PLAS Senior Thesis Prize Nominees

Stanley J. Stein Senior Thesis Prize

The Stanley J. Stein prize is awarded by PLAS each year to the student who writes the best senior thesis on a Latin American-related topic.

Helena Michelle Hengelbrok, Anthropology
Water Belongs to Those Who are Thirsty: An Ethnography of Water, Health, and Political Belonging in Urubamba, Peru

Seth Merkin Morokoff, Economics
The Impact of Brazil’s Bolsa Familia on Child Labor Supply Effects by Age and Employment Sector

Oliver A. Quintero, Woodrow Wilson School
An Analysis of Interest Group Influence on U.S.-Cuba Trade Policy

Andrea Rodriguez Gallego, Woodrow Wilson School
Returns of Hugo Chavez’s Bolivarian Missions in Venezuela

Abdiel Santiago, Politics
In the Shadow of the Stars and Stripes an Experimental Analysis on the Manufacturing of Support for Puerto Rican Statehood

Jamie Lee Shenk, History
Where Were You When They Killed Lara Bonilla? Politics of Drugs and Peace in Colombia (1982-1984)

Zachary Willhelm Wall, History
Islands of Insanity U.S. Intervention in Brazil and the Dominican Republic, 1964-1966

Melody Zhang Qui, Woodrow Wilson School
To Push or to Cut? Decision-Making in Childbirth Amid the Brazilian Cesarean Epidemic

Kenneth Maxwell Senior Thesis Prize in Brazilian and Portuguese Studies

The Kenneth Maxwell prize is awarded by PLAS on behalf of Firestone Library to the student who writes the best senior thesis related to Brazil.

Mary Ann Ferguson McNulty, Woodrow Wilson School
When Environmental and Social Crisis Collide: Problems in the Periphery are Center State in the São Paulo Water Crisis

Seth Merkin Morokoff, Economics
The Impact of Brazil’s Bolsa Familia on Child Labor Supply Effects by Age and Employment Sector

Paul H. von Autenried, Jr., Politics
Cross-national Analysis of Positive Action Programs and their Social, Political and Economic Origins: Identity and Ethnic Preferences for Three Marginalized Peoples across Twenty-one States

Zachary Willhelm Wall, History
Islands of Insanity U.S. Intervention in Brazil and the Dominican Republic, 1964-1 6

Melody Zhang Qiu, Woodrow Wilson School
To Push or to Cut? Decision-Making in Childbirth Amid the Brazilian Cesarean Epidemic

Q&A: Does the ‘Hispanic Paradox’ still exist?

Latinos in the United States typically live longer than whites — a phenomenon commonly referred to as the “Hispanic Paradox” or “Latino Mortality Advantage.”

While not totally understood, these epidemiological findings have interested scholars, mostly because Latinos, on average, have lower socioeconomic status than whites. This is typically associated with higher death rates and worse health outcomes.

Good health at the start of migration, lower rates of smoking and strong social networks are some of the reasons researchers believe Latinos have an edge over their white counterparts in the United States.

But current health trends suggest the gap between U.S. Latinos and whites may soon be shrinking, according to Princeton University research, which points to higher obesity rates, higher incidence of diabetes, and significant disability issues as potential downfalls for Latinos. While Latinos still smoke less than whites in the United States, this may not be enough to counteract the other negative health trends.

Study author Noreen Goldman, the Hughes-Rogers Professor of Demography and Public Affairs, recently answered questions about her research. Her findings were published in Research on Aging, an academic journal.  Read More

Q&A: Brazil’s president was impeached. Now what?

Brazil’s Senate voted last week to impeach President Dilma Rousseff, a move that suspends the president for 180 days. Rousseff, who is accused of using public bank money to cover budget gaps, now faces an impeachment trial. The suspended president is calling the situation a “coup d’etat” and maintains she didn’t act criminally regarding budgetary affairs.

The impeachment raises significant questions for Brazil’s economic and political future. John Londregan, professor of politics and international affairs, answered questions about these issues and how they will affect Brazil going forward.

Londregan, a faculty associate at the Center for the Study of Democratic Politics, is a specialist in the development and application of statistical methods in political science. He also studies politics in South America, with a particular focus on Chilean legislative and electoral politics. Read more

Senior thesis: Exploring the emergence of Cuban consumerism

Senior Thesis Dennisse Calles

Dennisse Calle found the topic for her senior thesis along a Havana street, in the back of a stall that sells pirated movies and music.

Cubans pay the equivalent of a few dollars, insert a flash drive into the computer at the back of the stall, and get access to El Paquete — a weekly, one terabyte compilation of popular TV shows, movies, music, computer and phone apps, and advertisements that serves as an offline Netflix, YouTube, Craigslist and more in a country where Internet access is slow and expensive. Read more

Price explores Cuban literature and culture in ‘Planet/Cuba’

Rachel PriceRachel Price, an associate professor of Spanish and Portuguese who is also affiliated with the Program in Media and Modernity, joined Princeton in 2009. Her scholarship focuses on Latin American, Caribbean and particularly Cuban literature and culture; media; poetics; empire; and ecocriticism. Her essays have explored a range of topics including digital media, slavery, poetics and visual art. This semester she is teaching an undergraduate course, “El Género Negro: Crime Fiction,” in Spanish, and a graduate course, “Narrative Prose in Latin America — Finance and Form.”

In her new book, “Planet/Cuba” (2015, Verso Books), Price addresses contemporary literature as well as conceptual, digital and visual art from Cuba that engages questions of environmental crisis, new media and new forms of labor and leisure.  Read more

A Taste of Cuba

The Vedado neighborhood of Havana after a thunderstorm. Poor drainage often left streets flooded.

Olivia Adechi ’16The Vedado neighborhood of Havana after a thunderstorm. Poor drainage often left streets flooded.

By Mark F. Bernstein ’83

Some things are universal: The first day of class is awkward, particularly at a new school, and it pays to break the ice. As Johannes Hallermeier ’16 discovered, this is no less true in Cuba than it is anywhere else.

Hallermeier was sitting with a handful of Princeton students and a dozen Cubans in a class on the history of Latin American thought at the University of Havana last February, as part of a revised and expanded study-abroad program. While they waited for the professor, the students kept to themselves — shuffling papers, playing with pens, staring silently at their wooden desks. As a rule, Hallermeier would learn, Cubans are friendly and outgoing people, but today, probably because of first-day nervousness, everyone avoided eye contact. It did not bode well for an engaging semester.

Read more…

Program in Latin American Studies (PLAS) Visiting Fellowships, 2016-2017

 Program in Latin American Studies (PLAS) Visiting Fellowships, 2016-2017

Job Title: Visiting Research Scholar — Requisition Number: 1500588
Deadline: October 15, 2015, 11:59 p.m. EST

The Program in Latin American Studies is launching an open call for applications for the 2016-2017 visiting fellowships. We are looking for top scholars in their field who have teaching experience and will provide Princeton students with a unique opportunity to study topics that are not regularly offered at Princeton. Applications will be accepted from outstanding scholars in the humanities and social sciences, as well as from established writers, artists, filmmakers, or architects working on projects relating to Latin America who are stellar teachers. For 2016-2017, we are particularly interested in candidates working in the following fields:

1) Cuban history, culture, and literature
2) Latin American architecture

Fellows will be appointed for either one or two semesters during the academic year, 2016-2017 (fall semester: September 1, 2016-January 31, 2017; spring semester: February 1-June 30, 2017). The Office of the Dean of the Faculty determines salary on the basis of current academic rank and award duration; appointment rank at Princeton is determined on the basis of experience and current institutional affiliation.

How to Apply
Application deadline is October 15, 2015, 11:59 p.m. EST. All candidates must use the online application process to submit materials and apply online at: http://jobs.princeton.edu.

1) A cover letter indicating the applicant’s proposed length of stay (1-2 semesters), title of the proposed research project, and teaching interests;
2) A curriculum vitae (in English);
3) One undergraduate seminar proposal (or syllabus) for each proposed semester of the fellowship, including a statement of how this course(s) would enhance undergraduate education at Princeton;
4) A four-five page statement describing the research project and its scholarly contribution;
5) The names of three (3) referees (the Program will contact them, if needed, at a later date).

Fellows may teach one undergraduate course per semester, conditional upon sufficient enrollments and approval of a Princeton department and the Dean of the Faculty; and participate in PLAS-related events on campus.

Required Qualifications: Advanced degree preferred.


Princeton University is an equal opportunity employer and all qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability status, protected veteran status, or any other characteristic protected by law.

Seniors win Labouisse Prize for projects in Colombia, Himalayas

Two Princeton University seniors have been awarded the Henry Richardson Labouisse ’26 Prize to spend one year pursuing international civic engagement projects after graduation. The $30,000 prize will support a project by Yessica Martinez in Colombia and Damaris Miller in Nepal and India.

The award to Martinez will help her use poetry to empower a community in her native Colombia that faces a moment of transition and change. Miller’s award will assist her work to assess the environmental efforts of monasteries and help the institutions’ residents identify ways to increase their environmental sustainability.

Read more.

Congratulations Yessica Martinez and Jake Robertson!

Photos by Denise Applewhite, Office of Communications

Photos by Denise Applewhite, Office of Communications

Princeton seniors Yessica Martinez and Jake Robertson have been named co-winners of the University’s 2015 Moses Taylor Pyne Honor Prize, the highest general distinction conferred on an undergraduate.
They will be recognized at a luncheon during Alumni Day on campus Saturday, Feb. 21.

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