New Faculty Bios


Dr. Erika Almenara is a native of Peru who studied Translation and Interpretation at the Universidad Femenina del Sagrado Corazón, and Hispanic Literature at the Pontificia Universidad Católica del Perú. She received her M.A. in Spanish Literature from the University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee and holds a Ph.D. in Romance Languages & Literatures (Spanish) from the University of Michigan. Her research interests include twentieth-century Latin American Literature especially in the cases of subaltern/marginal subjects and communities. At the University of Arkansas, she teaches courses on masculinity, contemporary Latin American literature, the intersection between politics and aesthetics, and trauma writing. She has published in peer-reviewed journals such as Journal of Latin American Cultural Studies, Nomadías, Revista del Centro de Estudios de Género y Cultura de América Latina, Revista Iberoamericana, Dissidences and Hispanic Journal of Theory and Criticism. Dr. Almenara has also published two books of poetry and is a contributing author to the creative writing periodicals Divergencias and Sinister Wisdom.



Dr. Edvan Brito received a B.A. in Portuguese and Linguistics from the University de São Paulo (USP), an M.A. in Mass Communication and Media Studies from Howard University, and also holds an M.S. and a Ph.D. in Linguistics from Georgetown University. His dissertation study focused on sociolinguistic variation, race/color, and stance taking in the favelas of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. His research interests include language and identity, comparative race relations in Brazil and the United States, and Portuguese as a foreign language.



Dr. Sarah Rodriguez received her PhD in history from the University of Pennsylvania in 2015.  She specializes in the early United States, US-Mexico borderlands, and US settlement, migration and expansion in the nineteenth-century. Her current book project is entitled "Children of the Great Mexican Family": Anglo-American Immigration to Northern Mexico and the Making of the American Empire.  Before coming to U of A, she held fellowships from the McNeil Center for Early American Studies and the Smithsonian Institute.  She also served as Managing Editor for Early American Studies: An Interdisciplinary Journal.



Dr. Ben Vining's research focuses on better understanding the long-term development of anthropogenic environmental change, and the interconnections between climatic variability and culture.  He is interested in how archaeological patterns of land use in Latin America, mostly in Peru but also Guatemala and Bolivia, result in coupled cultural-environmental relationships.  He has two objectives with his research: the importance to understand how past land use continues to influence modern ecosystems services and also how it shapes modern cultural and economic activities.  Archaeology also provides important information for understanding how past climate change impacted Latin America communities, as analogues for future change.  To achieve these objectives, his work integrates archaeology with geospatial methods (satellite remote sensing and GIS) and palaeoclimate reconstruction.  He currently has two projects, which look at how high Andean pastoralism shapes anthropogenic wetlands and how ancient settlement and agricultural systems impact modern sugarcane production.  Dr. Vining is currently an Assistant Professor in the Department of Anthropology. 

Education: PhD, Boston University 2011 (Archaeology)

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