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Sarah Hines

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Sarah Hines

Sarah Hines
Assistant Professor


My research and teaching focus on Latin America and the Caribbean with an emphasis on histories of the environment, infrastructure, race and ethnicity, and social movements.

My first book, Water for All: Community, Property, and Revolution in Modern Bolivia (University of California Press, 2022) is a history of social struggle over water access and hydraulic engineering in Bolivia from the late nineteenth century to the early twenty-first. It concentrates on the Cochabamba Valley, the site of intense conflict over water tenure, hydraulic infrastructure, and attempts to reform both over this period, especially after Bolivia’s 1952 revolution. Through analysis of a wide variety of sources, from agrarian reform case records to engineering studies to oral historical interviews and ethnographic observation, the book explores a century-long process of water dispossession, recovery, and redistribution, providing a new vantage point on indigenous community closure, national revolution, and the water wars of the early 2000s. Water for All received an honorable mention for the American Society of Ethnohistory’s Erminie Wheeler-Voegelin Book Award in 2023.

My research has received support from the American Council of Learned Societies, the Mellon Foundation, the Social Science Research Council, the American Historical Association, the Inter-American Foundation, the UC Berkeley Institute for International Studies, the Barnard College Alumnae Association, the University of Oklahoma’s College of Arts and Sciences, and the University of Oklahoma Research Council. The book evolved out of my 2015 dissertation, “Dividing the Waters: How Power, Property and Protest Transformed the Waterscape of Cochabamba, Bolivia, 1879–2000,” which won the UC Berkeley History Department Dissertation Prize and the New England Council of Latin American Studies Dissertation Prize.

A related article, “The Power and Ethics of Vernacular Modernism: The Misicuni Dam Project in Cochabamba, Bolivia, 1944–2017,” appeared in the Hispanic American Historical Review in May 2018.

My current book project, “Glacier Fathers and Mother Earth: Race, Gender, and Climate Change in the Bolivian Andes,” is an ethno-environmental history of climate change in the Bolivian Andes from the end of the Little Ice Age in the mid-nineteenth century to the present. The book chronicles how Aymara Indigenous people have related to a changing mountainous environment as the climate has warmed and glaciers have receded, paying particular attention to the ways that ethnicity, gender, class, and place have shaped human-nature relationships over the long term. This research has received support from the National Endowment for the Humanities and the University of Oklahoma.

Before graduate school, I taught social studies at Taft High School in the Bronx, NY and conducted research in Bolivia as a Fulbright scholar. I lived in Bolivia again for five years while researching and writing my dissertation. Before joining the faculty at OU, I taught at Smith College and the University of Maine at Machias.

Selected Publications

Books in Progress:

“Mother of the Waters: The Life and Death of the Glaciers of Bolivia’s Cordillera Real”


Water for All: Revolution, Property, and Community in Modern Bolivia. Oakland: University of California Press, 2022.

Articles in Progress:

“Revolutionary Cinema: The Cultural Politics of Bolivian Filmmaking under Dictatorship.”


“Cochabamba's 2000 Water War in Historical Perspective.” In Oxford Research Encyclopedia of Latin American History. Oxford University Press. Forthcoming.

“Revolutions and Counter-Revolutions in Bolivia, Past and Present.” Online Forum on Contemporary Bolivia and History, Hispanic American Historical Review, Dec. 2019.

“The Power and Ethics of Vernacular Modernism: The Misicuni Dam Project in Cochabamba, Bolivia, 1944-2016.” Hispanic American Historical Review 98.2 (May 2018).

“¿Desarrollo Ecológico?: el proyecto Misicuni de Cochabamba, Bolivia.” Decursos: Revista de Ciencias Sociales 32 y 33 (July 2016).

“La construcción histórica de los usos y costumbres del agua en Cochabamba.” In Construcción de la Agenda Departamental del Agua de Cochabamba, 17-47. Cochabamba, Bolivia: Gobierno Departamental, 2013.

“After the Water War: Contemporary Political Culture in Cochabamba, Bolivia.” CLAS Working Paper Series. Berkeley, CA: Center for Latin American Studies, University of California, Berkeley, 2009.

Book Chapters:

“Dispossession and Redistribution: Social Struggle over Water in Bolivian History.” In Natural Resources in Dispute: Lessons from Bolivia. Edited by Rossana Barragán and Carmen Soliz. University of New Mexico Press. Forthcoming.


HIST 2623 Modern Latin America, 1810-Present
HIST 3573 Art and Revolution in Twentieth-Century Latin America
HIST 3573 Cold War Latin America
HIST 3573 Latin American Refugees, 1970-Present
HIST 3573 Rigoberta Menchú’s Testimony
HIST 3573 Social Movements and Revolutions in Twentieth-Century Latin America
HIST 3013 Indigenous Politics in Modern Latin American History
HIST 4553 Latin American Environmental History
HIST 4543 Latin America in the Age of the Cuban Revolution
HIST 6300 Modern Latin American History (graduate)
HIST 6300 Latin American Environmental History (graduate)
HIST 6300 Race, Nation, and the Environment in Latin American History (graduate)