Tinker Visiting Professor Teaching Assistantships

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The Center's most robust visiting scholar program is its Tinker Visiting Professorship, which has brought more than 100 distinguished scholars to teach and conduct research at the University of Chicago since being endowed by the Edward Larocque Tinker Foundation in 1981.

Each academic year the Center for Latin American Studies brings 3–4 Tinker Visiting Professors to campus to teach courses in a variety of disciplines and topics. To support their courses, CLAS appoints advanced doctoral graduate student teaching assistants through an internal competition.


Applications for 2018-19 have closed. Please check back in January 2019 for 2019-2020 applications.

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Teaching Assistants complete all reading assignments, attend class lectures, hold office hours for students where needed, and provide course support through assisting with course design, arranging for library course reserves and text copies, assisting with and managing the Canvas site, assisting with grading, and other relevant course duties as assigned and approved by CLAS. 

Students whose disciplinary training or academic interests align with the Tinker Visiting Professors and/or their courses are encouraged to apply.

2018–19 Tinker Visiting Professor Courses

Autumn 2018
Mariana Castillo Deball, DOVA
LACS 2/35117
The Audience, the Archaeologist, and the Art Historian
TR 12:30-1:50PM

This course will address archaeological objects as well as the techniques that have been developed in order to capture them in a broader sense: to capture their meaning, to capture their form, to capture their trajectories. Archaeological objects change depending on the place where they are and the people who manipulate them.
The course will be developed in a series of theory-practice based sessions. Due to the richness that the University offers, in terms of faculties and other resources, some of the sessions will be accompanied by scholars from other faculties to address a particular topic or expertise relevant to the session.

This course contains a studio component.

Autumn 2018
Alexandre Ramos, Ecology and Evolution
LACS 2/35121
The Brazil-Argentina Nuclear Cooperation Agreement and the Hydroelectric to Thermoelectric Transition in Brazil

In this course we present a history of Brazil-Argentina nuclear cooperation and how Brazil is planning the transition of its electric matrix from predominantly hydraulic towards a mix with increased share of nuclear power. Proliferation risks are a main concern of international community when nuclear programs expansion is considered. The Brazilian-Argentine Agency for Accounting and Control of Nuclear Materials, created in 1991, has been fundamental in assuring the international community (via the International Atomic Energy Agency) that the nuclear materials and facilities of both countries are being used for peaceful purposes. Domestically, the debate has been environmental in nature, and concerns topics ranging from mining to power generation, and from radioactive materials disposal to radiation effects in living organisms and major accidents. These diplomatic, environmental, social and political issues are in turn dependent on technical details of the thermoelectric generating process, and this nexus of issues provides the topics for the course.

Winter 2019
José Portillo Valdés, History
LACS 2/35120
Territorial Identities, State Formation, and the Experience of Modernity in the Modern World
MW 3:00-4:20PM

During the last twenty years scholars interested in the history of the crisis of the Spanish Monarchy focused on the development of the idea of nation and nationhood in the Spanish and Portuguese Atlantic. Criticizing the idea of the birth of post-colonial Latin American republics as the triumph of a national sentiment, historians reconceptualized the nation as a result of the imperial crisis. However, considerably less attention has been paid to the parallel process of State building in the Iberian World. This course will offer an introductory overview of the process that led from imperial monarchy to national republics from the point of view of statehood formation. It will focus on the complexity of the process of emancipation as a transition from monarchical tutorship to the birth of modern “Administración," while also addressing territorial identities as forms of non-national self-recognition that transited from colonial monarchy to post-colonial State.

Spring 2019
Antonio Sergio Guimarães, Sociology
LACS 2/35118
Historical Sociology of Racism in Latin America
TR 11:00-12:20PM

The course will examine the discourse on race, racism, and racial inequalities through the available sociological literature. Special emphasis will be placed on the emergency of social movements and collective agencies that have shaped the present racial order in the region. This course will first present how racialization processes intermingled with the formation of mestizo nation-states in Latin America, and, by doing so, establishing racial democracy as the corner stone of modern democracies (1920s to 1960s). Second, examine how authoritarian regimes promoted economic development but were incapable of curtailing social inequalities in the region, eventually dismantling the international perception of these countries as racial democracies (1960s to 1980s). And, finally, explore how processes of racial formation operated in the whole region, giving way to the formation of multiracial nations and to the visibility of racism as a structural component of these societies (1990s to 2010s).