I am an assistant professor at the University of Tarapacá (Chile). Currently, I am leading a mixed-method project on academic elites in the field of economics, law and engineering. See my CV here.
My research agenda has been centered around the question of how and to what extent social and economic inequalities, manifested among individuals, social groups, institutions and countries, are (re) produced in the scientific and higher education systems.
This research question is not coincidence. Having grown up in Copiapó, the south limit of Atacama desert in Chile, I quickly felt the class structure of the Chilean society and the geographic inequality of a highly centralized country. I remember as a kid, I was told that I should not pronounce the “sh” to say Chile because that demonstrated a “low class status”. For many years, the weather broadcast announced in TV skipped my hometown from the map, and I could not understand why.
Such daily experiences made me be aware about the criteria and conditions that allow certain actors (countries, people, institutions, disciplines) to monopolize and control the power, resources, public attention, and prestige. An important part of my PhD dissertation consisted of unpacking the processes that allow the reproduction of inequality in the career of doctorate holders.
More recently, I have gotten to learn on the effects of colonization in me. For two years, I lived in South Africa and I worked as a lecturer at the Centre for Research, Teaching and Learning in Higher Education (CHERTL) at Rhodes University. The richness of decolonial debate in South Africa made me more aware of my inner-colonizer and the blind spots of my research agenda. Until recently, my research writing denied the legacy of colonization in the mechanisms of reproduction of inequality across countries, higher education institutions and people. I am currently in a stage of (un)learning and acknowledging the effects of colonization in me and the questions that I ask in the research space.
In addition, South Africa gifted me with the possibility of facilitating workshops on mindfulness meditation; a practice that I do since I started my doctorate degree in 2013. From the beginning of the COVID-19 until now, I run online weekly mindfulness wokshops for postgraduate and academics at Rhodes. Mindfulness is a technique to train the brain to stay in present moment and a channel to re-discover how interconnected we are from each other.
Now, I am now in my second year of a Mindfulness Meditation Certificate program, re-learning how our past and present experiences directly inform the ideas and questions raised in the research field.