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Lassen Fellowships in Latin American Studies

The Program in Latin American Studies (PLAS) Lassen Fellowships in Latin American Studies provide outstanding first-year graduate students with full tuition, a 12–month graduate stipend, and research funds to support fieldwork in the region during their first year at Princeton. Each spring, PLAS asks departments to nominate the most promising entering graduate students for this fellowship.

Nominations are evaluated for evidence of strong commitment to the study of Latin America, guided by a departmental assessment of each candidate’s overall potential for success. Lassen Fellows are appointed by the Program in Latin American Studies and the fellowships are administered by the Graduate School.

LASSEN FELLOWS, 2014-2015


Marina Miguel Bedran


Marina Bedran has a master’s degree in Literary Theory and Comparative Literature from the University of São Paulo (USP) and did her undergraduate studies in Politics, Sociology and Anthropology. She has worked at Instituto Moreira Salles (IMS), the most important institution dedicated to photography in Brazil. At IMS, she co-edited ZUM, a magazine of contemporary photography. She has also worked as a curator of lectures and courses at Casa do Saber, a non-academic institution of higher learning in São Paulo, where she also co-edited a series of books for the general public, primarily on philosophy. She is currently pursuing a PhD in the Department of Spanish and Portuguese Languages and Literatures at Princeton. Her research interests include Latin American photography, literature, culture, visual arts and urban studies from the early modern period to the present, with a focus on Brazil. She is currently working on a book on the correspondence between Henry James and Robert Louis Stevenson, which she translated to Portuguese. 


Elis Gabriela Mendoza Mejia


Elis Mendoza earned her M.A. in Critical, Curatorial and Conceptual Practices in Architecture at Columbia University and a Bachelor of Architecture from UNAM, Mexico City. Before coming to the United States, Elis developed her practice as an architect and designer in Mexico City, Barcelona, and New Delhi, in projects that ranged from furniture design to urban upgrading of informal settlements.
She is currently pursuing a Ph.D. in Architecture focusing in the ideological construction of the capital cities under dictatorships. Her research areas of interest are architecture, urban studies, and sociology; namely the relationship between territory and violence; and the role of the built environment in post-conflict territories.


Lindsay Ofrias


Lindsay Ofrias is a cultural anthropology PhD student. Her research examines conflicts around oil and gas development in the United States and Ecuador. Over the last nine years, she has conducted ethnographic investigations in both countries focused on debates about toxicity and liability in relation to major oil spills. She has experience as a multi-media correspondent out of Ecuador and has published with TeleSUR English, RealitySandwich.com, the United Nations Association, and New York University’s Journal of Global Affairs. She has also worked on solar energy policy analysis for the City of Boulder and on the post-production team of the documentary 2012: Time for Change.


Martin Cobas Sosa


Cobas research interests include architecture and its expanded field, its intersections with film and psychoanalytic theory, as well as eighteenth century aesthetics and its impact upon modern and contemporary culture. His master’s thesis explored the notion of complexity outside the realm of form, questioning the status of the architectural object vis-à-vis its displacement towards a regime of indistinction of matter. In a forthcoming book, Dieste Redux, Machines Towards an Infrastructural Tectonic Order, he theorizes on the territorial implications of Eladio Dieste’s work.
While at Princeton, Cobas also aims to explore the trajectories of modern architectural discourse in Latin America by critically examining its transamerican journey, an intense double-agency overshadowed by the infatuation with the transatlantic experience. Among other questions, he will ask what are the lineages and tropes of this en route modernity and how they relate to the so-called space of the imaginary of literary magic realism.
Cobas graduated from the School of Architecture of the Universidad de la República in Montevideo, where he is Associate Professor and serves on the editorial boards of Revista R and Vitruvia. He earned his MDesS in History and Theory from the Harvard Graduate School of Design. Cobas is a partner in Fábrica de Paisaje, an experimental architectural firm, and a member of the Harvard’s GSD/DRCLAS South America Project.