Welcome! I (Dr. Kelly Bauer, she/her/hers) am a political scientist researching and teaching about identity and development politics in Latin America, and knowledge production in political science. I am an Assistant Professor of Political Science at Nebraska Wesleyan University, and a member of the Red De Politólogas – #NoSinMujeres.
My interdisciplinary teaching and research explore how Latin American states govern identity politics to recenter themselves as global trends destabilize state sovereignty; currently, I am writing about state responses to Indigenous rights, irregular migration, and human security regimes. My book, Negotiating Autonomy: Mapuche Territorial Demands and Chilean Land Policy (2021), explores inconsistencies resulting from how state officials navigate extending elite and neoliberal governance and citizenship through policy in post-Pinochet Chile. Other recent work appears in Journal of Agrarian Change, Latin American and Caribbean Ethnic Studies, Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies, and Canadian Journal of Development Studies /Revue canadienne d’études du développement. A second line of research studies the best practices of teaching and learning, examining how to make the classroom and university spaces for place-based, student-centered learning and empowerment. This work interrogates political science pedagogy to understand student access to and success in the field, focusing particularly on research methodology courses. Recently, this work can be found in the Journal of Political Science Education and New Political Science.
Raised in Wisconsin, I attended Carthage College (BA in Political Science, History, and Spanish) and spent a semester at the Universidad de Buenos Aires. I completed my PhD in Political Science at The George Washington University, conducting field work in Temuco, Chile for 16 months with the support of the Fulbright Program and Inter-American Foundation’s Grassroots Development Fellowship. I joined the faculty of Nebraska Wesleyan University in 2015, where I enjoyed leading the Going Global thread, researching the best practices of teaching and learning about diversity at a predominantly white university, and developing a new line of research motivated by conversations in my Immigration Politics course. Regardless of what country I am in, I am usually trying to be active (preferably volleyball) outside of work.
For additional information about my work, see media coverage from Nebraska Wesleyan on the Prouty Teaching Award, Oxy Poli-Cast on contentious politics and teaching, The Bridge about student-faculty collaborative immigration research, Lincoln Journal Star about DACA, Nebraska Wesleyan about student-faculty collaborative research, and Carthage College and GWU PSC (Page 3) about research in Chile.