Catherine Komisaruk

Associate Professor
Latin America
224 SH
Office Hours: 
M/W 1:00 - 2:30 and by appointment
Phone Number: 
(319) 384-3284

Catherine Komisaruk’s research focuses on the social and cultural history of colonial-era Latin America, particularly Mexico and Central America.  Her book Labor and Love in Guatemala: The Eve of Independence (Stanford University Press, January 2013 ) reimagines the histories of Spanish American labor and ethnic formation.  By bringing gender studies and the “new” cultural history into dialogue with older scholarly interests in native and African labor, the book transforms perspectives on the major social developments that emerged across Spanish America.  It shows for the case of Guatemala how hispanization and the rise of free labor were rooted in gendered patterns of work, migration, and reproduction.


Currently Komisaruk is at work on a book about gender and native rebellions in colonial-era Mexico.


She received the Ph.D. at UCLA.  Before coming to the University of Iowa, she was an assistant professor at California State University, Long Beach.  She also taught for several years at the secondary level in Guatemala City.




Courses recently taught by Professor Komisaruk include:

• HIST:2151  Colloquium for History Majors (World)
• HIST:4501  Society and Revolution in Cuba
• HIST:4502  History of Mexico
• HIST:4510  Colonial Latin America
• HIST:7505/SPAN:6400  Readings in Latin American History

Awards & Service: 

• UI American Indian and Native Studies Program Steering Committee Member, 2008-present.
• Old Gold Summer Fellowship, University of Iowa, 2007.
• American Association of University Women American Post-Doctoral Fellowship, 2003-04.
• Honorary Student Marshal, UCLA Doctoral Commencement, 2001.