CLAS Postdoctoral Lecturer & Affiliated Postdocs

CLAS Postdoctoral Lecturer

Pablo Palomino

Pablo Palomino joined CLAS in September 2015. He holds a BA in history from the University of Buenos Aires and a PhD (2014) in History from the University of California, Berkeley. His dissertation, “Transnational Musical Networks in Latin America, 1910–1950,” is an interdisciplinary study that argues that the making of national music styles in Latin America was part of a broader circulation of commercial, diasporic, and classical musical styles. His dissertation transcends the national framework that dominates the historiography of modern Latin American cultural history and focuses instead on transnational networks as central to the making of modern Latin American culture.

At UChicago, he teaches the MA Proseminar in Latin American Studies as a multi-disciplinary seminar with guest lectures by faculty affiliates of the Center for Latin American Studies. In addition, he teaches three courses related to his interests.


Autumn 2016: Argentine Histories LACS 24705/34705


This seminar introduces students to current scholarship on modern Argentina, with an emphasis on the 20th century, but drawing also on cutting-edge literature from the 19th to understand long-term processes.

The themes are diverse: the links between Argentina and global history; social classes, economic regions, and political regimes; urban and domestic spaces; the gendered nature of politics; the history of the state and its elites; the anthropology and economics of food and music; the forms of remembering; human rights; sexual identities; and of course, football and psychoanalysis. All revolving around the production of, and the challenges to, Argentina's egalitarian ethos.

Winter 2017: Progress, Development, and the Future in Latin American History LACS 26413 (HIST 26117, ANTH 23091)


“Progress,” and its derived concept of “development” have puzzled Latin Americans throughout their modern history: they were an ambitious goal and a challenge for intellectual and political elites, a reality and an elusive dream for ordinary Latin Americans, and the cause of new challenges and problems wherever they actually or presumably took place. For historians, progress and development used to represent the very sense of universal history, a narrative that sneaked into visions of “Western modernity” and “globalization.” But later on, they became a myth to debunk rather than an object of reflection. What has “progress” meant particularly for Latin Americans? What is, for instance, the meaning of “progress” in the Brazilian flag? How did those notions shape the one of “development” since WWII? In political terms, what ideas of “progress” and “development” animated oligarchic, liberal, populist, military, revolutionary, and democratic projects across the region? Because both concepts involve planning and envisioning the outcome of present actions, the history of progress and development is also, in a certain way, a history of the future.

Spring 2017: Music and Globalization in 20th Century Latin America LACS 26412/36412 (HIST 26116, MUSI 23416/33416)


This course introduces students to the cultural history of Latin America as a region and the history of the region’s globalization, from the perspective of the history of Latin American modern music. Lectures, group work, readings, and individual assignments deal with the role of music in producing Latin America’s modern culture from a global perspective. It deals with the histories of folk, classical, and urban musical traditions, diasporic music styles, entertainment corporations, state policies in the realm of music, music pedagogy, music and cinema, Latin American musicology, musical nationalism, and musical diplomacy. The emphasis is on the late 19th and the 20th centuries, but students interested in colonial music are welcome to take the course.

Affiliated Postdocs

Valeria López Fadul, Provost's Postdoctoral Scholar (2015–2017), Department of History

Valeria López Fadul received her PhD in history from Princeton University in 2015. She studies early modern Iberian and colonial Latin American intellectual history with a focus on the philosophy of language. Her dissertation reassesses the linguistic component of Spanish imperialism by reconstructing the beliefs and practices with which scholars, missionaries, and crown officials confronted the challenges of governing a vast, multilingual, and transoceanic empire. She argues that rather than suppressing native languages Spanish scholars and administrators retrieved in them information about the history of their speakers or about their experiences of the natural world. The Spanish crown sponsored scientific expeditions, comprehensive censuses, local and universal histories, and the creation of libraries in order to harness linguistic knowledge for its own political benefit.

Stuart McManus, Postdoctoral Researcher (2016–2018), Stevanovich Institute on the Formation of Knowledge

McManus is an historian of global empire with a particular focus on Latin America and Iberian Asia.  He received his PhD in history from Harvard in 2016.  His first book project “Empire of Eloquence: Humanism and Iberian Global Expansion” argues that the classical rhetorical tradition was a key technology of empire and evangelization in the early modern Americas and Asia that can be only understood fully from a global perspective.  This project relies on archival work undertaken in 13 countries in Latin America, Europe and Asia.  He has published widely on the cultural history of Latin America, ethnohistory and the classical tradition.  At Chicago, he will be teaching courses on Mexico in global context.  

Danielle Roper, Provost's Postdoctoral Scholar (2016–2018), Department of Romance Languages and Literatures

Roper graduated with a Ph.D from the Department of Spanish and Portuguese at New York University in 2015 where she defended her dissertation "Inca Drag Queens and Hemispheric Blackface: Contemporary Blackface and Drag performance from the Andes to Jamaica."  Currently, she is preparing her book manuscript by expanding the scope of her dissertation.  Her book develops the concept of “hemispheric blackface” to examine the role of parodic performance in upholding or countering discourses of racial democracy, mestizaje and non-racialism in Latin America and the Caribbean. Challenging traditional geographic paradigms, it uses Peru, Colombia, and Jamaica as case studies in order to investigate the function of blackface and drag performance in different locales and to argue that these representations of blackness are not unique; they are part of a regional network embedded in global economies of representation.

Fidel Tavárez, Provost's Postdoctoral Scholar (2016–2018), Department of History

Fidel Tavárez  holds a Ph.D. in history from Princeton University. His area of study is the intellectual, cultural, and administrative history of the Spanish Empire, with a particular focus on the eighteenth-century Bourbon Reforms. More broadly, he is interested in understanding how and why commerce became a matter of state in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. This question has propelled him to study the origins of political economy, colonialism, imperial rivalry, globalization, and international law. He will transform his dissertation into a book manuscript, tentatively titled The Imperial Machine: The Invention of the Spanish Commercial Empire, c. 1740-1808. This project investigates the rise of a new imperial program among officials who served in the main governing institutions of the Spanish Monarchy.