Sie sind hier: FRIAS Fellows Fellows 2021/22 Dr. Gema Kloppe-Santamaría

Dr. Gema Kloppe-Santamaría

© Andrew Kloppe-Santamaría
Loyola University Chicago
History Department

External Junior Fellow (Marie S. Curie FCFP)
September 2021 - August 2022

Raum 02 008
Tel. +49 (0)761 - 203 97320


Gema Kloppe-Santamaría is assistant professor of Latin American history at Loyola University, Chicago. Her research analyzes questions of violence, gender, religion and state formation in twentieth and twentieth-first century Latin America.

Kloppe-Santamaría is the author of In the Vortex of Violence: Lynching, Extralegal Justice, and the State in Post-Revolutionary Mexico (University of California Press, 2020). She is also the lead editor of the edited volumes Violence and Crime in Latin America: Representations and Politics, edited with David Carey Jr. (University of Oklahoma Press, 2017) and Human Security and Chronic Violence in Mexico: New Perspectives and Proposals from Below, edited with Alexandra Abello-Colak (Editorial Porrúa, México, 2019)

Her work has been published or is forthcoming in the Journal of Latin American Studies, Latin American Research Review, The Americas, and the Journal of Social History. She has also authored specialized reports for the United Nations Development Program and the Wilson Center for International Scholars.

Kloppe-Santamaría’s research has been supported by several fellowships. Most recently, she was named a 2020 Harry Frank Guggenheim Distinguished Scholar, a 2021 Mellon Emerging Faculty Leader, and a recipient of the 2021 Sujack Family Award for Excellence in Faculty Research at Loyola University Chicago. In 2021, she was also appointed as a Woodrow Wilson Center Global Fellow.

Publikationen (Auswahl)

  • In the Vortex of Violence: Lynching, Extralegal Justice and the State in Post-Revolutionary Mexico (University of California Press, 2020).
  • “Violence in Post-Revolutionary Mexico,” Working Paper Series, Kellogg Institute for International Studies, No. 444, May 2021,
  • “The Lynching of the Impious: Violence, Politics, and Religion in Post-Revolutionary Mexico (1930s-1950s),” The Americas: A Quarterly Review of Latin American History  (Vol. 77, no. 1, 2020), pp. 101-28. * (*2021 Best Article in the Humanities Award, Latin American Studies Association, Mexico Section)
  • “Lynching and the Politics of State Formation in Post-Revolutionary Puebla (1930s-1950s),” Journal of Latin American Studies (Vol. 51, no. 3, 2019), pp. 499-521. ** (**2020 Best Article Award, New England Council of Latin American Studies (NECLAS)
  • “Determinants of Support for Extralegal Violence in Latin America and the Caribbean,” with José Miguel Cruz,  Latin American Research Review (vol. 54, no. 1, 2019), pp. 50-68.


Religion, Violence, and the Secular State in Mexico (1920-2020)

This project seeks to examine why and under what conditions religion has contributed to legitimate or deter the use of violence across different periods of time in Mexico. Beginning with the Cristero War (1926-1929) and ending with the role that the clergy and lay members of the Catholic Church have played in confronting the country’s contemporary context of criminal violence, I will analyze the political, cultural, and theological drivers that have shaped Catholics’ understanding of the acceptability of violence. Based on the examination of newspapers and archival materials from ecclesiastical and official sources, as well as on the use of oral histories, my aim is to show how Catholics’ popular and official understandings of martyrdom, sacrifice, and justice, have all shaped believers’ responses to situations and individuals considered hostile or offensive to their spiritual and material wellbeing. Archival research in three different cities will allow me to compare and contrast geographical and temporal variations among Catholics’ attitudes towards violent conflict as well as religion’s potential contribution to peace building. By analyzing the complex and multifaceted relationship between religion and violence in Mexico, home to the world’s second largest population of Catholics in the world after Brazil, this project will contribute to broader conversations regarding the impact of religious beliefs on the organization and legitimation of violence at a global scale. It will also add to our understanding of the ways in which faith-based communities can contribute to identify the cultural and ideological determinants of violence as well to work towards more peaceful societies.