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History | Andra Chastain

Assistant Professor of History

WSU Vancouver
(360) 546-9331

Faculty Website


Ph.D., Yale University, 2018

M.A., University of California, Berkeley, 2012

B.A., Reed College, 2008


Academic and Professional Interests

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 dissertation, which she is revising into a book manuscript, examines the history of the metro system in Santiago, Chile, in the context of shifting political regimes, foreign aid during the Cold War, and the environmental challenges of rapid urban growth. 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.

Dr. Chastain welcomes inquiries from students interested in graduate study in modern Latin American and world history.  Particular topics of interest include urban and environmental history, the transnational Cold War, political and cultural history, the history of science and technology, and oral history.



Itineraries of Expertise: Science, Technology, and the Environment in Latin America’s Long Cold War, co-editor with Timothy W. Lorek. Manuscript under review.

“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.


Selected Honors and Awards

2018 Arthur and Mary Wright Prize for outstanding dissertation in the field of history outside the United States or Europe, Yale University

2016–17 P.E.O. Scholar Award

2014–15 Social Science Research Council International Dissertation Research Fellowship

Washington State University