Susan Fitzpatrick-Behrens

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Full-Time Faculty
(818) 677-3094
Office location:
Sierra Tower 604



Ph.D. University of California at San Diego, 2001
M.A. University of California at San Diego, 1997
B.A. California State University at Long Beach, 1992

Courses Taught

HIST161:  Introduction to Latin American History
HIST366:  Popular Culture in Contemporary Latin America
HIST497:  Latin America through Local Eyes
HIST497:  Public History
HIST498:  Maya Religions from the Popul Vuh to Protestantism
HIST660:  MacArthur Park the “Center of the Universe”
HIST562:  Health, Medicine, and the Body in Contemporary Latin America
HIST563:  Militarism in Latin America
HIST563:  Religion in Latin America

Selected Publications and Presentations

  • The Maryknoll Catholic Mission in Peru, 1943 – 1989:  Transnational Faith and Transformation (Notre Dame:  University of Notre Dame Press, 2012);
  • “Maryknoll Sisters, Faith, Healing, and the Maya Construction of Catholic Communities in Guatemala,” Latin American Research Review 44:3 (2009)
  • “Knowledge is not Enough:  Creating a Culture of Social Justice, Dignity and Human Rights in Guatemala:  Maryknoll Sisters and the Monte María ‘Girls,’” U.S. Catholic Historian 24:3 (2006) 
  • “From Symbols of the Sacred to Symbols of Subversion to Simply Obscure:  Maryknoll Women Religious in Guatemala, 1953 – 1967,” The Americas 61:2 (2004)

Research and Interests

Susan Fitzpatrick-Behrens joined the history department at California State University at Northridge, where she teaches classes in contemporary Latin American history, in 2001. Her research examines religion, indigenous communities, and gender in Guatemala and Peru with a special emphasis on the roles that transnational religious networks played in facilitating political and cultural transformation in these countries.  By focusing on transnational religious networks, her work also offers a cultural perspective on U.S.-Latin America relations.  She is currently working on a manuscript entitled Strange Bedfellows:  Catholic-Civil Alliances and their Unintended Outcomes in Revolutionary Guatemala, 1943 – 1996. Dr. Fitzpatrick-Behrens has been the recipient of numerous grants and fellowships, including an American Council of Learned Societies research grant and residential fellowships at the Kellogg Institute for International Studies at the University of Notre Dame and the David Rockefeller Center for Latin American Studies at Harvard University.