Dr. O'Neill (Nelly) Blacker-Hanson earned her PhD in Latin American history from the University of Washington. Her dissertation explored Mexico's Cold War-era, focusing on the role of teacher-activists - including graduates of the school in Ayotzinapa - in the leadership of the opposition movements in the State of Guerrero. Her work reflects research in the national archives, those of Mexico's security intelligence forces, and at the school in Aytozinapa, as well as interviews with former activists in the state.
As an LAII Visiting Scholar, Blacker-Hanson's current work involves ongoing research for a chapter in a new anthology tentatively titled "Rethinking the Left in 20th Century Latin America." The chapter moves this study into the 21st century by linking work on the teacher-activists of Guerrero, Mexico's 20th century to the recent massacre in Ayotzinapa, the escuela normal that many of the mid-20th century guerrillas attended.