Political Science Professor a 2016-17 Central American Visiting Scholar at Harvard University
By Jennifer T. Allen
Abby Córdova, an assistant professor in the Department of Political Science, is spending the fall semester as a Central America Visiting Scholar at Harvard University. Each year the David Rockefeller Center for Latin American Studies (DRCLAS) selects 10-12 distinguished academics and professionals to spend one or two semesters at Harvard working on their own research and writing projects.
Cordova is focusing her work on “Living in a Hotspot: How Gang Activity in Central American Neighborhoods Impacts Political Participation.”
“This research projects explores the pathways through which gang activity in Central American neighborhoods is affecting the consolidation of democracy in the region. I find gang activity is resulting in unequal political participation, excluding from the democratic process historically disadvantaged populations, particularly the poor,” Cordova said. “I am very fortunate to be part of DRCLAS and the Harvard community. In the past few weeks, I have met prominent scholars and world leaders. These experiences are informing my research and teaching. I look forward to share the knowledge I accumulate at Harvard with my students at UK.”
The DRCLAS program creates a community of scholars with diverse perspectives on Latin America, and offers a unique environment for the scholars to learn from and interact with each other. According to Harvard, this year’s competition was among the most competitive ever, with just over 10 percent of the candidates offered a fellowship.
During her time in Cambridge, Córdova will be holding public talks at Harvard University, and also participate in a discussion group on Latin American politics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).