Stefano Varese

Stefano Varese, Professor Emeritus

Position Title
Professor Emeritus

Founding Director and continuing member of IRCA, Indigenous Research Center of the Americas


La sal de los cerros_Stefano Varese

Stefano Varese, Professor Emeritus, is an anthropologist (social, political, and cultural), specialized in Indigenous people (American Indians, Native Americans) of the Americas. His areas of concentration: Amazon Region, Andean Region, Central America, Mexico, US West and Southern borderlands, Latin American Indian Diaspora, hemispheric and global perspectives. His interests include Indigenous community development, agro-ecological and sustainable development, cultural/economic/political self-determination, territorial management, rural-urban migration, transnational migration, cultural resource management, poverty alleviation strategies, Indigenous peoples human rights.

Witness to Sovereignty_Stefano Varese

Professor Emeritus Varese has field experience in Peru: Amazon region, Andes, Coastal region; Chile: Mapuche territory in Southern Chile; Ecuador: Coastal and Chocó region, upper & lower Amazon; Colombia: Chocó region, Antioquia region, Montería region; Nicaragua: Atlantic Coast, Mosquitia; Guatemala: Highland, Northern border; Mexico: Southern region (Chiapas, Yucatán, Quintana Roo, Campeche, Veracruz, Oaxaca, Guerrero, Puebla), Central region (Mexico, Michoacan); United States: West Coast and US-Mexico border.

Professor Emeritus Varese was awarded the OXFAM Latin American Studies Association (LASA) Martin Diskin Lectureship for Activist Scholarship.  The award was presented on June 8, 2013 at the LASA meeting in Washington D.C., at which time Professor Varese delivered his address. In 2017, he was the recipient of the Medal Haydee Santamaría awarded by the Casa de las Américas and the Cuban Government for cultural contributions and people friendship of Peru and Cuba.

Ruta Mixteca_Stefano VareseProfessor Emeritus Varese officially joined the faculty of Native American Studies in 1990--he was a Visiting Professor with the program before this. He is the founding Director and continuing member of the Indigenous Research Center of the Americas (IRCA), and he served as Chair of the department. He was one of the primary writers of the proposal to establish the Graduate Program in Native American Studies. At the graduate level, he taught NAS 212 Community Development for Sovereignty and Autonomy, and NAS 220 (then called) Colonialism/Racism and Self-Determination.

In 1998, he worked with Prof. Inés Hernández-Ávila to generate funding from multiple grants to sponsor and host the first binational conference in Indigenous Studies, "Indigenous Intellectual Sovereignties: A Hemispheric Convocation" which took place in at UC Davis, in April 1998, and in Oaxaca, Oaxaca, August 1998. In 2010, he worked with colleagues Inés Hernández-Ávila and Victor Montejo to submit a successful Department of State three-year grant, "Native American/ Indigenous Studies Across Borders: Capacity Building for Graduate Study in Mexico and Guatemala." Professor Emeritus Varese continues to be active in teaching, regularly offering a UCD Summer Abroad course, "Environmental Justice in Indigenous Ecuador" (which he offers under the rubric of NAS 120 Ethnopolitics of South American Indians), and First Year Seminar courses annually.

Undergraduate Courses Taught:

  • NAS 10 Native American Experience
  • NAS 120 Ethnopolitics of South American Indians
  • NAS 122 Native American Community Development
  • NAS 133 Ethnohistory of Native People of Mexico and Central America
  • NAS 191 Topics in Native American Studies
  • NAS 198 Directed Group Study
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