Focus on Faculty: Sarah Sarzynski

Festival in Leticia, circa 1945 - Archival holdings at the Biblioteca Publica del Banco de la Republica in Leticia
Festival in Leticia, circa 1945 - Photo courtesy archival holdings at the Biblioteca Publica del Banco de la Republica in Leticia

Sarah Sarzynski is a CLACS Associated Professor Faculty Fellow, and began teaching at CLACS in fall 2010. She brings an eclectic and rigorous teaching style to the CLACS M.A. program, and is responsible for the Introduction to Latin American Studies core class, which explores the colonial history of Latin America and the Caribbean.

Sarzynski’s academic research focuses on visual culture and Brazil. Her dissertation focused on rural social movements in northeastern Brazil during the cold war. Sarzynski investigated how agrarian social movements in the region coincided with a historic moment – specifically, the 1959 Cuban Revolution – which caused these social movements to be influenced by cold war politics. She also looks at the dialectical relationship between cultural production, social activism and identity formation created by these political circumstances.

Puerto Nariño, Colombia
Puerto Nariño, Colombia - Photo courtesy Sarah Sarzynski

Most recently, Sarzynski has been doing research on the “Tres Fronteras” region in the Amazon, a point where Brazil, Peru and Colombia meet. According to Sarzynksi, this region is incredibly diverse and marked by both a conceptual fluidity in national identity, and a physical fluidity of transportation via the Amazon River. Because of these same characteristics, the area is also rife with issues such as drug and human trafficking. But, since it is the meeting point between 3 countries, it is also a particularly interesting area in which to study representations of transnational identities.

Sarah Sarzynski
Sarah Sarzynski

In addition to the CLACS core class, Sarzynski teaches classes based on her scholarly research including Gender, Race and Popular Culture Theory in Latin America, and The Amazon: From Cannibals to Rainforest Crunch.

Before coming to CLACS, she also taught at Mount Holyoke College and Bowdoin College.

Posted by Von Diaz – MA Candidate at CLACS / Global Journalism at NYU

Published by Von Diaz

Von Diaz is a writer and radio producer based in New York City. She is a self-taught cook who explores Puerto Rican food, culture, and identity through memoir and multimedia. Her work has been featured on NPR, American Public Media, StoryCorps, WNYC, PRI’s The World, BuzzFeed, Colorlines, and Feet in 2 Worlds.

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