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Laurie Frederik


COLLEGE PARK, Md. – The College of Arts and Humanities has appointed Laurie Frederik as director of the Latin American Studies Center, effective July 14, 2014.

Currently an associate professor in the School of Theatre, Dance, and Performance Studies, and an affiliate faculty member in the Department of Anthropology, Frederik has written extensively about modern Cuba, including Trumpets in the Mountains: Theater and the Politics of National Culture in Cuba, published by Duke University Press in August 2012. The book is based on over a decade of ethnographic research, including two and a half years living in some of Cuba’s most remote mountainous areas called “zones of silence.” Her new research investigates contemporary forms of storytelling, focusing on legal testimony and the narrative reconstruction of truth in the United States and Puerto Rico. She teaches classes about the anthropology of art and performance, subversive cultural movements, national identity, censorship, creativity and ethnographic method.

The Latin American Studies Center has long serviced the campus and larger community in its dedication to expanding research, instruction and understanding about Latin America and the Caribbean. Frederik has been active with the center for several years, presenting her research at Café Breaks and conferences, acting as discussant for student symposium panels and serving on fellowship committees and the advisory board. To advance the center’s mission, she will oversee the undergraduate certificate program and other activities that enhance Maryland students' opportunities to engage fully with the many resources about Latin America and Latin Americans found on campus, in local communities and in Maryland's global partnerships.

"I look forward to working with Laurie and the center's advisory board in elevating the center's contributions to the undergraduate curriculum and student success," said Bonnie Thornton Dill, Dean for the College of Arts and Humanities. 

Laurie earned her Ph.D. in Anthropology from the University of Chicago. She earned two B.A. degrees, one in Social Anthropology from the University of Cape Town, South Africa, and another in Anthropology from the University of Virginia.