Latin American Studies
B.A., Georgetown University; Ph.D., University of Texas (Austin)
Danilo Antonio Contreras
Assistant Professor of Political Science
Research focuses on the politics of Afro-Latin Americans and their descendants.
I am an assistant professor in the Department of Political Science at Wellesley College, where I teach courses on comparative politics, politics in Latin America, Latin American studies, and democracy consolidation. Broadly, my research examines how Afro-Latin Americans and their descendants make use of local institutions and understandings of ethno-racial identities to strategize against structural inequalities and discrimination.
I am currently completing my first book project, Ethno-Nationalism Without Ethno-Racial Politics in the Dominican Republic. The book develops an argument for why ethno-nationalism, not ethno-racial identity, tends to motivate electoral politics in the DR. I draw from an original field experiment, as well as from qualitative and survey research, to support my argument. Research from this project has been published in the Latin American Research Review, and it has been supported, most recently, by fellowships at Williams College and the College of the Holy Cross.
I am a member of the Faculty Committee in the Afro-Latin American Research Institute at Harvard University’s Hutchins Center, where I was a fellow from 2019 to 2020, and I am vice-president of the New England Council of Latin American Studies (NECLAS).