Ricardo Falla Sanchez, SJ

Ricardo Falla Sánchez, SJ

Ricardo Falla Sánchez is a Guatemalan Jesuit anthropologist who completed his PhD at the University of Texas in Austin after having studied theology in Innsbruck, Austria with Karl Rahner, among others.  He has dedicated his life to documenting the lives and cultures of Maya in Guatemala and other indigenous peoples in Central America. His writings have documented multiple Mayan communities including their revitalization through, among other initiatives, their engagement with strong religious movements, attempts to destroy their communities through the brutal massacres of the 1980s, and their struggles for justice and human rights. Between 1982 and 1993 he spent multiple years, including some of the worst of the armed conflict, accompanying what were to become the Communities of Populations in Resistance in the Ixcán.

Among his many publications is included a monograph based on his PhD dissertation, Quiché Rebelde (1978), and published in English in 2001 as Quiché Rebelde. Religious Conversion, Politics, and Ethnic Identity in Guatemala. His 1984 Spanish language monograph, Esa muerte que nos hace vivir [That death that makes us live] is perhaps the best example of how ethnography can serve as metaphor. Falla is perhaps most widely known for his 1992 publication Masacres de la Selva – a volume that appeared in English, Massacres in the Jungle, in 1994.  He has recently published three books on Mayan youth, two focused on those from the Ixcán area of Guatemala: Alicia: Explorando la identidad de una joven maya [Exploring identity: The story of a Maya youth] (2005) and Juventud de una comunidad maya: Ixcán, Guatemala [Youth from a Maya Community, Ixcán, Guatemala] (2006) and a third volume, Migración transnacional retornada: Juventud indígena de Zacualpa, Guatemala [Transnational migration and return: Indigenous youth of Zacualpa, Guatemala] (2007) which focuses on youth who have immigrated to the United States and voluntarily returned to Guatemala. He is currently publishing the sixth volume of what will be eight volumes of his heretofore unpublished work, Al atardecer de la vida [At the sunset of life].

Falla gave a lecture at a Center event on Oct. 16, 2018,  "Accompaniment and solidarity in contexts of war in Guatemala," a video recording of which may be accessed here.

Falla was awarded an honorary doctorate by the University of Costa Rica on April 19, 2022 to recognize his life's work.  More about that award and a recording of the address he gave for that occasion is available here (in Spanish).


Previous Visiting Scholars


James Ferreira Moura Junior

James Ferreira Moura, Jr.

Professor of the Interdisciplinary Bachelor of Humanities at the University of International Integration of the Afro-Brazilian Lusophony (UNILAB) and of the Graduate Program in Psychology at the Federal University of Ceará (UFC).

2021-2022 academic year

Moura is also a member of the Latin American Training Network in Community Psychology. In these universities, he coordinates the Network of Studies and Challenges of Poverty, Discrimination and Resistance (REAPODERE), which is a research, teaching and university extension group. They have been active in research and university extension through direct actions with women and children in  situations of poverty, developing actions focused on improving the lives of these populations in the region of Maciço de Baturité in Ceará/Brazil. Moura has been developing research on intersectional discrimination processes against people in poverty in urban and rural contexts. In addition, he has studied the authoritarian construction of whiteness in the maintenance of racism, classism, and machismo with urban middle classes and local elites in rural contexts.

With his Fulbright award he performed research about the relations between structural violence and human rights: intersectional and decolonial analyses between Brazil and the United States. This research was performed in partnership with the Center for International Justice and Human Rights at Boston College from September 2021 until January 2022. 

He also presented his work publicly with two presentations during his stay.  Read about them in our Winter 2021-2022 newsletter here, or watch a video of one of the presentations here.

Regina Langhout

Regina Langhout

Professor of Psychology, University of California, Santa Cruz

2020-2021 Academic Year

email: langhout@ucsc.edu

Regina Day Langhout is a professor of psychology at UC Santa Cruz. She received her PhD in community psychology from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Her work focuses on empowerment in workplace, educational, and neighborhood settings. She has published over 40 papers and book chapters on these topics. In the majority of her work, she uses a paradigm called participatory action research (PAR) to critically examine schools and neighborhoods. She is best known for her youth participatory action research with 9-12 year old Latinx children. Indeed, she has been asked to speak about or has given workshops on yPAR with 8-12 year olds across the Americas.  Her most recent inquiry is focused on violence against immigrant communities and responses to that violence that focus on solidarity and community building. She is a fellow of the Society for Community Research and Action, and the 2019 recipient of the Special Contributions to Community Psychology award, given by the Society for Community Research & Action. She will be a keynote speaker for the 2021 conference of the International Society for Theoretical Psychology.


Ozgur Erdur-Baker

Özgür Erdur-Baker

Professor of the Psychological Counseling and Guidance working at Middle East Technical University, Ankara, Turkey

2019-2020 Academic Year

Özgür Erdur-Baker is a Professor of the Psychological Counseling and Guidance working at Middle East Technical University, Ankara, Turkey. She has M.A. and Ph.D. degrees in Counseling Psychology from University of Texas-Austin. She has extensive teaching and research background in the disciplines of developmental, educational and counseling psychology. She is an author of numerous national and international journal articles, book chapters and conference proceedings. Her main research interests are trauma/disaster psychology; gender and cultural issues in counseling;  school violence including cyber and traditional bullying; and impacts of information and communication technologies on children and adolescents.

Dr. Erdur-Baker is a Fulbright Visiting Scholar Award recipient, which is supporting her current research project "Developing a Need Based, Gender and Culture Sensitive Psychosocial Support Intervention Model for Displaced Syrians Through Community-Based Participatory Research."

The project aims to address the lack of a culture- and gender-sensitive model for Turkey detailing how to provide psychosocial support for displaced Syrians.  The desired model should draw from the needs/struggles of this population and outline which factors foster resilience, and which factors hinder adjustment and thereby exacerbate psychological problems. Moreover, the model should target the needs of local population as well. The local people’s perceptions and attitudes toward the refugee population have important implications for the effectiveness of the intervention models. The existing scientific literature warns that immigrants may suffer from discrimination but rarely describes how to address this issue during the implementation of the psychosocial interventions.  Therefore, this multi-phased, cross-cultural, qualitative research aims to a) identify shortcomings of existing models and the sociocultural factors impacting the well-being of Syrians and b) develop a culture and gender sensitive model. Community based participatory research integrated with Assets Mapping Approach will be utilized.

Barbara Boschetti

Barbara Boschetti

Professor of Administrative Law at Catholic University, Faculty of Political and Social Sciences in Milan, Italy

2019-2020 Academic Year

email: barbara.boschetti@unicatt.it

Since 2014, Boschetti has been working as an expert for the evaluation of EC’s FP7 EU and Horizon 2020 Research Programmes on innovation procurement and procurement of innovation. Since 2016 she has been co-operating with the Italian Anti-Corruption Authority (A.N.AC): in 2016 as member of the Working group on the Public Contract Code Reform; from 2017 on as A.N.AC Council’s appointed expert in the field of public procurement law and international law issues; in 2018 as member of Working Group on Whistleblowing. Prof. Boschetti was Visiting Scholar at BU School of law (July-September 2016); at BU Pardee's School for Global Studies (July 2017-September 2017 and July-September 2019). She is a Member of the International Association of Public Law - ICON-s (since 2014) and of the Italian Migration Academy (Accademia Italiana dell’immigrazione - ADIM). In 2018 she was awarded the National Scientific Qualification as Full Professor in Administrative Law.

She has an extensive teaching and research background in constitutional, public and administrative law and governance, public procurement law and environmental law. She is author of three books, numerous national and international journal articles, book chapters and conference proceedings. She also was chair and speaker at many national and international conferences. Her main research interests focus on smart regulatory strategies, preventive regulatory approaches (i.e. anti-corruption), legal resilience, soft law and regulation, procedural innovation and innovation procedures, liability of Agencies and other public authorities.

Currently, and while at BC, she is working on innovative, flexibile, and rights-based regulatory approches and procedures in EU immigration/migration law in the EU, EU Member-States and beyond. Based on the deep interconnection between due process and substantive rights of migrants and the need to protect human rights and other constitutional protections pending the admission/removal procedures, the aim is that of understanding if and how smat(er) regulatory strategies and procedures may allow the flexibility democracies need to deal with the “going global” migration phenomenon, without betraying their committment to human rights and rule of law standards.  From this perspective, migration (and/or immigration) regulatory strategies are a perfect testbed or opportunity for re-inventing democracies and key concepts such as that of sovereinghty and rule of law.


Laurie Johnston

2017-2018 Academic Year

Laurie Johnston, Ph.D., is an ethicist working on issues of war and peacebuilding, the environmental impact of war, human rights, and religious liberty.  She is Associate Professor of Theology and Director of Fellowships at Emmanuel College in Boston. She recently co-edited Can War be Just in the 21st Century: Ethicists Engage the Tradition with Tobias Winright.  She has a longstanding interest in Christian-Muslim relations; at the Center, she is working on a project on migration and Catholic universities; the project examines how Catholic educational institutions in Europe and the US understand their identities in relation to Muslim students and faculty in their midst, particularly in situations where Muslim students make up a significant portion of the student body.  She is also engaged in a project on the ethics of nuclear disarmament, and will be teaching a course in BC’s International Studies program in spring of 2017. 

Dr. Johnston holds a B.A. from the University of Virginia, an M.Div. from Harvard Divinity School, and a Ph.D. in Theological Ethics from Boston College.  She is a member of the Community of Sant’Egidio and serves on the Steering Committee of the Catholic Peacebuilding Committee.  Recently she gave a presentation in Kinshasa to the Rectors of Catholic universities from throughout Africa on “Incorporating Peace Studies and Catholic Social Teaching Across the Curriculum.” She also spoke at the Boisi Center at BC on “Just War Theory and the Environmental Consequences of War.”