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Nancy Appelbaum

Director, Latin American and   
Caribbean Area Studies Program  
Ph.D., University of Wisconsin


Latin America, Colombia, Race, Gender 
Office: LT 610 
Phone: (607) 777-2625

My research has asked:  How have Latin Americans defined and experienced race, region, nation, and migration?  My recent book follows a group of mid-nineteenth-century geographers as they traversed the mountains, valleys, plains, and forests of the country that became Colombia.  I study the ways that they envisioned the racial and territorial composition of the young nation.   An earlier book examined agrarian and regional history from the perspective of a multiracial community in Colombia’s Coffee Region over the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.   I also co-edited a volume of essays on the links between race and nation throughout Latin America.   Additional areas of interest include gender and transnational links between Latin America and the United States, which have led me to a new project on Central American immigrants.  I accept well-prepared graduate students in modern Latin American history whose thematic interests dovetail with the History Department’s broader strengths.  For undergraduates, I teach a range of topics in Latin American history and Latin American and Caribbean studies.  Since 2014, I have directed the Latin American and Caribbean Area Studies (LACAS) program.  I previously chaired the History Department.


Recent Interview in Spanish:


Recent or current undergraduate courses:

  • Introduction to Latin American and Caribbean Studies
  • Modern Latin America
  • Latin America and the United States
  • Race in Latin American History
  • Gender in Latin America
  • Insurgent Cuba, 1868 to the Present
  • Political Violence in Latin America

Recent or current graduate courses:

  • Race, Place & Nation in Latin America
  • Gender in Latin America
  • Twentieth-Century Labor and Women's History in Latin   America
  • Research Seminar

Select Publications


  • Ibero-American Prize for an Academic Book on the      Nineteenth Century/Premio Iberamericano de libro académico del siglo XIX, Nineteeth-Century Section of the Latin American Studies Association, for Mapping the Country of Regions:  The Chorographic Commission of Nineteenth-Century Colombia, 2017.

  • Honorable Mention for the James Alexander Robertson Prize of the Conference on Latin American History (CLAH), for the best article in The Hispanic American Historical Review for "Reading the Past on the Mountainsides of Colombia: Mid-Nineteenth- Century Patriotic Geology, Archaeology, and Historiography," January 2015.
  • Honorable Mention for the Joseph T. Criscenti Best Article Prize, New England Council of Latin American Studies, 2014, for the best article in The Hispanic American Historical Review for "Reading the Past on the Mountainsides of Colombia: Mid-Nineteenth-Century Patriotic Geology, Archaeology, and Historiography," November 2014.
  • Chancellor's Award for Excellence in Teaching, Binghamton University, 2004-2005
  • New England Council of Latin American Studies (NECLAS) Best Book Prize for Muddied Waters: Race, Region, and Local History in Colombia, 1846-1948, October 2004
  • The Berkshire Conference First Book Prize for Muddied Waters: Race, Region, and Local History in Colombia, 1846-1948, May 2004

Select Grants and Fellowships

  • National Endowment for the Humanities Fellowship, 2009-2010

  • Fellowship, Institute for Historical Studies, University of Texas at Austin, Spring 2009

  • National Endowment for the Humanities, Summer Stipend, 2002

  • Social Science Research Council and American Council of Learned Societies, Joint Committee on Latin America and the Caribbean, Doctoral Research Fellowship, 1993-1995

  • History Department Fellowship, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Spring 1993

  • Foreign Language and Area Studies Scholarship, University of Wisconsin-Madison, 1990-1991

  •  Fulbright/ICE-TEX Scholarship, Universidad de los Andes, Bogotá, Colombia, 1988-1989

Dissertations Supervised

  • Sandra Beatriz Sánchez López, "Practicing Journalism, Contesting Marginalization: Gender, Class, and the Women's Press in Mid-Twentieth-Century Colombia," 2014.  Assistant Professor, University of the Andes, Bogotá, Colombia
  •  Luis M. Sierra, " "Indigenous Neighborhood Residents in the Urbanization of La Paz, Bolivia, 1910-1950," 2013.  Assistant Professor, Thomas More College
  • Nilay Ozok-Gundogan, "The Making of the Modern Ottoman State in the Kurdish Periphery: The Politics of Land and Taxation, 1840-1870," 2011 (directed by the late Donald Quataert and completed under my supervision after his death). Assistant Professor, Florida State University
  • Melissa Madera, "Zones of Scandal: Gender, Public Health and Social Hygiene in the Dominican Republic," 1916-1961, 2011.  Reproductive justice educator and founder and editor of The Abortion Diary podcast.
  Dibujar la nación:  La Comisión Corográfica en la Colombia del siglo XIX
Dos plazas y una nación:  Raza y colonización en Riosucio, Caldas
Race and Nation in Modern Latin America
Muddied Waters: Race, Region, and Local History in Colombia


Last Updated: 1/16/18