Leslie Scott Offutt Associate Professor of History
Originally from southern California, Leslie S. Offutt earned her BA and MA degrees in history from the University of California, Riverside, and her PhD degree in colonial Latin American history from the University of California, Los Angeles (1982). She has taught Latin American history at Vassar College since 1983, where in addition to being a member and former chair of the History Department she serves on the steering committee of the International Studies and Latin American and Latino/a Studies programs.
- BA, MA, PhD, University of California, Los Angeles
- At Vassar since 1983
Departments and Programs
- HIST 164a. Latin American History ‘through the lens’
In the Media
Alberto Wilson III ’16
Inspired by Associate Prof. of History Leslie Offutt to pursue a career in academia, Alberto Wilson III ’16 is pursuing a PhD in history at the University of Houston.
Cuba in Transition
With diplomatic relations reestablished between Cuba and the United States, the pace of change in Cuba is accelerating. This year’s annual International Studies travel course explored the areas where the impact of that change is most profoundly felt—the environment, the economy, and the tourist sector—and asked how this new phase in Cuba’s revolution fits into the larger trajectory of post-1959 Cuban history.
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Born and raised in Southern California, Leslie S. Offutt earned her BA and MA degrees in history from the University of California, Riverside, and her PhD degree in colonial Latin American history from the University of California, Los Angeles (1982). She has taught Latin American history at Vassar College since 1983, where in addition to being a member and former chair of the History Department she serves on the steering committee of the International Studies and Latin American and Latino/a Studies programs. She is the author of numerous articles on Hispanic society on the North Mexican frontier in the eighteenth century and on Tlaxcalan/Spanish relations in that region. Her book Saltillo 1770–1810: Town and Region in the Mexican North was published by the University of Arizona Press in 2001. Her recent work with a collection of seventeenth and eighteenth-century Nahuatl-language wills from San Esteban de Nueva Tlaxcala is part of a larger project dealing with community formation on New Spain’s northern frontier.
Her course offerings include History 162 (Envisioning Latin America), History 164 (Latin American History “Through the Lens”), History 262 (Contesting Colonialism: Latin America 1450-1750), History 263 (From Colony to Nation: Latin America in the Nineteenth Century), History 264 (The Revolutionary Option? Latin America 1898-2014), and advanced seminars on Latin American revolutions, including a course on The Cuban Revolutions. Her multidisciplinary teaching has included the introductory Latin American and Latino/A Studies (LALS) course Conceptualizing Latin and Latino/a America and several iterations of the International Studies 110 course and study trip, including Cuba in Transition (co-taught with colleagues in the Anthropology department, spring 2002), Visions of Brazil (co-taught with colleagues in Geography and Anthropology, spring 2004), Indigenous Commodification and Resistance in Mexico: Oaxaca, Chiapas and Yucatan (co-taught with colleagues from the Anthropology Department, spring 2010), Cuban Transitions: Heritage, Ecotourism, and Cultural Transformation in the Twenty-First Century (co-taught with colleagues in Anthropology/Women’s Studies/Media Studies and Hispanic Studies/Environmental Studies, spring 2012), Cubanidad: Patrimony, Expressive Culture, and Revolutionary Spaces in Today’s Cuba (co-taught with two colleagues in Anthropology/Women’s Studies, spring 2013), Cuba: After the Revolution (co-taught with colleagues in Anthropology/Women’s Studies, Geography, and Economics, spring 2017) and Mexico Today: An Exploration Through Expressive, Material, and Culinary Cultures (co-taught with a colleague in Anthropology/Women’s Studies, spring 2018).