Pamela Voekel

|Associate Professor
Academic Appointments
  • Associate Professor of History and LALACS

  • Founding Faculty, Freedom University Georgia

  • Co-Founder, Tepoztlan Institute for the Transnational History of the Americas

  • Faculty Fellow, Dartmouth Consortium for the Study of Race, Migration, and Sexuality (RMS)

Professor Pamela Voekel has won awards for her scholarship, her undergraduate and graduate teaching, and her efforts in collaboration with underserved students targeted by anti-migrant policies. Her second book, For God and Liberty: Catholicism and Revolution in the Atlantic World, 1780-1861 (Oxford University Press, 2022) draws on more than forty archives in six languages and ten countries to demonstrate that a religious conflict underlay the Liberal-Conservative political battles of Latin America's nineteenth century. The book won the 2022 Best Book Award from the Latin American Studies Association's Nineteenth-Century Section. She is also the author of Alone Before God: The Religious Origins of Modernity in Mexico, which won the Thomas McGann Memorial Prize, and of multiple articles and book chapters on the intersections of religion and politics in Mexico; popular religion in Latin America; and theory and methods in transnational history. Her research has been supported by grants and fellowships from Harvard Divinity School, the National Endowment for the Humanities, and the Social Science Research Council, among others, and she serves on the board of the scholarly series Catholic Practice in the Americas. She is the co-founder and five-time conference director of the Tepoztlán Institute for the Transnational History of the Americas, a week-long, tri-lingual seminar held annually in Mexico since 2003, and a co-founder of Freedom University Georgia, now in its second decade of providing rigorous college-level courses for the undocumented students banned from Georgia's top research universities.  She also co-founded the Patrona Collective for Colonial Latin American Scholarship, in honor of the late Professor Maria Elena Martinez (1966-2014), to gather and fund graduate students in the field for archival research with senior scholars. She teaches courses on the history of colonial and modern Latin America; capitalism in the Americas; the political life of religion in Latin America; and racial and gender configurations in empire building and decolonization. At Dartmouth she is the founder and organizer of the Mississippi Freedom Writers (MFW), a scholarly seminar committed to the transnational history of the "most Southern place on earth." The MFW students' work appears in the current issue of the interdisciplinary journal Southern Cultures, co-edited and with an introduction co-authored by Voekel.


Carson Hall, Room C409
HB 6107


  • Ph. D. University of Texas
  • M.A. University of Texas
  • B.A. Mount Holyoke College

Speaking Engagements

  • Harvard University David Rockefeller Center for Latin American Studies, March 30, 2023.

  • Duke University Department of History 2019

  • Princeton University Department of Religion 2019

  • MIT Media Lab 2017

  • University of Notre Dame Department of History 2015

  • University of Wisconsin Institute for Research in the Humanties 2015

Works In Progress

Book: "Resurrection of the Body: Mayan Catholics Against Liberalism, 1840-1880"

Book co-authored with Bethany E. Moreton: "The Gods must be Crazy: Transnational Religious Networks in Mississippi and Guatemala"



Selected Works & Activities

Selected Media Interviews on Immigration and Higher Education, 2011-2022

The New Yorker, National Public Radio; Atlanta Journal-Constitution; Yes Magazine; CNN; CNN International; CNN in Spanish; Fox News Latino; Swedish National Television; Swedish National Radio; Dutch National Television; Impacto Films (feature-length documentary on Freedom University Georgia students); Athens Banner Herald; Flagpole; Chronicle of Higher Education; Univision; America Weekend Saturday with Paul Harriss (radio); German paper Die Zeit; AP Wire reprinted in over 500 newspapers from Argentina to Alaska; Mundo Hispanico (Atlanta); Cornell Labor Studies Blog; Atlanta Magazine.

Selected Works