Suyapa Portillo Villeda

Professor of Chicano/a-Latino/a Transnational Studies

With Pitzer Since: 2012
Field Group: Chicana/o-Latina/o Transnational Studies, IDLCS
Campus Address: Scott Hall 221
Phone: 607.9415
Email: [email protected]
Office Hours: See Faculty Directory


Educational Background

MA, PhD, Cornell University
BA, Pitzer College

Research Interests

Gender and labor history in the Americas; Central American immigrants and migration; Honduras and Hondurans in the US; Central American transnational social movements; Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender human rights in Central America

Recent Courses

History of Central Americans in the US (CHLT072)

Gender, Sexuality, and Healthcare in the Americas (CHLT079)

Recent Selected Articles, Book Chapters and Books

“Roots of Resistance: A Story of Gender, Race, and Labor on the North Coast of Honduras” March 2021 (scheduled for release).

“Honduras: Refounding the Nation, Building a New Kind of Social Movement,” in Richard Stahler-Sholk, Harry E. Vanden, and Marc Becker, eds., Rethinking Latin American Social Movements: Radical Action from Below. New York: Rowman & Littlefield, 2014.

“Why are children leaving Honduras?,” Counterpunch, June 27, 2014. With Gerardo Torres Zelaya.

Professor Portillo’s op-ed on the Honduran elections ran with various titles in newspapers across the country, including the Chicago Tribune, Anchorage Daily News and Sun-Sentinel. November 2013.

“Ser Libre (To be free) is better: Honduras on the brink of change,” Counterpunch, September 13, 2013.

“‘Outing’ Honduras: A Human Rights Catastrophe in the Making,” North American Congress on Latin America (NACLA) Report on the Americas, vol.45, no.3 (October 2012).

“The Los Angeles May Day ‘Queer Contingent’ and the Politics of Inclusion,” Huffington Post, May 5, 2012.

“Honduran Immigrants,” Ronald H. Bayor, ed., Multicultural America: An Encyclopedia of the Newest Americans. Santa Barbara, CA: ABC-CLIO, LLC, 2011.

“The Coup that Awoke a People’s Resistance,” North American Congress on Latin America (NACLA) Report on the Americas (March/April, 2010).

Recent Selected Conference Presentations, Invited Talks and Public Commentary

Professor Portillo recently spoke with Amy Goodman for Democracy Now!’s coverage of elections in Honduras, which Portillo observed firsthand with Pitzer students Alex Brown-Whalen ’18, Clara Fuget ’20 and Javier Lopez Casertano ’19.

Professor Portillo was quoted in NPR’s Take Two story “Fleeing violence in Central America, families face complex path to asylum in the US.” August 24, 2015.

“Pensando ‘Queer:’ Intersecciones Entre/Desde El Márgen De Estados Unidos y América Latina,” in Santiago Castellanos, Diego Falconi Travez, María Amelia Viteri, eds., Resentir Lo Queer En América Latina: Diálogos Desde/Con El Sur, Barcelona, Spain: Egales, 2014.

Professor Portillo was quoted in Diario El Tiempo Honduras about the General Strike of 1954 in Honduras, May 1, 2014.

Professor Portillo was interviewed about the Honduran elections by CNN. November 26, 2013.

Professor Portillo was interviewed about the Honduran elections on KPFK’s Contacto Ancestral, Sojourner Truth Radio and Uprising Radio, November 2013.

Professor Portillo was interviewed about the Honduran elections for KPFK’s Women’s Magazine, October 21, 2013.

Professor Portillo was interviewed by Univision Radio 1320 AM about Central American mothers who traveled together to Mexico to find their missing children, December 4, 2013.

Professor Portillo was interviewed on KPCC’s Take Two about the migrant children crisis, June 2014.

“The Organizing Years: La Generación Conprometida & Central America in the 1960s,” invited talk, Pomona College, Claremont, CA, April 16, 2014.

Panelist, Cesar Chavez Week of Service: Social Justice and Activism in the Latino Community panel, Marian Miner Cook Athenaeum, Claremont McKenna College, Claremont, CA, March 27, 2014.

“Rights to Land and Work: Campesinos (Farmworkers) in a Transnational Context,” invited talk at Roots to Branches: the History and Reality of the Farmworker Movement, Harvey Mudd College, Claremont, CA, March 26, 2014.

“Plantations and Land Use in Central America,” talk delivered in conjunction with a student visit to African Palm Plantation El Silencio de Aguirre as part of the Global Local Mentorship Project’s Costa Rica Study Program, Quepos, Costa Rica, March 18, 2014.

“En el tiempo de la cólera y el deseo: aproximaciones a la historia del movimiento social LGBTI en Honduras,”  paper presented at TrasTocar: Queering Paradigms Fifth International Conference 2014, Flacso Ecuador,  Quito, Ecuador, February 21, 2014.

Panel co-organizer, “Sounding the South/Sondeando el Sur, ‘Feliz’mente,” TrasTocar: Queering Paradigms Fifth International Conference 2014, Flacso Ecuador, Quito, Ecuador, February 21, 2014.

“Learning from the 20th Century in Central America,” keynote address, Union de Estudiantes Salvadoreños Student Organizing Conference, University of California, Riverside, Riverside, CA, January 26, 2014.

“Surviving Work: Masculinity and Resistance in the Banana Regions of Honduras, 1944–57,” paper presented at the American Historical Association, Washington DC, January 2, 2014.

Panel Chair, “Decolonizing the Bío-Bío: Mapuche History and Action,” The Other September 11th: Chile, 1973: Memory, Resistance and Democratization conference, University of California, Los Angeles, Los Angeles, CA, November 2013.

“LGBT Immigration/Migration to the US,” invited lecture via Skype, Department of Gender & Women’s Studies, California State University, Northridge, Northridge, CA, October 29, 2013.

“Uniendo Lazos: CHLT 85 Central American Women Class Community Project” presentation at the Medical Conference: VII Congreso Medico Cientifico Integral Internacional, Fundacion Luagu Hatuadi Waduheña and Primer Hospital Garifuna Ciriboya. Colon, Honduras, August 2013. With Priscilla Cobian ’16.

“Recuperando la Historia Oral en Honduras: La Historia Oral y los Archivos (Recovering Honduran History: Oral History and the Archive),” paper presented at the Latin American Studies Association Conference, Chicago, IL, May 2014.

“Meretrices y Clandestinas: Sex Work in the Banana Towns in the North Coast of Honduras, 1929–1957,” paper presented at the Annual Conference of the Latin American Studies Association, Washington DC, May 2013.

“LGBTTI Resistance in Post-Coup Honduras,” invited talk, organized jointly by the Chicano Studies Department, Latin American Studies Department and the Master of Arts in Liberal Arts and Sciences Program, San Diego State University, San Diego, CA, April 30, 2013.

Professor Portillo-Villeda was interviewed in a segment titled, “Homophobia in Honduras,” which aired on Huffington Post Live on February 12, 2013.

“The 1954 Honduran Banana Strike,” paper presented at the 105th Annual Meeting of the Pacific Coast Branch of the American Historical Association, San Diego, CA, August, 2012.

“Central American Feminismos and Intersectionality: A Roundtable,” workshop organizer and panelist, XXX International Congress of the Latin American Studies Association, San Francisco, CA, May, 2012.

“Dialoguing Across Oppressions?: The Honduran Resistance, the LGBTTI Community and Honduran Immigrants in the U.S,” chair and presenter, XXX International Congress of the Latin American Studies Association, San Francisco, CA, May, 2012.

“Hondurans and Other Central Americans: Organizing Challenges and Opportunities in Los Angeles,” paper presented at Untold Stories: Transnational Voices of Central Americans, Young Research Library, University of California Los Angeles, Los Angeles, CA, March, 2012.

“The Art of Resistance: Immigration,” panelist, Loyola Marymount University, Los Angeles, CA, March, 2012.

“Gender, Sexuality and the Solidarity Movement,” paper presented at the Lozano Long Conference: A LLILAS-CMAS, University of Texas Austin, Austin, TX, February, 2012.

Selected Grants, Awards, and Honors

Professor Portillo recently received a 2018 7C Faculty Diversity Award

Professor Portillo was named NPR’s Source of the Week in December 2017

“Polished Apple” teaching award, California State University Northridge, 2012

Consortium for Faculty Diversity Fellowship, Pomona College, 2009-2010

Fulbright Hays Doctoral Dissertation for Research Abroad Fellowship, 2006

Ford Foundation Predoctoral Fellowship, 2004

Additional Information

May Day Queer Contingent Organizing Committee, Los Angeles, CA, 2008-2012

Page last updated on July 1, 2024