Personal Statement:

Cheryl Jiménez Frei is a Ph.D Candidate in Latin American history; she will complete her dissertation in Spring 2018.

Research interests: nineteenth and twentieth century Latin America, the Southern Cone, monuments, memory and the built environment, cultural history, architecture, identity, public history, and visual culture.

Cheryl’s primary research is centered on memory and the built environment in Argentina. Her dissertation examines the history, iconography, and controversies behind monuments in Buenos Aires’s commemorative core, to demonstrate their role in embedding and contesting collective memory and national identity in the urban landscape. It also analyzes the negotiation of urban spaces to convey authority, through the creation of public parks, plazas, or main thoroughfares. This research illuminates the implications of representation, and of absence—particularly of indigenous histories—in the capital city’s commemorative landscape, primarily in the development of national identity and historical consciousness. The study centers on classical statuary or ‘hero monuments’ typical to the nineteenth—early twentieth century (rather than modern monuments of the post-dictatorship period, intended to address trauma rather than celebrate national heroes). Public engagement with these sites, in the forms of performance and protest, is also central to this examination. Overall this work addresses larger questions of how the past is produced, consumed, and contested through shared public spaces, as well as universally relevant questions of controversial monuments in changing political climates.

Dissertation Title:

“Shaping and Contesting the Past: Monuments, Memory, and Identity in Buenos Aires, 1811- present”


Selected Publications:

Towards Memory, Against Oblivion: A Comparative Perspective on Public Memory, Monuments, and Confronting a Painful Past in the United States and Argentina,The Public Historian, Special Digital Issue: Monuments, Memory, Politics, and Our Publics, Sept. 2017.

“Down Argentine Way,” in Race and American Film: Voices and Visions that Shaped a Nationed. Daniel Bernardi and Michael Green (ABC-Clio Greenwood, 2017)

Book Review, Our Indigenous Ancestors: A Cultural History of Museums, Science, and Identity in Argentina, 1877-1943. The Public Historian, 39.2 (May 2017): 111-113.

“Contesting Columbus, Reinventing Juana: Monuments, Memory, and Identity in Buenos Aires,” Journal of Latin American Studies (revisions requested; resubmitted and currently under final review).


Teaching Fields:

  • Modern Latin America
  • Argentina
  • Public History
  • Art History
  • Cultural history
  • Memory and the built environment

Courses Taught:

Instructor of Record:

  • Summer 2017, Revolution & Resiliency in Twentieth-Century Latin America (History 151C)
  • Critical comparative analysis of 20th-century revolutionary movements in Latin America, particularly in Mexico, Guatemala, Bolivia, Cuba, Chile, Argentina, and Nicaragua. Course examines these events through the lens of those who participated, highlighting the role of women, workers, peasants, indigenous communities, and other marginalized groups in shaping political, economic, and social transformations. Central themes include nationalism, imperialism, indigenous rights, agrarian reform, identity, feminism, social justice, human rights, and art as a means of defiance.
  • Summer 2016, Introduction to Public History (HIST 192)
    • Custom designed upper-division course covering diverse areas of public history, including: historic preservation, national parks, commemorations, museums, oral history, digital history, history in film and theatre, interpretation, historical reconciliation, memory, and sites of conscience.
  • Summer 2014, Academic Writing (WRIT 2)
    • Writing seminar to strengthen students’ skills in university-level writing across disciplines.

Teaching Assistantships:

  • Fall 2013—Winter 2015, WRIT 2: Academic Writing
  • Spring 2013, HIST 8: Introduction to Latin American History, Dr. Sarah Cline
  • Summer 2013, HIST 8: Introduction to Latin American History,Dr. David Rock
  • Winter 2013, HIST 2A: World History, Prehistory to 1000 CE, Dr. Monica Orozco
  • Fall 2012, HIST 8: Introduction to Latin American History, Dr. David Rock
  • Summer 2012, HIST 2B: World History 1000-1700, Dr. Francis Dutra
  • Spring 2012, HIST 8: Introduction to Latin American History, Dr. David Rock
  • Winter 2012, HIST 4B: Western Civilization 1050-1715, Dr. Sharon Farmer
  • Fall 2011, LAIS 10: Intro. To Latin American & Iberian Studies, Dr. Sarah Cline


Awards & Professional Activities:

External Awards and Fellowships:

Internal Awards and Fellowships:

  • UCSB Regent’s Dissertation Fellowship, 2015
  • UCSB History Dept. Research Travel Grant, 2015
  • Monica Orozco Prize, 2014, Best paper in Latin American History:
    • “Representing Argentina’s Invisible Indigenous: Commemorations, Collective Memory, and the Power of Public Space”
  • Philip W. & Maria Powell Prize: Distinguished contribution to Latin American & Iberian studies, 2014
  • UCSB Humanities & Social Sciences Research Travel Grant, 2014
  • Donald Van Gelderen Memorial Fellowship, 2013
  • UCSB History Associates Fellowship, 2012
  • UCSB Latin American and Iberian Studies Department Award, 2011
  • UCSB Latin American and Iberian Studies Department Fellowship, 2010

Professional Activities:

Conference Presentations:

“’The Tallest Monument to a Genocide Hero:’ Commemorations, Community Activism, and Argentina’s Invisible Indigenous,” slated for the National Council on Public History Annual Conference, Indianapolis, IN, April 19-22, 2017.

“Contesting Columbus, Representing the Nation: Protest, Performance, and Memory in Buenos Aires’s Commemorative Landscape.” Latin American Studies Association, New York City, May 27-30, 2016.

“Public Protest, Performance, and Participation: Shaping Historical Memory and the Monumental Landscape in Buenos Aires.” Rocky Mountain Council for Latin American Studies, Santa Fe, NM, March 31- April 3, 2016.

“Shaping and Contesting the Past: Monuments, Memory, and Argentine Identity in Buenos Aires, 1811-present.” Rocky Mountain Council for Latin American Studies, Santa Fe, NM, March 31- April 3, 2016.

Exoticism and the Veiled Other: Visual culture, travel literature, and the male gaze in the construction of la tapada Limeña: 1700-1900. Rocky Mountain Council for Latin American Studies conference, Santa Fe, New Mexico, April 3-6, 2013.

“Morisca, Maja y Tapada: Art, travel literature, and the male gaze in the construction of the veiled Other in Spain and Peru, 1530-1900.” UCSB Department of Spanish & Portuguese 14th Lusophone & Hispanic Graduate Student Conference, Santa Barbara, CA, May 4-5, 2012.