Graduate Research Symposium Spring 2017


The University of Kansas Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies, CLACS, Institute of Haitian Studies, IHS, and Latin American Graduate Organization, LAGO, will host a graduate symposium showcasing innovative interdisciplinary research from Latin America and the Caribbean on Monday, April 3, 2017 at The Commons.

Through their research, graduate students make significant contributions to the field that support CLACS’ efforts to be a leading resource center for people across Kansas, the country, and the world in the study of the cultures, politics, and economies of Latin America and the Caribbean.

Graduate students from programs as diverse as Psychology, Architecture, Linguistics, Psychology, Film & Media Studies, Theatre, Anthropology, Political Science, Sociology, Geography and Atmospheric Science, and Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies will be presenting research in short, slide-based talks that explore themes of culture, identity, art, economy, environment, politics, international aid, and more. Presenters include:

Sara Estrada-Villalta, Doriane Andrade Meyer, Jonah Bates, Nadia Jessop, Courtney Sanchez, Matthew Fahrenbruch, Diana Restrepo-Osorio, João Batista Nascimento Gregoire, Rachel Denney, Ryan Daugherty, Silvia Sánchez, and Luis Gonzalez.

Our graduate students exemplify CLACS’ tradition of interdisciplinary research that places this university in global conversations. Most importantly, our students’ travels and studies promote multiculturalism in communities at home and abroad, and bring attention to bold ideas, aspirations, and actions.

The Graduate Symposium is meant to be an informal opportunity to learn and socialize. Please join CLACS, IHS, and LAGO on Monday, April 3, 2017 at 3:00-6:00 p.m. in The Commons @ Spooner Hall. Organized into panels, speakers have approximately five minutes for each presentation, and an additional five minutes for questions and comments from the audience. Brief intermissions will divide panels, and light hors d’oeuvres and refreshments will be provided. Come and stay for the entire event to support all of our graduate students, or select from this list:

3:10 Panel 1: Culture, Nation, and Identity

Sara Estrada-Villalta, Psychology (Watch Video)

“Constructions of National Identity in Costa Rica and Guatemala and their Relationship with Attitudes Toward Public Policy” 

Doriane Andrade Meyer, Architecture (Watch Video)

“Non-Western Influences on Brazilian Architecture: The Islamic Case”

Jonah Bates, Linguistics (Watch Video)

“The Essential Role of Indigenous Languages in Identifying Language Universals: The Case of Mayan Person-Making”

Nadia Jessop, Educational Psychology (Watch Video)

“Exploring Costa Rican Cultural Identity among Afrocaribeños y Mestizos”

4:00 Panel 2: Cultural Production and the Arts

Courtney Sanchez, Film & Media Studies (Watch Video)

“Silent Divas: Early Mexican Film Stars and Post-Revolutionary Femininity”

Pamela Rodríguez-Montero, Theatre

“Rabinal Achí: Scenographic Design of a Mayan Play”

4:20 Panel 3: Economy, Environment, and Resource Management

Matthew L Fahrenbruch, Geography and Atmospheric Science (Watch Video)

“Chinese Salted Jellyfish: The Next Extractive Boom Economy in the Miskitu Coast of Nicaragua”

Diana L. Restrepo-Osorio, Geography (Watch Video)

“Effects of Federal Policies on Water Resource Conservation Practices in Cattle Ranching Operations of Southern Uruguay.”

João Batista Nascimento Gregoire, Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies (Watch Video)

“Economic Policy-Making Under External Supervision: The Cases of Vargas and Cardoso in Brazil”

5:00 Panel 4: Politics, the State, and NGOs

Rachel Denney, Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies (Watch Video)

“Who’s the Boss? NGOs and the State in Guatemala”

Ryan Daugherty, Political Science (Watch Video)

“Failure to Party? An Investigation of Maya Politics in Guatemala”

Silvia Sánchez, Anthropology (Watch Video)

“Navigating the Global Development Industry: Experiences of NGO Workers in the Ch’orti’ Maya Area, Guatemala”

Luis Gonzalez, Sociology (Watch Video)

“Unaccompanied Children: A Case Study of Guatemalan Children”

For information or questions, please contact Aron Muci at 785-864-4213 or

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