Participant Info

First Name
Last Name
Washington State University Vancouver
Website URL
Latin America, Chile, urban history, Cold War, transnational history, France, history of technology, transportation, subways, metros, development, aid, democracy, dictatorship, oral history, environmental history
Additional Contact Information

Personal Info

About Me

Chastain is a historian of modern Latin America with a focus on twentieth-century Chile in a global context. Her research and teaching interests include the transnational history of aid and development, the global Cold War, urban and environmental history, and the history of science and technology. Her book manuscript project examines the history of the metro system in Santiago, Chile, in the context of explosive urban growth, shifting political regimes, and foreign aid during the Cold War. Because this major public works project cuts across Chile’s experiences with Christian democracy, democratic socialism, and military rule, it offers a new perspective on the break between democracy and dictatorship and the shift from state-led development to neoliberalism. She is particularly interested in how Chilean urban planners collaborated with French consultants and in how the metro’s history illuminates shifting visions of national progress. She has conducted research for this project in Chile, France, Brazil, Mexico, and the United States, and her work has been supported by the Social Science Research Council, the P.E.O. Foundation, and the Macmillan Center for International and Area Studies at Yale University.

Recent Publications

“Beyond Resistance: New Works on Urban Popular Politics in Latin America’s Informal Cities.” Journal of Urban History, vol. 43, no. 6, 960–967. 2017.

“Francis Violich and the Rise and Fall of Urban Developmental Planning in Chile, 1956–1969.” Revista de Historia Iberoamericana, vol. 4, no. 2, 10–39. 2011.

Media Coverage
Country Focus
Chile, France, Brazil, Mexico
Expertise by Geography
France, Latin America
Expertise by Chronology
Modern, 20th century, 21st century
Expertise by Topic
Capitalism, Diplomacy, Environment, Politics, Rebellion & Revolution, Technology, Urban History