Tag Archives: Central America

Meet Our Newest Faculty Member, Prof. Stephanie Huezo!

Prof. Huezo is one of our newest additions to our department and we are very excited to have her join us! She is a Professor of Central and Latin American History. Here is a brief conversation with her.

Stephanie Huezo
  1. What courses do you hope to teach at Fordham?

Aside from UHC: Latin America, I am excited to offer courses on Power and Resistance in Latin America, Central American History (both the region and the diaspora), and on popular education.

2. What do you on your off-time/leisure?

In my free time I enjoy playing board games with my friends and family. I watch quite a bit of T.V. as well. Recently, I’ve been watching Star Trek: The Next Generation, reruns of Sister Sister, the Golden Girls, and Netflix shows like 3%. I also aspire to one day be a good baker but for now, I bake pre-made goods and watch baking shows on TV.

3. Why are you excited about coming to Fordham?

I went to catholic schools in the Bronx so I grew up hearing about Fordham but I decided not to apply. However, I have always been intrigued by the University’s mission. I am excited to work at a place that values the student and worker as a whole. More importantly, as a first-generation college student and SalviYorker, I look forward to teach, and learn from, the young scholars at Fordham University.

4. Please briefly tell us about your research?

My research focuses on Salvadoran community organizing during the twentieth and twenty-first century in both El Salvador and the United States. I pay particular attention to how Salvadoran communities have used popular education to challenge the politics of legality and belonging.

5. What thing would no one know about you that you would like to share?

One thing that many new people don’t know about me is that I used to play club rugby at Wesleyan University and in Chile during study abroad. I had many positions but my favorite ones were as a Number 8 and hooker.  https://www.ruck.co.uk/rugby-positions-roles-beginners/

You can follow Prof. Stephanie Huezo @steph_huezo.

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Graduate Student James Smith Becomes Dr. James Smith! Dr. Smith Defends, “A Clash of Ideals: Human Rights and Non-Intervention in U.S. Foreign Policy, 1977-1988.”

We would like to congratulate Dr. James Smith on passing his dissertation defense on April 29, 2020. He becomes only the second person in the history of the Fordham’s History Department to pass his dissertation virtually.

Dr. Smith’s dissertation is titled, “A Clash of Ideals: Human Rights and Non-Intervention in U.S. Foreign Policy, 1977-1988.”

Below is his dissertation abstract:

The dissertation argues that Carter, Reagan, and other domestic and international actors deployed the ideals of universal human rights and state sovereignty as a political language. The protean meanings they assigned to the terms of that language were contingent upon calculations of political and strategic interests. The discourse of rights and sovereignty in domestic and international politics served as a means to justify or check political change, rather than as nonideological, moral, and legal imperatives. In short, Carter, Reagan, and others used morality and law as political strategy. The study proceeds from an analysis of records from the Jimmy Carter, Gerald Ford and Ronald Reagan presidential libraries. The personal papers of Patricia Derian, Barry Goldwater, Henry “Scoop” Jackson, and Donald Fraser provide additional context for the political uses of rights and sovereignty. So too, the papers of William Casey, Warren Christopher, and many of their contemporaries archived at the Hoover Institute enriched this analysis. The author also analyzed digital and other published collections of primary documents, interviewed and corresponded with former public officials, and reviewed memoirs, diaries, interview transcripts, and Congressional hearings and reports. While the dissertation probes the official mind of Washington in the manner of traditional diplomatic history, it also broadens that perspective by assessing how competing domestic and international actors deployed the conflicting ideals of rights and sovereignty. The dissertation builds upon the secondary literature by examining how Carter and others deployed human rights and non-intervention in the 1970s and 1980s. It connects that discourse to the history of U.S. foreign relations, domestic politics, international law, and the movement for economic decolonization. Then, after examining Carter’s embrace of rights and non-intervention as a campaign strategy and the contentious transformation of that rhetoric into policy, the dissertation employs as case studies U.S. relations with Panama, Nicaragua, and Iran. Finally, the dissertation assesses continuity and change in Reagan’s use of the ideals of rights and sovereignty in a foreign policy marked by anti-communism and democracy promotion.

You can reach Dr. James Smith at jwalkersmith511@gmail.com if you are interested in learning more about this fabulous dissertation.

Dr. James Smith

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