Professor Publishes Book on Gender and Populism

First book-length study of gender and populism in Latin America

February 04, 2011

Karen KampwirthA Knox College professor is the editor of the first book-length study of gender and populism in Latin America. The new book, "Gender and Populism in Latin America," is edited by Karen Kampwirth, professor of political science and chair of the Latin American Studies Program. The book, published by Penn State University Press, features eleven essays by leading experts in the field. The essays analyze the role of masculinity and femininity in the careers of Latin American political leaders, from Evita Peron in Argentina in the 1940s, to the current president of Venezuela, Hugo Chavez.

"Throughout my career, I have been interested in people's attempts to radically transform their societies, why those attempts sometimes succeed, and what impact participating in such movements has on the participants," Kampwirth says.

The chapters in "Gender and Populism in Latin America" examine the relationships among populism, democracy, authoritarianism, and feminism in Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Ecuador, Mexico, Nicaragua, Peru, and Venezuela. Contributors are Kampwirth, Michael Conniff, Gioconda Espina, Sujatha Fernandes, Victoria Gonzalez-Rivera, Karin Grammatico, Jocelyn Olcott, Cathy A. Rakowski, Stephanie Rousseau, Ximena Sosa-Buchholz, Joel Wolfe and Kurt Weyland.

Kampwirth's previous books are "Women and Guerrilla Movements: Nicaragua, El Salvador, Chiapas, Cuba"; "Feminism and the Legacy of Revolution: Nicaragua, El Salvador, Chiapas"; and "Radical Women in Latin America: Left and Right."

Kampwirth is professor of political science and chair of the Latin American Studies Program at Knox College. She received her bachelor's degree, summa cum laude, in political science and Spanish from Knox in 1986. During her junior year, she was elected to Phi Beta Kappa and awarded the Faculty Scholarship Prize, the highest honor accorded to a student by the Knox faculty.

Kampwirth earned master's and doctoral degrees in political science at the University of California-Berkeley and joined the Knox faculty in 1995. In 2009 she received a Fulbright Scholar fellowship to teach at the University of Buenos Aires.

Karen KampwirthVideo: Click to open a new window and watch an interview with Karen Kampwirth discussing her research on women in Latin American politics and  her teaching in Argentina.

Founded in 1837, Knox is a national liberal arts college in Galesburg, Illinois, with students from 45 states and 48 countries. Knox's "Old Main" is a National Historic Landmark and the only building remaining from the 1858 Lincoln-Douglas debates.