David Rockefeller Center for Latin American Studies (DRCLAS) Announces 2022-23 Visiting Scholars and Robert F. Kennedy Visiting Professors

May 20, 2022

The David Rockefeller Center for Latin American Studies announces its 2022–2023 Visiting Scholars and Fellows and Robert F. Kennedy Visiting Professors, a group of scholars and practitioners who bring multidisciplinary perspectives to the challenges facing Latin America, the Caribbean and Latinx communities in the United States.

The thirteen scholars, fellows and Visiting Professors hail from Argentina, Brazil, Chile, the Caribbean, Guatemala, Mexico, Peru, and Uruguay or are working on topics related to those areas. They come from a variety of fields: Romance Languages and Literatures, public health, political science, film, sociology, anthropology and history.

Their subjects are just as varied, looking at corruption within the Peruvian judicial system, farming and environment, progressive Catholicism in Guatemala, learning policies in Mexico and a broad range of other themes.

I’m excited to welcome our incoming Visiting Scholars to DRCLAS. We have an extraordinary group of scholars from diverse places and disciplines. I expect them to form a vibrant intellectual community and that they will contribute much to life at DRCLAS and Harvard,” said Steve Levitsky, DRCLAS director and a professor of government in the Faculty of Arts and Sciences.”


These are our incoming Visiting Scholars:


Cecilia Barrionuevo, de Fortabat Visiting Scholarartistic director of the Mar del Plata International Film Festival (Mar del Plata, Argentina) in Argentina, will explore subjects related to documentary filmmaking.


Rodrigo Barrenechea Carpio, Santo Domingo Visiting ScholarAssistant Professor of Political Science at the Universidad Católica del Uruguay, will research populism, political parties and political representation in Latin America.


Daylet Domínguez, Wilbur Marvin Visiting ScholarAssociate Professor at the Spanish and Portuguese Department, University of California, Berkeley, will examine the ways in which Cuban and southern U.S slaveholders imagined themselves as part of the same front, united by chattel bondage, in the decades preceding the U.S. Civil War.


Eduardo Andrés Undurraga Fourcade, Luksic Visiting ScholarAssociate Professor at the School of Government, Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile, will focus on the interaction between the social sciences and human health,particularly related to infectious diseases.


Felipe José Hevia de la Jara, Madero/Fundacion Mexico Visiting Scholara researcher at Center for Research and Higher Studies in Social Anthropology (CIESAS) in Mexico, will analyze fundamental learning policies in Mexico from a multilevel perspective.


Betsy Konefal, Central America Visiting Fellowan Associate Professor of History at William & Mary in Williamsburg, Virginia, will investigate progressive Catholicism in Guatemala in the 1960s, especially in the context of those religious and laypersons who chose to get involved in revolutionary movements.


Pablo Lapegna, Peggy Rockefeller Visiting ScholarAssociate Professor of Sociology and Latin American and Caribbean Studies at the University of Georgia, will examine how middle-size farmers and people living in rural towns of the Argentine plains reconcile the socio-economic benefits afforded by herbicide-resistant crops and their environmental and health impacts.


Helena Lemos Petta, Lemann Visiting Scholara Brazilian doctor and creator of the medical television series “Basic Unit,” will work on subjects related to communication and health.


German Gonzalez Vergara, Cisneros Visiting Scholaran assistant professor of history with the School of History and Sociology at Georgia Tech,will study the interconnected economic, political, social and environmental factors that have caused animal population declines and species loss.


Pablo Whipple, Custer Visiting Scholaran Associate Professor of History at the Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile, will focus on the study of corruption within the Peruvian judicial system, with emphasis on the development and expansion of 19th century judicial bureaucracies.


DRCLAS is also pleased to welcome three 2022-2023 Robert F. Kennedy Visiting Professors, who will teach courses throughout Harvard.


The Robert F. Kennedy Visiting Professorship in Latin American Studies (RFK) was created at Harvard University in 1986 through a generous gift from Edmond Safra and the Republic of New York Corporation. The endowment enables Harvard to regularly invite eminent Latin Americans from any field, a composer one year, an historian the next, an architect, physiologist, legal scholar, banker, novelist, poet, economist, sociologist, anthropologist, to teach at the university for one semester. Harvard faculty members nominate eminent scholars or practitioners living in Latin America and the Caribbean for the professorship.


This year’s RFK Professors are:


Andres Di Tella, a filmmaker, writer and curator, based in Buenos Aires. His films include “Montoneros, una historia,” “La televisión y yo,” “¡Volveremos a las montañas!,” and “Ficción privada,” among others. His work spans video art, installations and performance pieces, as well as television documentaries.


Sebastián Etchemendy, Associate Professor and researcher at the Torcuato Di Tella University, Argentina, and a Senior Researcher at the National Scientific Council (CONICET), specializes in the comparative political economy of Latin America and Western Europe. In particular, he has studied the determinants and political consequences of the processes of economic liberalization and internationalization, with special attention to the analysis of business and labor actors.


Ronald Raminelli, Professor at the Department of History at Universidade Federal Fluminense and researcher A1 at CNPq and Faperj – Brazil, focuses on colonial history, the idea of race and nation between the 16th and 19th Centuries. He is now focusing on the controversies in 19th-century pro-slavery and antislavery politics, as well as the portrayal of racial diversity and the idea of the nation in Cuba and Brazil.


The David Rockefeller Center for Latin American Studies (DRCLAS) at Harvard University works to increase the knowledge of the cultures, economies, histories, environment and contemporary affairs of Latin America; foster cooperation and understanding among the peoples of the Americas; and contribute to democracy, social progress and sustainable development throughout the hemisphere.