly studied at public schools in the Midwest his entire life, receiving his bachelor’s degree in history, Latin American and Caribbean Studies, and political science and master’s degree in African and African American Studies from the University of Kansas before moving to Illinois to pursue his PhD. He has spent significant time in Brazil, most recently spending 2023 in Porto Velho, Rondônia conducting archival and oral history dissertation research supported by a Fulbright Hays Doctoral Dissertation Abroad fellowship. He has served as communications officer and on the bargaining team for his union at the University of Illinois. When not studying, you can often find Owen pursuing his niche hobby, training for strongman competitions.

Maurice Rafael Magaña is an urban anthropologist and ethnic studies scholar who studies social movements and migration. He is an Associate Professor of Mexican American studies, a faculty member in the Social, Cultural, and Critical Theory Graduate Interdisciplinary Program, and an affiliate faculty in the Center for Latin American Studies at the University of Arizona. Magaña’s work focuses on understanding how everyday people collectively envision and enact more just, liberatory horizons. He has worked extensively with activists and artists in the United States and Mexico and collaborated with applied research teams working with the labor movement in Honduras, South Africa, and Costa Rica. His first book, Cartographies of Youth Resistance: Hip-Hop, Punk, and Urban Autonomy in Mexico, UC Press, won the Anthony Leeds Prize by the Critical Urban Anthropology Association in 2021.

Juliana M. Streva (she/they) is a transdisciplinary researcher and experimental filmmaker, born and raised in Brazil. Her scholarship is primarily informed by anticolonial, critical race, and queer theories and practices, with a specific emphasis on quilombo tactics and legacies of abolition, fugitivity, refusal, and worldmaking. Currently, she works as a postdoctoral associate and lecturer at the Institutes of Sociology and Latin American Studies at Freie Universität Berlin, as a member of the research consortium RePLITO. She holds a Doctorate in Law in co-tutelage with Political Theory at FU Berlin, and a Master’s in State Theory and Constitutional Law from Pontifícia Universidade Católica do Rio de Janeiro. Her visual and written works include the monograph ‘Corpo, Raça, Poder: Extermínio Negro no Brasil’ (2018) and the films ‘Mulheres em Movimento’ (2020) and ‘Quilombo, Continuum’ (2023).

Rachel Grace Newman is Assistant Professor of History at Colgate University. She received her Ph.D. from Columbia University, a Maestría from El Colegio de Jalisco (Mexico), and a B.A. in Latin American Studies from Yale University. Specializing in twentieth-century Mexican history, her research areas are migration, social inequality, and state formation, often using transnational frames and methods. She is working on a book on the history of Mexican student migration that explores this middle-class and elite form of mobility together with the rise of modernization policies, namely international scholarship programs, in Mexico. From this project, an article focusing on concepts of merit and practices of clientelism among elite families petitioning for international scholarships, was published in the Journal of Social History. She also published a book on Mexican migrant children and binational education programs in 2014.

Rudolph Ng teaches Asian and Latin American history at the University of Portsmouth. His research interests revolve around global migration in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries and its relations to concepts of humanitarianism and labor rights. Currently, he is preparing a book manuscript on the history of Chinese migration to Cuba, Peru, and Chile during the nineteenth century, when the Chinese laborers replaced the dwindling population of African slaves post-abolitionist movement. Prior to the lectureship at Portsmouth, he was Teaching Fellow at the University of Edinburgh and Lecturer in Modern Chinese History at Birkbeck, University of London.

Catherine Peters is an interdisciplinary historian whose research concerns empire, race, gender, sexuality, intimacy, capitalism, and the environment in the hemispheric Americas. She holds a PhD in American Studies with a secondary Qeld in Latinx Studies from
Harvard University. She is currently a Lecturer in Race, Colonialism, and Diaspora
Studies at Tufts University, where she teach courses in American Studies and
Caribbean Studies that span from the nineteenth to the twentieth centuries. She is
writing a book that traces histories of Asian arrival to the Caribbean during the years
before and after the abolition of African chattel slavery. Her work shows that people
of Asian and African descent have long formed alliances and managed ecological
risk, in spite of colonial attempts at racial management, labor discipline, and

Manoel Rendeiro Neto holds a B.A. and teaching license in History from the Federal University of Brasília (UnB) in Brazil, and a M.A. in History from the University of California Davis. Currently, Manoel is a PhD Candidate at the University of California-Davis specializing in Latin American history with a Designated Emphasis in African Diaspora Studies. His doctoral research focuses on the role of environmental knowledge in empire building, ethnic-racial stratification, and autonomous territorialization in the emergence of an Afro-Indigenous Amazon c.1750-1850s.

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