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Core Team

Büschges, Christian (History and MA Latin American Studies, University of Bern)


Prof. Dr. Büschges is Professor of Iberian and Latin American History at the University of Bern since 2013, and Associated Researcher at the Universidad Andina Simón Bolívar (Quito, Ecuador). He has also been from 2002 to 2013 Professor of Iberian and Latin American History at Bielefeld University. His main research interests focus on the political structure and practices of the Spanish Monarchy (16th and 17th centuries), social elites in Latin America (18th and 19th century), and ethnicity, social mobilisation, and state formation in Latin America from a global perspective. He has become part of the ProDoc/SSLAS network of researchers after having come into contact with it during his lecture in a ProDoc workshop in 2014.


Helg, Aline (History, University of Geneva)


Professor Emeritus since 2019, Prof. Dr. Aline Helg was Professor of History at the University of Geneva (2003-2018) and Assistant and Associate Professor at the University of Texas at Austin (1989-2003). She has extensively researched and published on Cuba, Colombia, the African diaspora in the Americas, comparative race relations and racial theories, slavery and post-slavery, as well as on the processes of independence and national building in Latin America. She is currently doing research on the Catholic Church, Liberation Theology and race. Her books include "Plus jamais esclaves! De l’insoumission à la révolte, le grand récit d’une émancipation (1492-1838)" (Editions La Découverte, 2016), also available as "Slave No More: Self-Liberation before Abolitionism in the Americas" (University of North Carolina Press, 2019); "Liberty and Equality in Caribbean Colombia, 1770-1835" (University of  North Carolina Press, 2004), and "Our Rightful Share: The Afro-Cuban Struggle for Equality, 1886-1912" (University of  North Carolina Press, 1995), both winners of prizes from the American Historical Association. All her books have been published in a Spanish translation. She has co-edited (with Claude Auroi) "Latin America 1810-2010: Dreams and Legacies" (Imperial College Press, 2012). She has been one of the main applicants for the SNSF grant for the ProDoc Latin America (2011-2014).

Kabatek, Johannes (University of Zurich)

Prof. Dr. Johannes Kabatek was born in 1965 in Stuttgart/Germany. He completed studies of Romance Philology, Political Science and Musicology at Tübingen University and at the University of Málaga (Spain). 1991 MPhil; 1995 PhD at Tübingen (with a thesis on Language contact in Northwest Spain). Between 1993 and 1998, Assistant Prof. at the University of Paderborn (Germany), 1998-1999 Assistant Professor at Tübingen; 2000-2001 full Prof (substitute) at the University of Erfurt; 2001-2004 full Professor (chair) at the University of Freiburg (Germany); 2004-2013 full professor (chair) at Tübingen University; since September 2013 professor for Ibero-Romance linguistics at the University of Zurich. Visiting professorships in the US, in Brazil, Chile and in Spain; Corresponding member of the Royal Galician and the Royal Spanish Academy. Dr. h.-c. University of Suceava (2016). Research areas: Romance linguistics (French, Ibero-Romance Languages); Language contact, minority languages, Medieval Spanish; Galician, Catalan; Brazilian Portuguese; Historical Linguistics; Historical syntax, spoken and written language. For more information see

López-Labourdette, Adriana (University of Zurich)

Prof. Dr. López-Labourdette is Professor of Latin-American Literature and Culture at the University of Zurich as well as Associate Researcher at the University of Havana. Her research is centered on aesthetics of remains/garbage and material cultures, extra/ordinary bodies, animal studies, and memory cultures. She has published "Esa moneda que no es nunca la misma. Jorge Luis Borges y el canon literario" (2008) and her next book "El retorno del monstruo. Figuraciones de lo monstruoso en la literatura hispánica contemporánea" will be published by Cuarto Propio (Chile). She has published extensively in national and international journals and has also coordinated various collective volumes.    

Moraes Silva, Graziella (Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies, Geneva)

Prof. Dr. Moraes Silva is Assistant Professor in Anthropology and Sociology at the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies.  Between 2011 and 2016 she was at the Department of Sociology at the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro (UFRJ), Brazil, and is still affiliated to the Graduate Program in Sociology and Anthropology (PPGSA) and to the Interdisciplinary Network for the Study of Inequality (NIED) at the same university. Prof. Moraes Silva works at the intersection between inequality studies and cultural sociology. Her current research projects focus on comparative race relations and elite’s perceptions of poverty and inequality. She is one of the authors of "Getting Respect: Dealing with Stigmatization and Discrimination in the United States, Brazil and Israel" (Princeton University Press 2016), and "Pigmentocracies: Ethnicity, Race, and Color in Latin America" (University of North Carolina Press 2014).

Robinson, Rocío (University of St.Gallen)

Dr. Robinson graduated in February 2016 from the University of St.Gallen with a PhD thesis titled “Swiss Corporate Social Innovation in Holcim and Nestlé: Generating Community-Based Initiatives and Value-Creation in Brazil and Ecuador”. She has continued to do research in her focus areas: corporate sustainability, social innovation, startups, business model innovation, and social entrepreneurship. She holds a Master's degree in Comparative Politics from the London School of Economics and a Bachelor from Smith College in Massachusetts, USA. Dr. Robinson worked as the Operations Manager for oikos, a student-led international organization focusing on implementing sustainability topics in business and management education. Additionally, she has experience in the private sector, having worked for UBS Wealth Management and a sustainability consultancy in Zürich and New York City. She currently lectures at the University of St.Gallen and is the Senior Program Manager for the Academia-Industry Training (AIT) Startups Internationalization Programs (AIT Brazil, AIT Colombia, AIT Mexico) for the Leading House for the Latin American Region as well as the Senior Academic Program Manager of the Swiss School of Latin American Studies (SSLAS).

Rodgers, Dennis (Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies, Geneva)

Dennis Rodgers is Research Professor in Anthropology and Sociology at the at the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies, Geneva. Prior to joining the Institute in 2018, he held appointments at the Universities of Amsterdam, Glasgow, Manchester, and the London School of Economics and Political Science. His research focuses on issues relating to the dynamics of conflict and violence in cities in Latin America (Nicaragua, Argentina) and South Asia (India). Much of his work involves the longitudinal study of youth gangs in Nicaragua but he also works on the political economy of development, the politics of socio-spatial segregation, participatory governance processes, the historiography of urban theory, and the epistemology of development knowledge. In 2018 he was awarded a five-year European Research Council Advanced Grant for a project on “Gangs, Gangsters, and Ganglands: Towards a Comparative Global Ethnography” (GANGS), which aims to systematically compare gang dynamics in Nicaragua, South Africa and France.

Sánchez, Yvette (University of St.Gallen)


Prof. Dr. Sánchez has the Chair of Latin American Culture and Society at the University of St.Gallen. She is the Director of the Centro Latinoamericano-Suizo (CLS HSG) hosting the SERI Leading House for the Latin American Region, and was the main applicant and Director of the ProDoc «The Dynamics of Transcultural Governance and Management in Latin America», financed by the Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF). Her research interests include Transcultural Studies in the cases of US Latinos, the BRICS, and the ICRC. As a literary critic, she specializes in the Spanish writer Enrique Vila Matas and explores the use of literary sources for studies in the Social Sciences (above all, Management and Law). Prof. Sánchez has obtained the support of the Rectorate of the University of St.Gallen to give continuity to the ProDoc for two consecutive years in 2015/2016 and has contributed to the foundation of the Swiss School of Latin American Studies (SSLAS).  

Terrones Saldaña, Félix (University of Bern)

Felix Terrones is Assistant Professor of Latin American Literature at the Institute of Hispanic Languages and Literatures of the University of Bern since August 2021. His area of research is Hispanic American Literature of the 20th-21st centuries, in particular the novelistic and essayistic genres. Some of his publications deal with other literary areas, in particular French literature, as well as the nineteenth and colonial periods. Moreover, he edited the work of Sebastián Salazar Bondy for the Biblioteca Ayacucho (Venezuela). Among other academic institutions he has taught at the École normale supérieure (Ulm) and SciencesPo in Paris.

Teubner, Melina (University of Bern)

Mrs. Teubner studied Latin American History, History and Portuguese Literature at the University of Cologne. In 2013, her magister-thesis was granted with the Georg-Rudolf-Lind price of the "Deutscher Lusitanistenverband". Between 2014 and 2018 she was a research fellow of the a.r.t.e.s.-Graduate School for the Humanities at the University of Cologne. In December 2018, she completed her PhD in Iberian and Latin American history at the University of Cologne. Her thesis «A arte de cozinhar: Sklavenschiffsköche, Ernährung und Diaspora» examines how laborers who were involved in the food sector, such as slave ship cooks and food vending women, contributed to the infrastructure of the 19th century transatlantic slave trade to Brazil.  She is currently a postdoctoral researcher at the History Department of the University of Bern.

Buelvas Arrieta, Iván David (University of Bern)

Iván Buelvas Arrieta's PhD project studies the discourses of sustainability in the framework of the bio-reserves of Unesco's MaB programme, with a focus on the Andes. Iván Buelvas holds a Master's degree in Latin American Studies and Sustainable Development from the University of Bern, Switzerland. His Master's research focused on the evolution and transformation of development and sustainability discourses in Latin America from the mid-20th century to 2021. Iván Buelvas also holds a bachelor degree in communication and journalism from the Universidad Santo Tomás in Bogotá, Colombia.

Wagner, Valeria (University of Geneva)

Dr. Valeria Wagner is Senior lecturer at the Romance Languages and Literatures Department at the University of Geneva, where she also collaborates with the Comparative Literature and Gender Studies Programs. Her teaching areas are Hispanic colonial literature, inter-American contemporary literatures (latino, migration and exile narrative, post-dictatorial literature) and popular genres (in particular science fiction). Her research bears on the relationship between literary discourses and political imaginaries, and more recently on esthetic and literary treatments of ecological discourses. She is currently working on two related issues: the contemporary ambivalence with regards to the power of narrative,  and literary and esthetic figurations of waste, surplus and remainders.   

Visiting Professor:

Grisaffi, Thomas (Visiting Professor University of St.Gallen, University of Reading)

Dr. Thomas Grisaffi is an Associate Professor in the Department of Geography at the University of Reading, UK, and Visiting Professor at the University of St Gallen. Trained as an anthropologist, Thomas works on topics including coca and cocaine production and its global commodity chain, agricultural unions, alternative development, and democracy. He is the author of ‘Coca Yes, Cocaine No’ (2019) published by Duke University Press and with Desmond Arias, he is the co-editor of ‘Cocaine: From coca fields to the streets’, also published by Duke University Press. Thomas is the Principal Investigator for a Global Challenges Research Fund project titled ‘Drugs, Crops and Development in the Andes’ and Co-Investigator on a European Research Council funded project on ‘Anthropologies of Extortion’.

Associated Professors:

Dewey, Matías (University of St.Gallen)

Dr. Matías Dewey is a sociologist and Privatdozent in the Institute of Sociology at the University of St. Gallen, Switzerland. Previously, he worked at the Max Planck Institute for the Study of Societies in Cologne and at the GIGA Institute for Latin American Studies in Hamburg. He has published extensively on social theory, economic sociology, illegal markets and qualitative research. He recently published 'Making it at Any Cost: Aspiration and Politics in a Counterfeit Clothing Marketplace' (University of Texas Press, 2020). With Jens Beckert, he edited the volume 'The Architecture of Illegal Markets: Towards an Economic Sociology of Illegality in the Economy' (Oxford UP, 2017). His articles have appeared in Regulation & Governance, Socio-Economic Review, Latin American Research Review, Journal of Latin American Studies, and Current Sociology.

Simoni, Valerio (Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies, Geneva)

Dr. Valerio Simoni is Senior Research Fellow in Anthropology and Sociology and the Global Migration Centre at the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies, Geneva. His doctoral and postdoctoral investigations focused on the economic, social, and cultural flows generated by international tourism and migration, with theoretical interests spanning three main areas of concern: the economy and its margins, the transformations of intimacy, and the politics of mobility. A social anthropologist by training, he has held research and teaching positions in the UK, Portugal, and Switzerland. His current project, 'Returning to a Better Place: The (Re)assessment of the "Good Life" in Times of Crisis' (ERC STG – 759649 – BETLIV), focuses on how ideals of the 'good life' are articulated, (re)assessed, and related to specific places and contexts as a result of experiences of crisis and migration. Combining subprojects in Spain, Ecuador, and Cuba, the research explores the imaginaries and experience of return of Ecuadorian and Cuban men and women, and aims to contribute to the study of ethics, economic practice, and migration.

Mazadiego, Elize (Institute for Art History and the Center for Global Studies, University of Bern)

Prof. Dr. Mazadiego is Assistant Professor of World Art History at the University of Bern. Between 2019-2023 she was a Marie Skłodowska Curie Fellow at the University of Amsterdam and co-coordinator of the research group: Global Trajectories of Thought and Memory: Art and the Global South at the Amsterdam School of Heritage, Memory and Material Culture. Her fields of interest include postwar modernities and contemporary practices, with a focus on art from Latin America and its transnational contexts, the relationship between art and politics, artistic mobility and histories of migration, spatial and environmental praxis and feminism. She is author of the book Dematerialization and the Social Materiality of Art: Experimental Forms in Argentina, 1955-1968 (Brill, 2021), recipient of the 2022 section award for Best Book in Latin American Visual Culture Studies from the Latin American Studies Association. 

Former Associated Professors:

Hufty, Marc (Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies, Geneva)

Prof. Dr. Hufty is associated to the Center for International Environmental Studies of the Graduate Institute. He has been one of the main applicants and directors of the ProDoc Latin America. His current research activities focus on multi-level environmental governance processes. He has taught and done field research in Argentina, Bolivia, Peru, Chile, Nicaragua, among other countries. His areas of expertise include: Conservation and biodiversity, Environmental policies, Environmental history, Indigenous peoples, Natural resources, extractive economies, commodities, and Political ecology.

Pernet, Corinne (Zürich University of Teacher Education)


Prof. Dr. Pernet is currently the Head of the Department of International Projects in Education at the Zurich University of Teacher Education. She was previously a lecturer at the University of Geneva. She is an expert in the social and cultural history of modern and contemporary Latin America and has in recent years focused her research on Latin American engagement with international organizations. This includes work on Latin American participation and initiatives in the League of Nations and the Pan American Union, as well as the International Labor Organization. This de-centered approach to international organizations fills a great lacuna in a rather Euro-centric literature. Moreover, she has been working on the history of international food policy, especially as it relates to development work. At the center of this project are the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization as well as the Central American Institute of Nutrition. Her research on transcultural entanglements and flows of knowledge and expertise continues, particularly in the field of nutrition, nutrition education, as well as agricultural extension. Prof. Dr. Pernet is one of the founding Directors of the SSLAS. 

Rist, Stephan (CDE, University of Bern)


Prof. Dr. Rist holds a PhD in Rural Sociology, and occupies the positons of an Associate Professor of Human Geography at the Institute of Geography of the University of Bern, Co-head of the thematic cluster of Sustainability Governance at the Center for Development and Environment (CDE), and holds the UNESCO Chair on Cultural and Natural Heritage for Sustainable Mountain Development. Current research projects center around the development of a critical approach of sustainability assessment related to issues of land, forest, water, food systems and climate governance. The notion of sustainability is made operational in terms of the developing concept of environmental justice. His research concentrates geographically, in Bolivia, Peru, Ecuador, Chile, Argentina, Brazil, Nicaragua, and México. Currently he leads research projects addressing “Food sustainability” in Kenya and Bolivia (R4D Project of SNSF), Archetypes of Land Grabbing/Large Scale Land Acquisitions (National Research Project 68), Solidary Economy and Organic Agriculture, and supervises about 12 PhDs, including some working on post-capitalist endogenous concepts of development, e.g. expressed in debates about de-growth, plural economies, commons, indigenous knowledge, notions of development called ‘vivir bien’, and transdisciplinarity.

Former Coordinators:

Rosauro, Elena (Lateinamerika Zentrum Zürich, University of Zurich)

Dr. Rosauro is an art historian, Latin Americanist, and curator. She is currently the coordinator of the Latin American Center of the University of Zurich, and a postdoctoral researcher at the same university. Her PhD dissertation History and Violence in Latin America. Artistic Strategies, 1992-2012 was published by Cendeac (Murcia, Spain) in 2017. Her postdoctoral research focuses on memory and dealing with violent pasts through contemporary arts both in Latin America and Spain. She is also co-founder and co-curator at the independent art space la_cápsula in Zurich. Her work both in research and curating tries to offer some partial and situated comments about violence, injustice, destruction and history. She is treasurer of the Network on Latin American Visual Studies (Red de Estudios Visuales Latinoamericanos).

Welp, Yanina (C2D, University of Zurich)


PD. Dr. Welp is currently Principal Researcher at the Center for Research on Direct Democracy (C2D) and Co-Director of the Zurich Latin American Center, both at the University of Zurich. She was from 2011-2014, the Academic Project Manager of the ProDoc Latin America. She finished her habilitation at the University of St.Gallen (venia legendi on 'Latin American Studies') in 2015, earned her PhD in Political and Social Sciences at Pompeu Fabra University (Barcelona, Spain) in 2007. Yanina has been a researcher at the Internet Interdisciplinary Institute, Catalonia Open University (2004-2006), Pompeu Fabra University (2001-2003), and the University of Buenos Aires (1997-1999). Her research interests include comparative studies on participatory and direct democracy and digital media and politics, with special focus on Latin America. A list of her publications are available at

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