This month witnessed two exciting developments in Latin American Studies at Duke University.
On August 4, 2022, Duke University Libraries welcomed Diego A. Godoy, the new Librarian for Latin American, Iberian and Latinx Studies.
A native Angeleno of Mexican parentage, Diego comes to Duke from the University of Texas at Austin’s Nettie Lee Benson Latin American Collection, one of the premier libraries in the world for Latin America and Latina/o Studies. During his time at UT Austin, Diego played a pivotal role in initiatives to develop the Benson Collection’s digital holdings, while pursuing his Ph.D. in history. His dissertation explored the influence of Lombrosian criminal anthropology and Freudian psychoanalysis on the life and thought of Alfonso Quiroz Cuarón, a mid-twentieth-century Mexican criminologist (“an amalgam of Freud and J. Edgar Hoover”), who was responsible for championing penitentiary reform, tracking down international counterfeiters, and discovering the true identity of Leon Trotsky’s killer. Diego is author, most recently, of the article “Inside the Agrasánchez Collection of Mexican Cinema,” which appeared in the fall 2020 issue of Portal.
As his previous experience and research suggests, Diego is broadly interested in Latin American intellectual and cultural history, particularly journalism, media, and film, as well as the role that cultural heritage institutions (museums, archives, and libraries) play in commemoration. He is looking forward to working with faculty and students affiliated with Duke’s Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies as well as across the various departments (Romance Studies, History, etc.) that offer courses on this vibrant region of the world. Diego’s office is located on the second floor of Bostock Library, in the Department of International & Area Studies, and he can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Diego’s arrival coincides with an announcement about the funding that the UNC-Duke Consortium in Latin American and Caribbean Studies has been awarded for the next four years by the U.S. Department of Education’s Title VI program. In addition to graduate and undergraduate language fellowships (FLAS awards), language instruction, lectures, conferences, films, teacher training, and other programs, this money will provide additional support for expanding the Latin American, Iberian, and Latinx Studies collections of both libraries.
Together, these two developments augur well for the future of Latin American and Caribbean studies at Duke University, an institution that prides itself on having a library collection that matches its century-long history. If you are interested in reading more about the history of this collection, and the collaboration that went into building it, please consult the article co-authored by Dr. Holly Ackerman (Diego’s immediate predecessor as Duke’s Librarian for Latin American, Iberian and Latinx Studies) and Teresa Chapa (Latin American, Iberian and Latina/o Studies Librarian at UNC-Chapel Hill), “Promoting and Maintaining Collaborative Collecting: A Case Study,” in Latin American Collection Concepts: Essays on Libraries, Collaborations and New Approaches (2019), 99-119.