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Meet a few of the faculty for the Latinx Studies Program

The program in Latinx Studies draws upon many extraordinary faculty in the eleven departments from which its courses originate. Following is a small sampling of OU faculty teaching in this program:

Dr. James Cane-Carrasco

Professor Cane-Carrasco is a scholar of Latin America who specializes on the history of Argentina. For the Latinx Studies major, he teaches courses in the history of the Americas. His new book, The Fourth Enemy: Journalism and Power in the Making of Peronist Argentina, 1930-1955, will appear this year with Pennsylvania State University Press. Other recent publications include "`Trabajadores de la pluma: Periodistas, propietarios y estado en la tranformacion de la prensa argentina, 1935-1945" which is chapter one in Liliana Da Orden y Julio Cesar Melon Pirro (eds), Prensa y peronismo. Discursos, practicas, empresas (1943-1958). He has presented his work at professional conferences, including new research on the reception of Marx in Latin America, and he has served as the president of Chile/Rio de la Plata Committee of the Conference on Latin American History. His teaching has ranged from "Experiences of Socialism in the Twentieth-Century World" to a team-taught course called "Cultural Revolutions in the 1960s" to surveys of Hispanic America to "Mass Movements in Twentieth-Century South America." Professor Cane-Carrasco received his Ph.D. from the University of California, Berkeley.

Dr. Robert Con Davis-Undiano


Dr. Davis-Undiano teaches courses in Latinx Studies on Mexican-American literature and culture. His new book Mestizos Come Home!  Making and Claiming Mexican American Identity (2017) is a comprehensive discussion of six areas of focus in Mexican American culture that have been impacting mainstream American culture since the 1960s.  His main area of research is Mexican-American literary and cultural studies, but he also researches social treatments of land, popular culture, racial identity, body studies, and social demographics.  He is the editor of the Chicana & Chicano Visions of the Américas book series at the University of Oklahoma Press and executive director of the World Literature Today organization.  He does a weekly radio interview show for the NPR station at the University of Oklahoma and a TV show for public television (OETA) in Oklahoma.

Dr. Raphael Folsom

Professor Folsom teaches courses about the history of Latinx culture in the Americas.  He is a scholar of colonial Latin America, focusing on native peoples and imperial borderlands in New Spain. His first book, The Yaquis & The Empire: Violence, Spanish Imperial Power, and Native Resilience in Colonial Mexico (Yale University Press, 2014), deals with the history of one of Mexico’s most famous native peoples and their negotiations with Jesuit missionaries, Spanish officials, and their indigenous neighbors in colonial Sonora. He is currently at work on two new books: Mestizo Empire, A New History of the Chichimeca War, 1540-1610, and Frontiers of Mexican History, A New History of Mexico from Earliest Times (under contract with Oxford University Press). The first of these deals with an extremely violent and consequential war on Mexico’s northern frontier that, over time, led to the formation of new mixed-race political identities in New Spain and the independent Mexican Republic. The second book is a narrative of Mexican history focusing on three frontiers: the political frontiers, north and south, that Mexican governments have struggled to control; the intellectual frontiers of Mexican thinkers and scientists as they have striven to understand their country and their world; and the scholarly frontiers of today’s historians as they have worked to plumb Mexico’s unique and fascinating past. Professor Folsom received his doctorate from Yale University.

Dr. Steve Gullberg

Dr. Gullberg teaches courses relating to indigenous culture, especially Archaeoastronomy, relating to early mestizo culture in the Americas. He presently serves as a full-time assistant professor and Lead Faculty member. He is a retired airline captain, previously a long-time adjunct instructor for the College of Liberal Studies, and an active member in the International Astronomical Union, the prestigious worldwide organization of astronomers whose mission is to promote and safeguard the science of astronomy in all its aspects through international cooperation. His research focus marries two of his passions, archaeology and astronomy, in the emerging field of Archaeoastronomy. For his doctoral work, he measured the astronomical alignments of light and shadow effects upon Inca huacas at times of solstices, as well as on the dates of the equinoxes and the zenith and anti-zenith sun. Dr. Gullberg is widely published and presents on his research at international conferences.

Dr. Sherri Irvin

Dr. Irvin teaches courses in Latinx Studies on the philosophy of race. She specializes in aesthetics and the philosophy of art. Her interests range widely to contemporary art and the aesthetic experience in everyday life. She currently is working on Immaterial: A Philosophy of Contemporary Art, under contract with Oxford University Press. Her edited collection Body Aesthetics, which appeared with Oxford in 2016, treats the aesthetics of the body in relation to social justice, art, evolutionary theory, race, gender, disability, sexuality, and sport. She has a strong interest in the philosophy of race, in which she regularly teaches an undergraduate course. Her current research in this area pertains to the role of images, particularly moving images of police violence, in promoting racial justice. She serves on the editorial boards of the Journal of Aesthetics and Art CriticismPhilosophy Compass, and the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.

Dr. Mackenzie Israel-Trummel

Dr. Israel-Trummel studies how identity categories such as race and gender affect how individuals engage in politics. Her work covers topics such as criminal justice institutions, deportation, issue racialization, and sexism in politics. Dr. Israel-Trummel is one of the co-founders of OU’s Community Engagement + Experiments Lab and is co-PI of the OKC Election Exit Poll. Several of her courses are crosslisted in Women’s and Gender Studies and Latinx Studies, and she teaches experimental methods at the graduate level. 

Dr. Allyson Shortle

Dr. Shortle teaches courses about immigration politics and minority political behavior. She co-founded the Community Engagement + Experiments Laboratory(CEEL) and now serves as one of its faculty advisory board members. Her areas of specialization include American public opinion, political psychology, immigration, race and politics, and religion and politics.  She also has expertise as a survey methodologist in the areas of survey and experimental design and treats topics related to science and technology, as well as any and all attitudes and behaviors based on myths (i.e., non-evidence based beliefs and/or attitudes).  In addition to maintaining an active research agenda, she teaches a variety of undergraduate and Ph.D. level courses, all relating to American political behavior.  

Dr. Carol Silva

Dr. Silva teaches introductory courses in Latinx Studies.  She is the Edith Kinney Gaylord Presidential Professor in the Department of Political Science, the Director of the Center for Risk and Crisis Management (CRCM) and the Co-Director of the National Institute for Risk and Resilience (NIRR).  Her research is in the areas of environmental politics, science and technology policy, contingent valuation methodology, policy analysis, risk analysis and assessment, gender and risk perception, and public opinion and survey research methodology. Most recent journal publications in are in Policy Studies JournalJournal of Politics, Risk Analysis, Journal of Agricultural and Resource Economics, and Social Sciences Quarterly.

Dr. Mirelsie Velazquez

Dr. Velazquez teaches Latina feminism. She is an educational historian interested in issues of race/ethnicity, historical research in education, and gender and sexuality. She offers courses on History of American Education, Critical Race Theory, Latino Education, Oral History, and the Historiography of Education. Her research is on History of Latino Education, Puerto Rican history in the diaspora, social movements, and history of Latinas in the U.S. Dr. Velazquez is also working on issues pertaining to community involvement in Latinx and African American communities, as well as access to higher education for underrepresented communities of color.