2022 Latin American Studies Outstanding Faculty Award – Dr. Luis Herrán Ávila

April 29, 2022

2022 Latin American Studies Outstanding Faculty Award – Dr. Luis Herrán Ávila

“Because the US and Latin America share a continent and because the history of political relations is so troubled and so complicated, I believe that teaching and researching Latin America in the United States becomes almost a civic duty. It’s a contribution in some way to improving how people see Latin America, how they perceive Latin America, how they interact with Latin America, and with the Latin Americans that are here in this country.”

- Luis Herrán Ávila

 The Latin American & Iberian Institute is excited to honor Dr. Luis Herrán Ávila with the 2022 Latin American Studies Outstanding Faculty Award.  Dr. Herrán Ávila has been an Assistant Professor of History at UNM since 2018.  He earned his Ph.D. from The New School for Social Research, Politics and Historical Studies where he completed his dissertation, “Transnational Anticommunism, the Extreme Right, and the Politics of Enmity in Argentina, Columbia, and Mexico, 1954-1972”. 

Dr. Herrán Ávila is a historian of the Cold War in Latin America, with an emphasis on conservative, anticommunist, and extreme right movements. After researching the comparative history of anticommunism in Mexico, Argentina, and Colombia, his current book project seeks to unveil the national and Latin American dimensions of right-wing activism in Cold War Mexico. The book project examines the history and Cold War transformations of right-wing dissidence to the Mexican post-revolutionary state and situates Mexico as a crucial hub for transnational anti-communist activism, shedding light on the various ways in which Mexican anticommunists forged links with Latin American, European, and East Asian fellow travelers. Dr. Herrán Ávila’s publications in both English and Spanish reflect a range of related research interests, such as right-wing youth; neofascism in Latin America; the history of political crime in the Americas; and the intersections between banditry and insurgency. He has also been a recipient of various scholarships and grants from Fulbright, Mexico’s National Council for Science and Technology, the New School for Social Research, and the Hoover Institution, and a contributor to the Mexican dailies Reforma and El Norte.

 Dr. Herran Avila has been an integral part of the Latin American Studies program since he joined the UNM History faculty in 2018. He regularly teaches one of the core classes for the undergraduate LAS program, "Latin American Culture & Society." He also teaches several graduate seminars on Latin America in addition to working with individual graduate students in the master's and Ph.D. programs.  Dr. Herran Avila inspires students through his dynamic teaching and mentoring, both of which are shaped by his own academic training in Latin American Studies as an undergraduate student in Mexico.”

- Ronda Brulotte, Associate Director for Academic Programs LAII

 "We are very fortunate to have Prof. Herrán Ávila at UNM and are grateful for his many contributions both to the Latin American Studies undergraduate and graduate programs and to the Latin American and Iberian Institute.  Thank you, Luis!"

- Frances Hayashida, Director of LAII