University of Massachusetts Amherst

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Sonia E. Alvarez

Professional Title: 

Leonard J. Horwitz Professor Emerita of Latin American Politics and Studies
Distinguished Professor Emerita of Political Science



Ph.D. Political Science, M.Phil. Political Science, M.A. Political Science. Yale University. A.B., Government and Latin American Studies, magna cum laude. Smith College.


My main areas of specialization are social movements and protest politics, comparative and transnational feminisms, and Latin American politics and cultures, with a focus on Brazil and the Southern Cone. My recent (co-edited) books include Quem São as Mulheres das Políticas para as Mulheres no Brazil? Vol. I, O Feminismo Estatal Participativo Brasileiro; Vol. II, Expressões Femnistas nas Conferências Nacionais de Políticas para as Mulheres​ (2018); Beyond Civil Society: Activism, Participation, and Protest in Latin America (2017); Translocalities/Translocalidades: Feminist Politics of Translation in the Latin/a Américas (2014); and a two-part special issue of the journal Meridians on "Afro-descendant Feminisms in Latin America" (2016). I have published numerous journal articles and book chapters, many written collaboratively, and in Portuguese and Spanish, as well as English, on topics including movements, feminist politics, NGOs, civil society, race and racism, transnational activism, and democratization.

I am a feminist, anti-racist and social justice intellectual-activist who has participated in Latina/women of color feminist movements in the US, as well as solidarity movements, alter-globablization organizing, and other transnational activist efforts. Since the 1980s, I have  been connected with feminist and women’s movements in Brazil, Latin America, and globally, while conducting research on and with them. My current work focuses on feminist protest, activist assemblages, and the (mis)encounters of feminism and anti-racism in Brazil. With Uof T Professor Martha Balaguera, I co-coordinate an international research-action network on feminisms and the global politics of protest in the 21st Century, the "Colectiva Protesta."

I am a past president of the Latin American Studies Association and former Director of the Center for Latin American, Caribbean, and Latino Studies at UMass Amherst.

Area of Study: 

  • Comparative politics

Curriculum Vitae: 

Download pdf (561.92 KB)


  • Interdisciplinary Studies; Social Movements; Protest; Latin America; Feminist Studies


  • Political Science