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Miguel Rojas Sotelo

Program Coord
Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies
Box 90254, Durham, NC 27708-0254
2204 Erwin Road, Durham, NC 27708

Research Interests


Miguel Rojas-Sotelo is particularly interested in how indigenous and migrants articulate their archival knowledge, gender, racial, and class divisions and politics, the spatiality and temporality of those processes, and how they are manifest in the landscape via visual, audiovisual, oral, and textual narratives.
His research interest are traversal and interdisciplinary, and use tools of the humanities and social sciences. Currently works on environmental visual humanities, health humanities, intercultural visualities, contemporary art and subaltern studies, the global south and decolonial aesthetics.

Selected Grants


UNC-Duke Consortium Title VI NRC grant

Inst. Training Prgm or CMEProgram Coordinator · Awarded by University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill · 2018 - 2026

CLACS NRC Title VI

Institutional SupportProgram Assistant · Awarded by Department of Education · 2014 - 2019

Fellowships, Gifts, and Supported Research


Raices, Rutas y Ritmos | Roots, Routes, Rhythms · August 2022 - June 2023 Co-PI · Duke Office of Community Affairs · $12,000.00 For nearly half a century, Latino migrant communities across North Carolina have played an essential role in reshaping the local and regional cultural footprint. However, the creative contributions of Latino/a/x people are often overlooked in narratives of migration and labor in the United States. Via coursework, oral histories, and performances students, faculty, and community this project highlights the importance of music-making among these North Carolinians, as well as the prominence of Latin American-derived music in the Triangle area.
BE PATIENT | SE PACIENTE. LIBIA POSADA · 2017 - 2018 CO-PI · KENAN INSTITUTE & KATZ FAMILY. WOMEN, ETHICS, AND LEADERSHIP FUND · $15,000.00 This grant was to develop a residence, workshop, exhibit, video and publication on the work of Colombian Physician and Visual Artist Libia Posada.
China's Domestic Electricity Consumption (ENV-HU) · 2017 - 2018 Participant · ERIC GRANT. DKU · $16,500.00 China's Domestic Electricity Consumption (ENV-HU) was a project to model current and future domestic electricity consumption of electricity in China. The modeling was based on a survey on domestic usage of electricity in Beijing. I develop the visual documentation and participated as surveyor for the project. A documentary film was produced as part of the project (produced and directed by me).
ENVIRONMENTAL ART AND HUMANITIES NETWORK. · 2017 - 2018 Co-Convenner · Emerging Humanities Network. Franklin Humanities Institute | Mellon Foundation · $16,000.00
Narrating Nature. ENV-HU · 2016 - 2018 PI · Humanities Futures. FHI & Mellon Foundation · $25,000.00 The overall goal of the WG is to shape a post-disciplinary intellectual environment that combines education and research (hopefully leading to undergraduate and graduate training in the future) in innovative ways and sets knowledge in the humanities into action to favor sustainable development. This directly addresses the need for a new generation of humanities scholars and scientists who are integrated environmental humanists or humanist environmentalists and able to put knowledge into the service of society. Though interconnections of four dimensions of the EnHu complex by pairing different approaches into two clusters that can facilitate weaving possible scenarios of encounter and exchange. These clusters are: 1. 1.1. Environmental Justice | 1.2 Poetics and Narration 2. 2.1. Arts and Nature | 2.2. Systems Theory (biology, hydrology, energy) Using the concepts and tools of system theory, material theory, political economy and ecology, energy systems analysis, and systems ecology the group will work to pose new questions that require a trans-disciplinary approach. EnHu focuses on the ‘remaking’ of the natural world, both discursively and materially, to explore the alteration of historical and cultural understandings of nature, and the direct modification of the natural world’s intimate materiality; from the alteration of genetic sequences (in plants and animals), the damming of rivers and oceans (due to pollution, energy production, and resource extraction industries) and to the wholesale transformation of ecosystems due to human waste.
Raices, Rutas y Ritmos | Roots, Routes, Rhythms · August 2022 - June 2023 Co-PI · Duke Office of Community Affairs · $12,000.00 For nearly half a century, Latino migrant communities across North Carolina have played an essential role in reshaping the local and regional cultural footprint. However, the creative contributions of Latino/a/x people are often overlooked in narratives of migration and labor in the United States. Via coursework, oral histories, and performances students, faculty, and community this project highlights the importance of music-making among these North Carolinians, as well as the prominence of Latin American-derived music in the Triangle area.
BE PATIENT | SE PACIENTE. LIBIA POSADA · 2017 - 2018 CO-PI · KENAN INSTITUTE & KATZ FAMILY. WOMEN, ETHICS, AND LEADERSHIP FUND · $15,000.00 This grant was to develop a residence, workshop, exhibit, video and publication on the work of Colombian Physician and Visual Artist Libia Posada.
China's Domestic Electricity Consumption (ENV-HU) · 2017 - 2018 Participant · ERIC GRANT. DKU · $16,500.00 China's Domestic Electricity Consumption (ENV-HU) was a project to model current and future domestic electricity consumption of electricity in China. The modeling was based on a survey on domestic usage of electricity in Beijing. I develop the visual documentation and participated as surveyor for the project. A documentary film was produced as part of the project (produced and directed by me).
ENVIRONMENTAL ART AND HUMANITIES NETWORK. · 2017 - 2018 Co-Convenner · Emerging Humanities Network. Franklin Humanities Institute | Mellon Foundation · $16,000.00
Narrating Nature. ENV-HU · 2016 - 2018 PI · Humanities Futures. FHI & Mellon Foundation · $25,000.00 The overall goal of the WG is to shape a post-disciplinary intellectual environment that combines education and research (hopefully leading to undergraduate and graduate training in the future) in innovative ways and sets knowledge in the humanities into action to favor sustainable development. This directly addresses the need for a new generation of humanities scholars and scientists who are integrated environmental humanists or humanist environmentalists and able to put knowledge into the service of society. Though interconnections of four dimensions of the EnHu complex by pairing different approaches into two clusters that can facilitate weaving possible scenarios of encounter and exchange. These clusters are: 1. 1.1. Environmental Justice | 1.2 Poetics and Narration 2. 2.1. Arts and Nature | 2.2. Systems Theory (biology, hydrology, energy) Using the concepts and tools of system theory, material theory, political economy and ecology, energy systems analysis, and systems ecology the group will work to pose new questions that require a trans-disciplinary approach. EnHu focuses on the ‘remaking’ of the natural world, both discursively and materially, to explore the alteration of historical and cultural understandings of nature, and the direct modification of the natural world’s intimate materiality; from the alteration of genetic sequences (in plants and animals), the damming of rivers and oceans (due to pollution, energy production, and resource extraction industries) and to the wholesale transformation of ecosystems due to human waste.
HEMISPHERIC INDIGENEITY IN GLOBAL TERMS · 2013 - 2014 PI · Mellon Grant on Global Partnerships. · $50,000.00 The objective of the Hemispheric Indigeneity in Global Terms project is to bring together Native and Indigenous voices and to establish a dialogue with faculty, graduate and undergraduate students, in a comparative/contextual and multidisciplinary way. In doing so, this project will not only increase the understanding of the complexities Native and Indigenous communities face in contemporary times, but also will reflect on the relevance of alternative ways to be in the world today. Ongoing research by Duke faculty across disciplines explores several aspects of the history and challenges facing Native and Indigenous communities in the hemisphere. The long histories of such communities has given rise to projects aiming to write their experience from different perspectives, and explore the meaning of being Native/ Indigenous today. This novel approach, beyond exoticized and positivistic views, towards those communities imparting different, sometimes opposite, experiences to Western and Anglo ones will be shared via a series of closed and public encounters, workshops, courses, and cultural displays including Indigenous communities and their Diasporas in Latin America and the Caribbean, Canada, and the U.S. in a regional comparative and multidisciplinary framework where scholarly voices will be in dialog with Native/Indigenous ones on the issues mentioned above. We shall bring this comparative global framework to bear on a series of campus-wide initiatives. Our hope is to overcome the scholarly and organizational disjuncture – rooted in the university structure – between area studies and the specificity of scholarly work at Duke.
TWO WAY BRIDGES | PUENTES DE DOBLE VIA. CONNECTING DUKE, DURHAM AND THE AMERICAS · 2012 - 2013 Co-PI · HEMERGING HUMANITIES. MELLON WRITT LARGE GRANTS · $50,000.00 The central goal of this project is to expand the bridges we have begun building between Duke and the Durham Latino communities and simultaneously make them into bi-directional ones. In other words, we will seek to offer means for the Latino community to have greater access to the university and to have Duke students engage the community both in the community and at Duke. Duke can be changed by these relationships, as will the community that surrounds us; thus the metaphor of the two-way bridge. We have built a partnership between our collaborating faculty and staff – representing the Center for Documentary Studies, the Spanish Language Program, The Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies, The Program in Latino/a Studies in the Global South, and DukeEngage on the Border/Encuentros de la Frontera – and local organizations representing the Latino community. We will continue to forge a partnership with key collaborators, Latino artists who already reside in Durham and beyond. Through collaborative art and interpretation as well as bidirectional learning, this project have been teaching the various constituencies the geopolitical implications surrounding immigration, immigration policy, border crossing, and integration of diasporic communities into local and national communities. Students and faculty may become better positioned to offer innovative solutions in the form of policy and research, as well as to help educate the greater community.
INDIGENOUS RIGHTS IN THE AMERICAS · 2015 - 2015 Participant · DUKE IMMERSE PROGRAM · $44,000.00
WATER TOWNS. ENVIRONMENTAL ARTS AND FILM · 2019 - 2019 Director · DKU. IMEP. Kunshan, China. · $33,000.00 Water Towns EFAF is an international event that features recent and historical pieces of documentary film and artistic production under a selected environmental theme. The theme guides the principles of the festival but does not limit content nor participation; Water Towns EFAF is an open platform. FILM: The main program consists of a number of feature length films invited after a curatorial process, and two sections of short films: Student Films and Independent Films, chosen after an open call for submissions. Parallel events in the form of TED style talks (by filmmakers, special guests, faculty, and students, discuss the issues addressed in the films). ARTS: Performances, art exhibits, workshops, and class visits by local and international artists will enlighten the main topic.
Reckoning with Race, Racism, and the History of the American South Initiative: Collecting Oral Histories of Environmental Racism and Injustice in the American South · 2021 Co-Lead · Duke Office of the Provost https://facultyadvancement.duke.edu/new-faculty-research-explore-race-south-diverse-angles