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Mary Roldán
Position: Dorothy Epstein Professor of Latin American History
Campus Affiliation: Graduate Center|Hunter College
Phone: 212-772-5488
Degrees/Diplomas: Ph.D. , Harvard University
Research Interests: 19th and 20th century Latin American History; Colombia, social and political history; violence, state formation, regional politics; radio, media, urban history
Selected Publications


Political Cultures in the Andes, 1750–1950 (Duke University Press)

Violent Democracies in Latin America (Duke University Press)



A Sangre y Fuego: la Violencia en Antioquia, 1946-1953 (Bogotá: Fundación para La Promoción de la Ciencia y la Tecnología /ICANH, 2003); Winner, Fundación Alejandro Angel Escobar, 2003 Prize for research in the Humanities and Social Sciences

Blood and Fire: la Violencia in Antioquia, Colombia 1946-1953 (Durham: Duke University Press, 2002)

Articles/ Reviews/ Essays

Radio Sutatenza: una revolución en el campo colombiano (1947-1994) co-authored with Angarita Bernal, Berrío Puerta, et al (Bogotá: Banco de la República, 2017)
“ACPO. Estado, Educación y Desarrrollo Rural en Colombia, 1947-1974,” in Juan Pablo et al., Radio Sutatenza: una revolución en el campo colombiano (1947-1994) (Bogotá: Banco de la República, 2017): 33-65.
“Popular Cultural Action, Catholic Transnationalism, and Development in Colombia before Vatican II” in Local Church, Global Church.  Catholic Activism in the Americas before Vatican II, eds. Stephen J.C. Andes and Julia C. Young (Washington, D.C.: The Catholic University of America  Press, 2016), 245-274.

"Representing and Interpreting Contemporary Violence." Meanings of Violence in Latin America, Gabriela Polit and Maria Helena Rueda, editors (Palgrave, forthcoming)

"End of Discussion: Violence, Participatory Democracy, and the Limits of Dissent in Colombia." Violent Democracies in Latin America, Desmond Arias and Daniel Goldstein, editors (Durham: Duke University, 2010):63-83.

"Radio y cultura nacional: años 30 y 40." Música, Radio, y Documentos Sonoros, Memorias del Seminario Internacional Radio Nacional de Colombia, agosto 19, 20 y 21 de 2009 (Bogotá, Banco de la República, 2009):15-24.

""Cambio de Armas": Negotiating Alternatives to Violence in the Oriente Antioqueño," in Colombia: Building Peace In A Time of War, Virginia Bouvier, editor (Washington, D.C.: United States Institute of Peace (USIP), July 2009): 277-294.

"Prologue," Country of Bullets: War Chronicles, Juanita León (Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press, 2009):xi-xvii.

"Violencia, La" in The Oxford Encyclopedia of the Modern World. (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2008).

"The Local Limitations to a National Political Movement: Gaítan and Gaitanismo in Antioquia" in Nils Jacobsen and Cristobál Aljovín, eds., Political Cultures in the Andes, 1750-1950 (Duke University Press, 2005): 301-323.

"Colombia Briefing." Essay for interactive website, PBS/WNET accompanying Wide Angle documentary film, "An Honest Citizen", Sept. 16, 2004 at

"Wounded Medellín: Narcotics Trafficking against a Background of Industrial Decline." Jane Schneider and Ida Susser, eds., Wounded Cities: Destruction and Reconstruction in a Globalized World (Oxford and New York: Berg, 2003): 129-148.

"Maverick Mayor." Radio program on Bogotá mayor, Antanas Mockus and his semiotic project of urban renewal and "radical" civility. The Next Big Thing, PRI (Public Radio International) and WCNY, aired October 31, 2003. Show may be accessed at

"Museo Nacional, Fronteras de la Identidad y el Reto de la Globalizacion" in Gonzalo Sanchez y Maria Emma Wills, eds.,Museo, Memoria y Nación. Instituto de Estudios Políticos y Relaciones Internacionales, Universidad Nacional de Colombia (IEPRI) and the United Nations Development Program (PNUD), June 2000: 99-116.

Works in Progress

Broadcast Nation: Radio, Culture and Politics in Colombia, 1930-1962(book manuscript)

"Citizens on the Air: News Radio, Politics and Public Access in Colombia." Sound Cultures. Alejandra Bronfman and Andrew Woods, editors (U of Pittsburgh Press, forthcoming)

"Modernity without Modernization: Folklore, Road-building, Reconciliation and Radio." (journal article)

"Culture in the Service of Country: Modernization and the Arts during the Frente Nacional in Colombia." (journal article)

Other Activities

Editorial Board: Historia Crítica, Bogotá, Colombia; Latin American Studies Association, Colombia Section, Executive Committee; Scientific Committee, COLCIENCIAS, Bogotá, Colombia.