Angela Stuesse

Assistant Professor of Anthropology and Global Studies

Angela Stuesse is Assistant Professor of Anthropology and Global Studies at UNC-Chapel Hill. Her award-winning book, Scratching Out a Living: Latinos, Race, and Work in the Deep South, based on six years of activist research engagement with poultry workers, explores how new Latin American migration into the rural U.S. South has impacted the region’s racial hierarchies and working communities’ abilities to organize for better wages and working conditions. Her more recent work sheds light on state and local immigrant policing and the experiences of undocumented young people in higher education in the United States. Stuesse earned her MA in Latin American Studies and PhD in Anthropology from the University of Texas-Austin, and she has held academic appointments at UCLA, The Ohio State University, and the University of South Florida. At UNC she serves on the advisory boards of the Latina/o Studies Program and the Graduate Certificate in Participatory Research.

ISA Director Louis Pérez on WCHL 97.9 FM, Who’s Talking show


Click to listen.

Louis Pérez, J. Carlyle Sitterson Professor of History at UNC Chapel Hill and Director, Institute for the Study of the Americas, gives background about Cuban history and politics to help us understand today’s events. The host asks about the new travel rules as it relates to the People to People framework,  the pros and cons of the new rules, and more. Listen now!

Associate Director Beatriz Riefkohl Muñiz wins University Award for the Advancement of Women


Beatriz Riefkohl Muñiz

Associate Director Beatriz Riefkohl Muñiz received the 2017 University Award for the Advancement of Women, March 7, 2017, at the Anne Queen Faculty Commons in the Campus Y. This award is given by the office of Chancellor Folt and is a way to recognize individuals for their contributions on behalf of women at the University.

Riefkohl Muñiz was recognized for her mentorship of young professionals, leadership, and advocacy with policies and cultures affecting women faculty, staff, and students in numerous ways. She has been a central leader in a collaborative effort among area study centers to expand global education in North Carolina and Latin American Studies nationally through her work at the Institute for the Study of the Americas and the national Consortium in Latin American Studies Programs.

One of her many accomplishments included mentoring women staff.

“Beatriz elevates the status of women by giving women credit for their labor, ideas, and innovation,”Emily Chávez, Outreach Director of the Consortium in Latin American and Caribbean Studies at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and Duke University said.

In addition to her mentorship, Riefkohl Muñiz’s leadership was recognized across departments.

“Beatriz’ leadership provides a clear example of what UNC should aspire to: the integration of respect and support for women into all facets of institutional culture and policy,” Hannah Gill, Assistant Director, Institute for the Study of the Americas said.

And Riefkohl Muñiz isn’t stopping.

“This award gives us an opportunity to think about all the great contributions women make to Carolina on a daily basis,” Riefohl Muñiz said. “Recognizing women’s achievements helps us to develop new opportunities that take into consideration women’s voices, aspirations, and work.”

Congratulations, Beatriz! We look forward to the great things you will continue to do!

About the award

A committee of faculty, staff, and students was given the task of reviewing the many nominations received to select one faculty member, one staff member, on graduate/professional student, and one undergraduate student to receive the award. The committee was given the following criteria to us in selecting award recipients:

  • Mentored and supported women students, staff, faculty, and/or
  • Elevated the status of women on campus;
  • Helped to improve campus policies affecting women;
  • Promoted and advanced the recruitment, retention, and upward mobility of women;
  • Participated in and assisted in the establishment of professional development opportunities for women; or
  • Participated in and assisted in the establishment of career or academic mentoring for women.
  • Both women and men who have contributed in one or more of the above ways were eligible.

Tanya Shields

Tanya Shields is an associate professor and Director of Undergraduate Studies in the Department of Women’s and Gender Studies, a past fellow of the Carolina Women’s Center Faculty Fellowship, and a recipient of the Institute of Arts and Humanities’ Academic Leadership Fellowship. Dr. Shields’s first book, Bodies and Bones: Feminist Rehearsal and Imagining Caribbean Belonging (2014) examines the ways in which rehearsing historical events and archetypal characters shapes belonging to the region. Feminist rehearsal helps us explore the ways in which people continually negotiate terms of membership and how these interactions reveal structures of resistance, oppression, and inequality.

Dr. Shields is also editor of The Legacy of Eric Williams: Into the Postcolonial Moment (2015), which examines the contributions of Eric Williams, the first prime minister of independent Trinidad and Tobago, as an individual, a leader, and a scholar. Dr. Shields is currently at work on her second monograph, “Gendered Labor: Race, Place and Power on Female-Owned Plantations,” a comparative study of women who owned plantations in the Caribbean and U.S. South. Additionally, her work is published in Cultural Dynamics, Women, Gender, and Families of Color, Identities as well as in The Routledge Companion to Anglophone Caribbean Literature and Constructing Vernacular Culture in the Trans-Caribbean. In 2016, along with Professor Kathy Perkins, Dr. Shields co-convened the National Endowment for the Arts funded conference, “Telling Our Stories of Home: Exploring and Celebrating Changing African and African Diaspora Communities.”

Dr. Shields teaches classes on Caribbean women, the arts of activism, growing up girl globally, and the continuing influence of plantation economics and politics. She is the immediate past president and current board member of the Association for Women Faculty and Professionals (AWFP) and a board member for the Maryland-based Carivision Community Theater, which seeks to use theater as space of exchange between Caribbean and U.S. theater audiences. Dr. Shields is also dramaturge for the Houston-based Process Theater’s “Plantation Remix” project. Her class, “Rahtid Rebel Women: An Introduction to the Caribbean,” was listed as number 7 on Elle Magazine’s “63 College Classes that Give Us Hope for the Next Generation.” Dr. Shields earned her Ph.D. in Comparative Literature from the University of Maryland at College Park.

Hannah Palmer

Palmer2Hannah Palmer received her B.A. in English and Spanish from Samford University in 2009 and is currently pursuing a Ph.D. in Comparative Literature at UNC Chapel Hill. She has been actively engaged with ISA initiatives since her arrival in North Carolina in 2011, participating in working groups and conferences, as well as completing all three levels of the Yucatec Maya Summer Institute. She currently oversees the Latin American Film Library, a collection of over 600 films treating subjects of interest to Latin America, the Caribbean, and the U.S.Latino/a population.

LTAM Major Spotlight: Raina Enrique

The Latin American Studies Undergraduate major (LTAM) provides students with the opportunity to master multiple methodological skills and acquire the language competence through which to obtain a comprehensive understanding of the Latin American and Caribbean experience. In preparing students for public and private sector careers, LTAM alumni have gotten jobs in the U.S. State Department in a number of different Latin American countries, transnational companies that operate in the US and Latin America, and in non-profit organizations that work with migrants in the United States.


Raina Enrique, class of 2017

We had the pleasure of sitting down with Raina Enrique, class of 2017 LTAM and Psychology double major, who departs for Peru August 2017 to serve in the Peace Corps.

Originally from Orlando, Florida, Enrique entered UNC Chapel Hill as an undergraduate student in 2013 and took LTAM 101. She was quickly inspired to pursue the major.

“It was like a match lit within me,” Enrique said. “I learned things I had never been exposed to before.”

With personal ties and interests in Latin America, Enrique identified with the subject and wanted to pursue learning more about LTAM history, politics, and perspectives, which included not only how the United States saw Latin America, but also how Latin America saw the United States. She quickly developed a passion for the region, and sought out an international experience to study Yucatec Maya abroad.

“Going to Mexico was my first time leaving the country,” Enrique said. ” Once I was there, it clicked with me and the experience really tweaked my passion.”


Enrique received a FLAS award to study a second summer in the Yucatan.

Enrique liked the Yucatec Maya program so much, she went again as a FLAS recipient. Having had such a transformative experience learning an indigenous language and culture, Enrique applied to the Peace Corps with the intent on working with indigenous populations in Latin America.

“I loved the culture, the story, and the history,” Enrique said. “I still use my Maya today when I talk to my friends.”

In applying for the Peace Corps, Enrique requested to work with indigenous populations in Latin America. She will officially get that chance as she accepted an opportunity to serve in Peru as a Peace Corp youth development facilitator. In this position, Enrique will also add a fifth language of Quechua to her already existing skills in Portuguese, Spanish, Maya, and English.

Although she has not yet graduated, Enrique is looking ahead. She hopes to eventually earn a Ph.D. in cultural anthropology after taking this spring’s APPLES Global Course Guanajuato. Enrique said the LTAM major gave her the flexibility to tailor her interests in the Maya region and Mexico, and pull from many departments for a well-rounded perspective. Overall, Enrique said the LTAM major is enriching to learning.

“Not only is LTAM one of the majors that will change your perspective, it will also subsequently change your heart,” Enrique said.

Thank you for speaking with us, Raina! We look forward to the great things you will do!

FLAS fellowships fund the study of less commonly taught languages and area studies coursework. This program provides academic year and summer fellowships to assist graduate students and advanced undergraduates in foreign language and area studies. The goals of the fellowship program include: (1) to assist in the development of knowledge, resources and trained personnel for modern foreign language and area/international studies; (2) to stimulate the attainment of foreign language acquisition and fluency; and (3) to develop a pool of international experts to meet national needs.

In Memoriam: Dr. Henry Landsberger

Renown sociologist of Latin America Henry Landsberger passed away on February 1, 2017 at the age of 90.  Professor Landsberger graduated First Class Honors with a Bachelor of Science degree in Sociology at the London School of Economics and Political Science in 1948.  The following year he enrolled at Cornell University, where he completed his PhD in 1954 at the School of Industrial and Labor relations. Prior to his appointment to the faculty of Sociology at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Professor Landsberger taught at the Latin American Studies Center in Zurich and the University of Manchester. A scholar of known for his wide-ranging research interests, Professor Landsberger examined such varied themes as rural protest and peasant movements in Latin America, trade union movements, and the church and social change.  He served as President of the Latin American Studies Association (LASA) between 1973 and 1974.

Professor Landsberger enjoyed a long and distinguished career at Carolina until his retirement in 1994.

The Latin Americanist community at Carolina mourns and laments his passing as we celebrate his life.

Generous gift for creation of the Director’s Fund for Excellence in Latin American Studies

The Institute for the Study of the Americas is pleased to announce the receipt of a generous gift of $50,000 for the creation of the Director’s Fund for Excellence in Latin American Studies. The fund will serve the strategic priorities of the Curriculum of Latin American studies, including but not limited to faculty and student support, public lectures, and program events. The Curriculum serves as the undergraduate major in Latin American Studies (LTAM), a baccalaureate program within the College of Arts and Sciences that spans multiple interdisciplinary thresholds in the social sciences, humanities, and arts. The LTAM major is designed to foster intellectual engagement with a region of extraordinary diversity and rich cultural complexity, a region that includes Mexico, Central America, the Caribbean, and South America. The program offers students multi-disciplinary perspectives as a way to knowledge of the rich history, culture, politics, literature, and arts of Latin America.

Press Release: Public Conversation on Transnational Black Feminisms

In celebration of Black History Month, Winston-Salem State University will host a public conversation on “Transnational Black Feminisms: Black Women’s Activism in Brazil and the Americas,” on Wednesday, February 8, at 2 pm, in Diggs Gallery. The event, which is free and open to the public, will feature invited scholars Dr. Kia Caldwell and Dr. Keisha-Khan Perry, and WSSU scholars Dr. Michele Lewis and Dr. Uchenna Vasser. Dr. Corey D. B. Walker, Dean of the College and John W. and Anna Hodgin Hanes Professor of the Humanities, will moderate the discussion. The conversation will center on the impact of Black women scholars and activists globally. The panelists will share their research on the work of Black women activists in Brazil, the US, and the Americas, and discuss the continuing need for Black women in the diaspora to organize, mobilize, and resist via knowledge production and activism, particularly in light of the implications of changing political leadership in Brazil and the U.S. for Black women.

Caldwell is an Associate Professor, African, African American & Diaspora Studies, and Director of Faculty Diversity Initiatives, College of Arts and Sciences, UNC-Chapel Hill. Her research focuses on race, gender, health policy, HIV/AIDS, and human rights in Brazil and the U.S. Her book, Negras in Brazil: Re-envisioning Black Women, Citizenship, and the Politics of Identity, was published by Rutgers University Press. Her new book Health Equity in Brazil: Intersections of Gender, Race, and Policy will be published by the University of Illinois Press in 2017. Dr. Caldwell is also the co-editor, with Dr. Sonia Alvarez, of a recent two-part special issue of the journal Meridians focusing on Afro-descendant Feminisms in the America. She received her A.B. in Spanish Literature and Civilization from Princeton University. She completed her M.A. in Latin American Studies and Ph.D. in Social Anthropology with a specialization in African Diaspora Studies at the University of Texas at Austin.

Perry is an Associate Professor of Africana Studies at Brown University and Visiting Fellow in the Department of African American Studies at Princeton University. Her research focuses on race, gender and social movements in the Americas, urban geography and questions of citizenship, black women’s intellectual history, and the interrelationship between scholarship, pedagogy and political engagement. Winner of the National Women’s Studies Association 2014 Gloria E. Anzaldúa Book Award, her first book Black Women against the Land Grab: The Fight for Racial Justice in Brazil (University of Minnesota Press, 2013) is an ethnographic study of black women’s activism in Brazilian cities, especially in neighborhood movements for land and housing rights. She is currently writing her second book, Anthropology for Liberation: Research, Writing and Teaching for Social Justice. Perry completed her Ph.D. at the University of Texas-Austin, in the African Diaspora Program in Anthropology.

Lewis is an Associate Professor of Psychology and Chair of the Department of Psychological Sciences at Winston-Salem State University. She has presented to audiences interested in minority health, African-centered psychology, and Black Studies. She specifically writes about and speaks about the significance of including homo-attractional and gender non-conforming people of African descent in outreach and research. She is the author of two books, Multicultural Health Psychology: Special Topics Acknowledging Diversity (Allyn and Bacon, 2002); and LGBT Psychology: Research Perspectives and People of African Descent (Springer, 2012). Lewis earned the Ph.D. and M.S. degrees at Howard University, and the B.S. degree at old Dominion University.

Vasser is an Associate Professor of Spanish and Chair, Department of World Languages and Cultures, Winston-Salem State University. Her areas of research and scholarship include Afro-Colombian and Afro-Cuban literatures focusing on such themes as transculturation, cultural hybridity, women and the environment, and identity construction. Among her recent publications are “Visions from the Margins: Miguel Barnet’s Biografía de un cimarrón and Ivor Miller’s Voice of the Leopard” (2015), “Africanidad and the Representation of the Female Character in Three Novels by Manuel Zapata Olivella” (2014), and “The Double Bind: Women and the Environment in Chambacú, Black Slum and A Saint is Born in Chimá by Manuel Zapata Olivella” (2013). Vasser earned the Ph.D. in Romance Languages from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, the M.A. in Romance Languages and Literatures from the Ohio State University, and the B.A. in Psychology and Spanish from Schiller International University.

Caldwell and Perry will also visit classes, and lead an informal faculty roundtable on “Decolonizing Brazilian Studies” to continue WSSU’s intellectual engagement with decolonizing knowledge through a discussion of Bahia/Brazil, and women’s studies at WSSU centering on Black women’s scholarship and activism.

The program is co-sponsored by the WSSU Office of International Programs, the College of Arts, Sciences, Business and Education, and the Institute for the Study of the Americas at UNC-Chapel Hill. For more information, contact OIP at 336-750-2306.

Javier Arce Nazario

Javier Arce Nazario is an associate professor in the UNC Geography department. His research program has focused on the biophysical and social components of the Puerto Rican landscapes, and how they affect water quality and adaptability to extreme precipitation events. His interests specifically include understanding how watershed composition impacts water quality in the tropics, assessing the economic impact of extreme precipitation events, and exploring how community water management can be viewed through the lens of environmental justice. He is also interested in using historical orthophotography as an outreach tool for education and community involvement in water quality and environmental concerns.

Dr. Arce Nazario studied Ecology, Evolution and Environmental Biology at Columbia University, writing his dissertation on how humans and rivers shape the Peruvian Amazon landscape. Before joining the Geography program at UNC, he held a UC President’s Postdoctoral Fellow position at UC Berkeley, and professorships at the University of Puerto Rico campuses at Utuado and Cayey.