College of Liberal and Fine Arts


Catherine Komisaruk’s research focuses on Mexico and Central America, particularly in the colonial era.  Her book Labor and Love in Guatemala: The Eve of Independence (Stanford University Press, 2013) is a history of ordinary women and men.  It shows the ways in which modern-day social structures—including ethnicities and labor forms—are rooted in the gendered migration patterns and family configurations of the colonial period.  Komisaruk is also the author of several journal articles and book chapters, and she has co-edited the Statistical Abstract of Latin America and a special issue of the journal Biography.  Currently she is working on a book about gender and native uprisings in New Spain (that is, colonial-era Mexico and Central America).  Her work has been supported by grants from UCLA, the University of Iowa, the American Association of University Women, and the University of California Humanities Research Institute.
Komisaruk taught previously at universities in California, New York, and Iowa, and at the secondary level in Guatemala.  Her courses focus on Mexico, Cuba, colonial Latin America, historical research and writing methods, gender and slavery, and native peoples in the Americas. 
She received a bachelor’s degree with high honors from Harvard, and an M.A. and Ph.D. from UCLA.  She has taken courses in modern and classical Nahuatl at the Instituto de Docencia e Investigación Etnológica de Zacatecas in Mexico.

Labor and Love in Guatemala is available here. The Statistical Abstract of Latin America is available here. Biography is available here.


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