Carla Irina Villanueva holds a B.A. from the University of California, Riverside in Ethnic Studies and Sociology. She received an M.A. in Latin American Studies from California State University, Los Angeles. Her master’s thesis was an oral history project with a student activist who joined an urban-armed movement and who became a political prisoner in Mexico during the 1970s.
As a doctoral candidate in the department of History at Notre Dame, Carla’s research interests include the Cold War in Latin America, political activism during the sixties, and 20th-century Mexican history; currently working on her dissertation, "Normalistas rurales and the politics of education in peripheral Mexico during the Global Sixties."
In addition to her academic work, Carla has done extensive community organizing. During her time in Los Angeles she helped coordinate and facilitate delegations to Chiapas, Mexico, primarily for low-income people of color in the United States. The delegations included intensive workshops and visit to Zapatista areas, and promoted transnational activism and autonomous community building. She also worked as a union organizer in California for more than five years.
I am interested in student movements in Latin America, the global sixties, the Latin American Cold War, and education institutions in Mexico.
The Cold War and College Students: How Future Teachers in Mexico Challenged the System
Mar 3, 2020
Dissertation Year Fellow Carla Villanueva, a historian, is studying the role of Mexico’s system of rural teacher training colleges in the country’s political development. As part of her research, she’s collected the oral histories of former students who joined an armed guerilla organization in the 1970s.