1: Griselda Jarquin



Program and year of study

PhD, 6th year

Previous degrees and colleges

MA World History (Africa, Europe and Latin America), San Francisco State University, 2011

BA History, San Francisco State University, 2008 

Where did you grow up?

Los Angeles, CA

Where do you live now?

Lafayette, CA 

What’s your favorite spot in Davis?

Tres Hermanas! Mostly for their happy hour menu.

How do you relax?

Have lunch by myself; watch guilty-pleasure TV shows; read historical fiction.

What was the last book you read for pleasure?

James Kaplan’s biography of Frank Sinatra, Sinatra: The Chairman.

What was the last film you saw at the theater?

Pablo Larrain’s Jackie. 

Research interests

The Cold War; social movements; Nicaragua’s Sandinista Revolution; Conservatism; grassroots activism; transnational history. 

Dissertation title or topic

My dissertation examines how the Left and Right in Nicaragua and the U.S. viewed Nicaragua as the final frontier of the Cold War that would determine the fate of their ideological struggles. The triumph of the 1979 Sandinista revolution was a critical moment in the Western Hemisphere that offered hope to Leftists that revolution was a viable alternative to achieve political change, while its defeat heralded the triumph of Conservatism and American democracy over “authoritarian communism.” At the heart of my project are activists across the political spectrum who defied national boundaries to create transnational networks to support or oppose the Sandinista revolution. 

Please share a surprising or unusual fact or finding from your research

One of the most surprising things is how San Francisco and the wider Bay Area, rather than Miami, was a destination for Nicaraguan exiles, and the extent to which those exiles built a vibrant community that opposed the dictatorship in Nicaragua from the 1930s-1970s. 

Which professor or class inspired you to pursue graduate studies?

Professor Trevor Getz. He’s a fantastic role model: a caring and supportive mentor, a dynamic and engaging educator, and an innovative scholar.

Which scholarly text do you wish you had written? Why?

Thomas Klubock’s Contested Communities: Class, Gender and Politics in Chile’s El Teniente Copper Mine, 1904-1951. It uses gender as a unit of analysis effectively.

Which other researchers at UC Davis are doing work that particularly interests you?

Associate Professor of History Lisa Materson’s work on Puerto Rican women’s political activism and solidarity. Associate Professor of Spanish Michael Lazzarra’s work on memory, culture, and state violence in Chile. 

What’s the best thing about being a grad student?

Doing research in Nicaragua, traveling to conferences, and teaching.

What’s the worst?


What wisdom can you offer to someone considering grad school?

Speak to other graduate students to get a sense of what the professors, program, department, university, etc. are like. They’re an under-utilized resource that can give you an honest depiction of what to expect as a graduate student. 

If you weren’t a grad student, what would you be doing?

I’d be a high school history teacher.

Bonus question: What is the one city/country you most hope to visit? 

La Havana, Cuba, which features so prominently when I teach Latin American history and within my own research.


—January 2017


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