LASA/Oxfam America Martin Diskin Dissertation Award

About the Award

The LASA/Oxfam America Martin Diskin Dissertation Award was initially made possible through the generosity of Oxfam America and continues with contributions from LASA's membership. This award is offered at each LASA International Congress to an outstanding junior scholar who embodies Professor Diskin’s commitment to the creative combination of activism and scholarship.

Dr. Martin Diskin was a vital member of the Latin American Studies Association and of Oxfam America. His passion towards the human rights movement and his guidance over grantmaking in Latin America proved to be invaluable. He was fervent about supporting justice and openly criticized the US foreign policy in Central America and Cuba. He demonstrated the value of being informed and strategic advocates. As Raymond Offenheiser remarked “his [was a] prophetic voice in a world so in need of courage and hopeful vision; his commitment to academic rigor in service of humanity”.

Call for nominations

The award will be presented to an advanced doctoral student or recent Ph.D. All advanced Ph.D. candidates must demonstrate that they will complete their dissertation prior to the LASA International Congress. LASA limits recent Ph.D. recipients to those individuals who received their degrees after the LASA Congress prior to the one at which the award is to be received. LASA welcomes dissertations written in English, Spanish, or Portuguese.

The Award Committee will evaluate three criteria: (1) overall scholarly credentials, based on the candidate’s curriculum vitae; (2) the quality of the dissertation writing, research, and analysis as determined by the dissertation outline and sample chapter submitted; (3) the primary advisor’s letter of recommendation. The definition of activist scholarship shall remain broad and pluralist, to be discussed and interpreted by the Award Committee.

Applicants should submit a current curriculum vitae; a dissertation abstract of 250 words; the dissertation outline or table of contents; one sample chapter, which exemplifies the author’s approach to activist scholarship; and a letter of recommendation from the candidate’s primary advisor which focuses explicitly on the candidate’s qualifications for the award.

All application materials must be submitted electronically to the LASA Secretariat by September 20, 2021. The award will be announced at the LASA2022 Awards Ceremony, and the awardee will be publicly honored. The winner will present his/her research at a special panel during the Congress. LASA membership is not a requirement to receive the award.

The 2022 Selection Committee consists of: 

Rosalva Aida Hernandez Castillo (chair)
CIESAS, México

Juan Luis Dammert Bello
Oxfam America

Daniel Ruiz-Serna
University of British Columbia 

Irma A. Velásquez Nimatuj 
University of Oregon

Virginia Vargas
Centro De La Mujer Peruana Flora Tristán, Peru

Sara Z. Poggio
University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC)

Martín Mendoza-Botelho
Eastern Connecticut State University

Award history


AWARDEE: Sol Pérez Jiménez (Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México)

HONORABLE MENTION: Nora K. Rivera (Chapman University)

HONORABLE MENTION: Jorge Ramirez-Lopez (Dartmouth College)


AWARDEES: Gwen Burnyeat (University of Oxford) and Brenda Nicolás (Loyola Marymount University)

HONORABLE MENTION: Amy Kennemore (University of California, San Diego)


AWARDEE: Macarena Bonhomme (Goldsmiths, University of London and Centro de Estudios de Conflicto y Cohesión Social, COES)

HONORABLE MENTION: Astrid Adriana Pozos Barcelata (Université du Québec à Montréal, UQÀM)


AWARDEE: Daniel Ruiz-Serna (McGill University)

HONORABLE MENTION: Laura Bernal-Bermúdez (University of Oxford)


AWARDEE: Sara Mingorria Martinez (Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona)

HONORABLE MENTION: Evelyn Encalada-Grez (University of Toronto)


AWARDEE: Christopher Eugene Courtheyn (Universidad del Rosario)

HONORABLE MENTION: Adriana Paola Paredes Peñafiel (Universidade Federal Do Rio Grande)

HONORABLE MENTION: Goya Wilson Vásquez (University of Bristol)


AWARDEE: Diana Gomez (University of North Carolina/Chapel Hill)


AWARDEE: Alex Fattal (Harvard University)

HONORABLE MENTION: Magalí Rabasa (University of Kansas)

HONORABLE MENTION: Rebecca Tarlau (University of California, Berkeley)


AWARDEE: Aurora Vergara-Figueroa (Universidad Icesi)

HONORABLE MENTION: Lina Britto (Harvard University)


AWARDEE: Lindsey Mayka (Colby College)

AWARDEE: Erica Simmons (University of Wisconsin-Madison)


AWARDEE: Maria Christina Cielo (Facultad Latinoamericana de Ciencias Sociales, Ecuador)

HONORABLE MENTIONS: Oscar Gil García and Oliver Kaplan (University of Denver)


AWARDEE: Louis Esparza (California State University/Los Angeles)


AWARDEE: Sales Augusto dos Santos (Universidade de Brasília - UnB)