Lina Britto Assistant Professor

Lina Britto (Ph.D., New York University, 2013) is an historian of modern Latin America and the Caribbean. Her work situates the emergence and consolidation of illegal drug smuggling networks in the Caribbean and Andean regions of Colombia, particularly marijuana, in the context of a growing articulation between the country and the United States during the Cold War. She was awarded grants from the Social Science Research Council, the American Council of Learned Societies and Andrew Mellon Foundation, and the Charlotte Newcombe Foundation and Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation. She received a postdoctoral fellowship from the Harvard Academy for International and Area Studies, Harvard University, and her dissertation won a Martin Diskin Dissertation Award honorable mention from the Latin American Studies Association in 2014. She has published in Revista Contemporánea—from the Grupo de Estudios Interdisciplinario del Pasado Reciente (GEIPAR)—, the Hispanic American Historical ReviewNorth American Congress on Latin America-NACLA, and El Espectador (Colombia). She is preparing a book manuscript on Colombia’s marijuana boom in the 1970s based on extensive fieldwork and oral history in the Colombian Caribbean, as well as archival research in Colombia and the United States. Her courses at Northwestern focus on the hemispheric history of the drug trade and the war on drugs, popular music and nation-state formation, oral history and Cold War terror, and contemporary Latin America in historical perspective.

Affiliated Programs 

Publications

  • “Hurricane Winds: Vallenato Music and Marijuana Traffic in Colombia’s First Illegal Drugs Boom” in Hispanic American Historical Review 95:1 (February 2015).
  • “A Trafficker’s Paradise: The ‘War On Drugs’ and the New Cold War in Colombia” in Contemporánea 1:1 (2010).

Teaching Interests

Undergraduate

  • History 300: Making Drugs in the Americas.
  • History 300: Music and Nation in Latin America.
  • History 393: Oral History and the Archives of Terror in Latin America.
  • History 102: Contemporary Latin America in Historical Perspective.