Katz, Mariana

Field: Latin America; Advisor: Milanich; Year: 2018

Mariana is a PhD candidate. Her dissertation explores the relationship between state formation and regimes of unfree labor in postcolonial Latin America, with a focus on nineteenth-century Paraguay. The project lies at the intersection of the history of popular politics, the social history of labor, comparative slavery studies, and state making. Her research has been funded by the Social Science Research Council, the New York Public Library, and Yale University’s Beinecke Library.

Prior to coming to Columbia, Mariana studied history at the University of Buenos Aires, in Argentina, and conducted research on the history of workers and artisans in nineteenth-century Buenos Aires. She has been involved in different public history initiatives. For two years, she worked as researcher and exhibition curator at the Museo Nacional del Cabildo. She also co-created the website and podcast series The Sounds of Calibán: A History of Latin America through Music (funded by the Cultural Sponsorship Program of the city of Buenos Aires and the History Department at Columbia, respectively).


“Slavery in an Authoritarian Republic: The Policing of Dissent and the Rise of State Slavery in Paraguay (1821–1840).” Slavery & Abolition (June 2023).

“Los artesanos proteccionistas. Buenos Aires, primera mitad del siglo XIX.” Economía y Política 4, no. 2 (2017): 5–36.

“Artesanos hispanoamericanos del siglo XIX: identidades, organizaciones y acción política” with Gabriel Di Meglio and Tomás Guzmán. Almanack, no. 23 (December 2019):
275–315. https://doi.org/10.1590/2236-463320192310


Mariana has worked as Teaching Assistant for the following courses in the History Department at Columbia:

  • Latin American Civilization II (spring 2021, Prof. José Moya)
  • Reproducing Inequalities. Families in Latin America (fall 2020, Prof. Nara Milanich)
  • Women, Gender, and Sexuality in Latin America (spring 2020, Prof. Nara Milanich)
  • History of the City in Latin America (fall 2019, Prof. Amy Chazkel)

Mariana has also collaborated with the oral history project Separated: Stories of Injustice and Solidarity. She has conducted interviews with parents separated from their children at the U.S./Mexico border, coordinated the Barnard College student team working on interview transcriptions, and copy-edited interviews.