About Historias


The Historias podcast is a weekly program of informed discussion into the cultural, economic, political, and social life of Latin American and Caribbean societies, and their diasporas.

If you are looking for a smart and inviting conversation on a wide variety of issues and more, this show is for you.

English episodes are released on Tuesday and Spanish episodes are released on Fridays.

Historias is a digital media project of the Southeastern Council of Latin American Studies.

Meet the Team


Steven Hyland, Co-Creator, Co-Editor-in-Chief, and Host

 Steven is an associate professor in the department of history and political science at Wingate University and serves as the Secretary-Treasurer of SECOLAS.

He published his first book,  More Argentine Than You: Arabic-Speaking Immigrants in Argentina_, in 2017 with the University of New Mexico Press.  


Dustin Walcher, Co-Editor-in-Chief and Host

Dustin Walcher is Professor and Chair of History & Political Science at Southern Oregon University. A specialist in international affairs, Latin American international history, and U.S. foreign relations, his scholarship analyzes international economic policy, global capitalism, social disruption, and political violence. With Jeffrey F. Taffet he published  The United States and Latin America: A History with Documents (Routledge, 2017).

Dustin is currently revising a manuscript that examines the link between the failure of U.S.-led economic initiatives and the rise of social revolution in Argentina during the 1950s and 1960s.


Lily Pearl Balloffet, Co-Creator and Host

Lily is an assistant professor in the Latin American and Latino Studies program at UC Santa Cruz. Her research and teaching focus on the topics of migration, social movements, and transnational history.

Her first book is titled  Argentina in the Global Middle East (Stanford University Press, 2020). This project, like her other publications, examined the ways in which diverse regions of the Global South share links to global migration systems. Lily’s primary interest is in writing transregional histories as seen through the lens of South-South alliances, solidarities, and exchanges that we can trace back to their roots in a long history of movement.

Her next book, provisionally titled American Venom: What Snakes Tell Us about our Interconnected Hemisphere,  proposes these venomous creatures as a natural fulcrum for investigating the movement of capital, bodies, and forms of knowledge in the Americas starting at the dawn of the 20th century.


Carlos Dimas, Co-Creator, Producer, and Host

Carlos is an assistant professor in the department of history at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas.  

He received his Ph.D. from the University of California, Riverside in Latin American history.

His research and teaching interests are in the medical and environmental humanities, and the points in which they overlap within modern Latin America.

His current manuscript, The Poisoned Eden: Global Disease, Local Environments, and Cultural Change in Northwestern Argentina, 1865-1916 is a study of three cholera epidemics and their role in the formation in the Argentine state in rural Argentina. He has had work appear in the Journal of Latin American Studies and Bulletin of Latin American Research.

His next project will be in the areas of the history of science and technology, with a study on the development of meteorology in 19th century Argentina.

At present he is a 2019-2020 Residential Fellow at the Linda Hall Library of Science, Engineering, and Technology in Kansas City, MO.


Renata Keller, Host

Renata Keller is an Assistant Professor of History at the University of Nevada, Reno, who focuses on the Cold War in Latin America and international history. Her first book, Mexico’s Cold War: Cuba, the United States, and the Legacy of the Mexican Revolution (Cambridge University Press, 2015) was awarded SECOLAS’s Alfred B. Thomas Book Prize and honorable mentions for RMCLAS’s Thomas McGann and Michael C. Meyer Prizes.

Her second book, tentatively titled  Nuclear Reactions: The Cuban Missile Crisis and Cold War in Latin America, is a hemispheric history of the Cuban Missile Crisis. Her articles include pieces in  The Journal of Latin American Studies,  The Journal of Cold War Studies,  The Latin American Research Review,  Diplomatic History, and  Mexican Studies/Estudios Mexicanos and her research has received funding from the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Fulbright Foundation, the Social Science Research Council, the Philanthropic Educational Organization, the Kluge Center at the U.S. Library of Congress, the American Philosophical Society, and other institutions.  


David McLaughlin, Host

 Dave is a Lecturer in the Department of Spanish and Portuguese at The Ohio State University and an Adjunct Assistant Professor at University of Cincinnati. He serves as the representative for contingent faculty on the Executive Committee of SECOLAS and recently completed the Mellon Foundation/Five Colleges of Ohio Post Doctoral Fellowship in Portuguese and Latin American and Caribbean Studies. He researches hip hop, popular music, citizenship, film, and literature, and makes a mean batch of chilaquiles.

Dave is also a contributor to Sounds and Colors, a website, print publication and record label dedicated to Latin American music and culture, with a particular focus on the South American countries 


Sarah Sissum, Production Editor


Sarah Sissum is a senior and teaching assistant at Southern Oregon University, where she majors in English and history in addition to being a member of SOU’s Honors College. 

She is the production editor of Historias. 


Carmen Soliz, Host

Carmen Soliz is a Bolivian historian. She is an assistant professor of Latin American history at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. Carmen did a master's in Andean Studies at Universidad de la Cordillera (Bolivia) and in Latin American Studies at Universidad de Salamanca (Spain). She received her Ph.D. in Latin American History from New York University in 2014. Her research examines Bolivian agrarian reform and sees the role that Indians and peasants played in the consolidation of one of the most radical and redistributive reforms in Latin America. More broadly, her works focus on peasant politics, agrarian reform, rural state formation, nation-building, citizenship and social movements in Latin America. 

She is the author of several articles, among them: “Agrarian Reform in Bolivia in the 20th and 21st centuries”( Oxford Research Encyclopedia of Latin American History,  2018),   Land to its original owners :Rethinking the Indigenous Politics of the Bolivian Agrarian Reform.” ( Hispanic American Historical Review,  2017), “La modernidad esquiva: debates políticos e intelectuales sobre la reforma agraria en Bolivia (1935-1952).” ( Revista Historia y Cultura,  2012).“El otro rostro de América Latina. En diálogo con  La emergencia indígena en América Latina, de José Bengoa.” ( Nueva Sociedad: 2012). Guest editor for  Revista Umbrales in 2016. 


Jaclyn Sumner, Host

Jackie is an assistant professor of History at Presbyterian College in Clinton, South Carolina. Her research explores the interactions between local, state, and national political actors in modern Mexico, as well as broader issues of race, development, and authoritarianism. Jackie is currently completing a monograph titled,  Indigenous Autocracy: Race, Governance, and Power in Porfirian Tlaxcala, 1880-1915.  The book explores the strategies that Governor Próspero Cahuantzi—a self-identified indigenous person and native of Tlaxcala—pursued in order to remain in power longer than any other governor during the dictatorship of Porfirio Díaz (1876-1911). Her recent publication in  Mexican Studies/Estudios Mexicanos explains how Governor Cahuantzi exploited his indigenous heritage to ingratiate himself to national Mexican elites. It is titled “The Indigenous Governor of Tlaxcala and Acceptable Indigenousness during the Porfirian Regime,”  MS/EM (Winter, 2019). 

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