Joan E. Supplee
Ralph L and Bessie Mae Lynn Professor of History
Ph.D., University of Texas at Austin, 1988
Why I Came To Baylor:
"I was attracted to Baylor by its fine reputation as a student-centered teaching instititution. The Summer Teaching Institute, which allows faculty members time to consider their teaching style and to learn new techniques, underscored this emphasis for me. The location of the school near the border with Latin American was also a consideration. When I learned the Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences was born in Argentina, I was sold on the school. Since then, I have been impressed with the resources the school provides to faculty for research and to travel to professional meetings. I have also been given the oppportunity to define and enhance the study of Latin America through my courses and as Director of Latin American Studies. A final reason that Baylor was a fortuitous choice for me is the quality of students in both the undergraduate and graduate programs."
On My Research Interests:
"My main research field is Modern Latin America and that informs most of my research activities. I have done field work in Mexico, Argentina, and Chile. I have published on migration, economic development, and women's movements in the region. My main reaseach focus remains fixed on regional economic development in late nineteeth century Argentina--the era most commonly known as "la epoca bella" or "la belle epoque." I have studied the economic choices made by regional leaders as they faced dramatic shifts in the economic structure of the state and the international market. A second research area that I am developing concerns women and the Catholic Church in Chile. I am interested in the ways the Church attempted to organize and monitor women and their activities in the 1930s and how that resulted in massive mobilization of women in the 1960s and 1970s. I also study how the state (and political parties) mimiced Church organizations after women received voting rights in the 1950s. A final area of interest that I am in the intial stages of developing came directly from a seminar I taught this past semester. on human rights. I hope to look at women's organizing strategies in the face of massive human rights violations by the military governmens in Latin American in the second half of the twentieth century. As a member of the graduate faculty, I have directed thesis on topics as varied as race relations on the Texas-Mexico border, evangelical movements in Nuevo Leon, and the Zapatistas in Chiapas. Students who study Latin America at Baylor have the opportunity to use the vast resources of the Benson Latin American library at the University of Texas and to take advantage of Baylor's study abroad programs in Mexico, Brazil, and Argentina."
"The main advantage of the Baylor graduate program over other programs in the region is the size of the program. A smaller program means smaller seminars and more personal contact between the professors and the graduate students. This allows professors to mentor students at a much more intensive level. Students frequently develop their own research topics and agendas in consultation with the faculty. The Baylor history faculty possesses a broad range of interests from Ancient Rome to Modern Latin America. An additional byproduct of the program size is that professors and students frequently develop relationships outside the academic setting. Baylor also has a fine reputation for placing its Master's candidates in top-tier graduate schools and its wide network of graduates in all areas provides students with useful contacts in terms of graduate education and other professional opportunities."