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Laura Brown
Academic Administrator
Olin-Sang 218
(781) 736-2293

Faculty Bios

More information on LALS faculty members may be found in the Faculty Guide.

Jerónimo Arellano. (Chair)
Assistant Professor of Latin American Literature and Culture
Department of Romance StudiesJeronimo Arellano
Ph.D., Stanford University
(781) 736-3231

My research focuses on 20th and 21st century Latin American literary and media history, and on colonial Latin American studies. Within these fields, I am particularly interested in exploring historical changes in dimensions of texts and artworks that antecede or transcend meaning and representation, such as the materiality of print and other media, and the emotional effects of narrative forms. 


Greg Childs
Assistant Professor of HistoryGreg Childs
Department of History
Ph. D. New York University
(781) 736-2291

My research examines Latin American and Caribbean history with a concentration in colonial Brazil, early America, and Haiti. Research interests include rebellion, revolution, public sphere theory, Black intellectual history and the African Diaspora.


Christina EspinosaM. Christina Espinosa
Associate Professor, Heller School
Ph.D University of Florida
(781) 736-7660

A social scientist (B.A. from the Universidad Católica del Peru, 1976) and an anthropologist (Ph.D. from the University of Florida, 1998), Cristina worked for 25 years as a researcher and program manager in sustainable development, with social groups as diverse as goat herders, poor farmers in the Andes and the Amazon or migrant rural workers in large sugar mills on the coast of Peru. She focused on the links between gender, livelihoods as adaptive strategies to natural environments and changing macroeconomic contexts, and the role of culture and ethnicity maintaining or contesting social hierarchies. Her professional experience ranges from working within a small NGO she co-founded in Peru to heading the Global Social Policy Program for IUCN, an international conservation organization with operation on five continents. 


elizabeth ferryElizabeth Ferry
Associate Professor of Anthropology
Ph.D., Johns Hopkins University
(781) 736-2218

My interests lie in Mexico and U.S.-Mexican relations, and in silver mining, with special focus on theoretical concepts of patrimony and the production of value. I recently completed a book on mineral collecting of mineral specimens from Mexico in museums and collections in the United States. The describes how and why these byproducts of ore mining come to be valued by people in various walks of life as scientific specimens, religious offerings, works of art, and luxury collectibles. The story of mineral exploration and trade defines a variegated transnational space, shedding new light on the complex relationship between these two countries and on the process of making value itself.

I am currently pursuing several projects, including one on artisanal gold mining and uses of gold in Colombia (in conjunction with my brother, photojournalist Stephen Ferry) and another on perception among participants in financial markets on the relationship between physical gold and gold based assets.  At Brandeis, I teach courses in economic anthropology, power and violence, Latin American ethnography, media in Latin America, and the anthropology of food. Author of "Minerals, Collecting, and Value across the U.S.-Mexican Border" (2013), Bloomington: University of Indiana Press and "Not Ours Alone: Patrimony, Value and Collectivity in Contemporary Mexico" (2005). My research interests focus on political economy in Latin America, the politics of value, and mining and mineral collecting.


ricardo godoyRicardo Godoy
Professor, Heller School for Social Policy and Management
Ph.D., Columbia University
(781) 736-2784

Dr. Godoy is a cultural anthropologist who draws on insights from evolutionary biology and economic theory to formulate hypotheses about the effects of market exposure, globalization, or modernization on the well-being and the use of natural resources of indigenous people. He collaborates with biological and cultural anthropologists from Northwestern University, the University of Georgia, and the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona in a study called the Tsimané Amazonian Panel Study (TAPS). The research team carries out annual survey waves in which they measure a wide range of socioeconomic, demographic, health, and psychological indicators


charles goldenCharles Golden
Associate Professor of Anthropology
Ph.D., University of Pennsylvania
(781) 736-2217

I am an anthropological archaeologist and has conducted research in Belize, Honduras, Mexico and Guatemala. My research interests include the political organization of the Prehispanic Maya, archaeology of complex societies, landscape archaeology and remote sensing, and the modern social contexts of archaeology in Latin America.

I am committed to the notion of archaeology as a broadly anthropological discipline that should draw insights from throughout the social sciences, humanities and the physical sciences. I am also dedicated to the public education and public interest roles that archaeologists increasingly play in the countries where we conduct our research. 

From 2003 to 2010 I directed the Sierra del Lacandón Regional Archaeology Project with colleagues from the United States and Guatemala. Our bi-national effort brought together archaeologists, biological anthropologists, faunal experts, soils researchers, and other scholars to model the development of ancient Maya kingdoms from the perspective of the borderlands between dynastic capitals.


James Mandrell
Associate Professor of Hispanic Studies; Comparative Literature; Women's and Gender Studies; and Film, Television and Interactive Media
Ph.D., Johns Hopkins University
(781) 736-3215

James Mandrell's special interests are the picaresque; the historical novel; genre and gender; and literary theory. He is the author of "Don Juan and the Point of Honor: Seduction, Patriarchal Society and Literary Tradition."


wellington nyangoniWellington Nyangoni
Professor of African and Afro-American Studies
Ph.D., Howard University
(781) 736-2091

Wellington Nyangoni specializes in comparative Third World politics. He is the author of "Caribbean Economic Integration and the Search for Economic Viability" and "African and Caribbean States and Superpower Diplomacy."


lucia reyes de duxLucia Reyes de Deu
Lecturer in Hispanic Studies
Ph.D., SUNY Stony Brook
(781) 736-2692

A native of Argentina, Lucia Reyes de Deu is the recipient of a Tinker Field Research Grant and an Excellence in Teaching Award from SUNY Stony Brook. Her research interests are sociological approaches to Latin American culture and literatures, cultural studies and Andean culture and literatures.


fernando rosenbergFernando Rosenberg
Associate Professor of Hispanic Studies and Comparative Literature
Ph.D., Johns Hopkins University
(781) 736-3209

A native of Argentina, Fernando Rosenberg is the author of "The Avant-Garde and Geopolitics in Latin America" and is a member of the editorial board of the Hispanic Poetry Review. His areas of interest are 19th- and 20th-century poetry, narrative and critical theory.


laurence simonLaurence Simon
Professor and Director, Sustainable International Development Programs; Associate Dean, Academic Planning Ph.D., Clark University

Laurence Simon led Oxfam America's work in Central America and the Caribbean and its policy analysis worldwide. He is the author of "El Salvador Land Reform, 1980-1981" (with James Stephens). Simon has done field work in Nicaragua, El Salvador, Haiti, Cuba and Jamaica, among other countries.


faith smithFaith Smith
Associate Professor of African and Afro-American Studies; English
Ph.D., Duke University
(781) 736-2094

A native of Jamaica, Faith Smith's research interests are gender, nationalism and culture in the Caribbean. She is the author of "Creole Recitations: John Jacob Thomas and Colonial Formation in the Late Nineteenth-Century Caribbean." Her current projects are an edited collection of essays on sexuality in the Caribbean and a manuscript on late 19th-century modernity in the Caribbean.


urcidJavier Urcid
Associate Professor of Anthropology
Ph.D., Yale University
(781) 736-2223

A native of Mexico, Javier Urcid has done field work throughout Mexico and Belize. He is the author of "Zapotec Hieroglyphic Writing" and articles on the scribal traditions of southwestern Mexico. He is currently conducting an archeological project in the Gulf Lowlands of Southern Veracruz, Mexico, on the region's political economy. He is a consultant to the National Museum of the American Indian in Washington, D.C.