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Katherine Hite Professor of Political Science on the F. Thompson Chair and Director of Research Development

Katherine Hite joined the Vassar faculty in 1997. She received her BA from Duke University and her masters in International Affairs and PhD in political science from Columbia University. Prior to her arrival at Vassar, she served as the associate director of the Institute of Latin American and Iberian Studies of Columbia, where she also taught courses in Latin American studies and comparative politics. From 2008-12, Hite directed Vassar’s Latin American and Latino/a Studies program.

Dr. Hite’s recent work focuses on the politics of memory, as well as issues in higher education, access and equity. Her research has been supported by the Fulbright Foundation, the Social Science Research Council, and the Ford Foundation.

Dr. Hite’s teaching interests include Latin American politics, social movements, and the legacies of violence for governments and societies in transition around the globe.

  • BA, Duke University; MIA, PhD, Columbia University
  • At Vassar since 1997


Research and Academic Interests

  • Latin American Studies


  • LALS/POLI 258. Latin American Politics
  • POLI 252. The Politics of Modern Social Movements

Selected Publications


Ghosts, Exhumations and Unwieldy Pasts. Co-edited with Daniela Jara. Special Issue of Memory Studies, (forthcoming June 2020).

Política de la Memoria en Chile: De Pinochet a Bachelet, coedited with Cath Collins and Alfredo Joignant, (Santiago de Chile: Universidad Diego Portales/Catalonia, 2014).

Política y arte de la conmemoración: memoriales en America Latina y España (Santiago de Chile: Mandrágora Ediciones y Museo de la Memoria, 2013).

Politics and the Art of Commemoration: Memorials to Struggle in Latin America and Spain, Routledge Press, 2011. Paperback edition, 2013.

The Politics of Memory in Chile: From Pinochet to Bachelet, coedited with Cath Collins and Alfredo Joignant (Lynne Rienner Publications, 2013).

Sustaining Human Rights in the Twenty-First Century: Strategies from Latin America, coedited with Mark Ungar (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2013).

Authoritarian Legacies and Democracy in Latin America and Southern Europe, coedited with Paola Cesarini (University of Notre Dame Press, 2004).

When the Romance Ended: Leaders of the Chilean Left, 1968-1998. (Columbia University Press, 2000).

The New Politics of Inequality in Latin America: Rethinking Participation and Representation, coedited with Douglas A. Chalmers, Carlos M. Vilas, Scott B. Martin, Kerianne Piester, and Monique Segarra (Oxford University Press, 1997).

Select Articles

“Reckoning with the Violent Past in the Here and Now,” in Sonia Hernández and John Moran, eds., Reverberations of Racial Violence: Critical Reflections on U.S. History (Austin: University of Texas Press, forthcoming 2020).

“Spaces, Sites, and the Art of Memory,” Latin American Research Review, 52 (1), March 2017, pp. 190-196.

“Pedagogía crítica, perturbación empática, y la política de los encuentros en los espacios de memoria en Chile,” Signos: Revista del Museo de la Memoria y los Derechos Humanos, Santiago, Chile, January 2017.

“President Obama’s Visit to Buenos Aires: An Important Gesture,” AULA Blog, Center for Latin American and Latino Studies, American University, March 22, 2016.

“Guiding Light: On being a docent in Chile’s Museum of Memory and Human Rights, as told to Katherine Hite,” with Jordi Huguet, Guernica: A magazine of art and politics, March 17, 2016.

“Teaching the Politics of Encounter: Empathic Unsettlement in Spaces of Memory in Chile,” Radical History Review Issue 124 (January 2016), pp. 217-225.

“Reflexiones comparativas sobre el LUM,” La Mula (Lima, Peru), July 1, 2015.

“Empathic Unsettlement and the Outsider Within Argentine Spaces of Memory,” Memory Studies January 2015; 8 (1), pp. 38-48.

“Why are Chileans Growing More Dissatisfied with Bachelet?” Inter-American Dialogue’s Latin America Advisor, Monday, December 22, 2014, p. 1.

“Comentario” Qué es legítimo hacer en los sitios de la memoria? Foro sobre Memoria Social e Historia Reciente, Núcleo Memoria, Instituto de Desarrollo Económico y Social, Buenos Aires, Argentina, June 2014.

With Marita Sturken, “September 11th and Human Rights,” Huffington Post, September 10, 2012.

In the Media


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Photo: Sean Hemmerle