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Sara Kozameh

Assistant Professor, Department of History

What excites you most about coming to UC San Diego?

“I am excited that it feels like the right time and fit. Being back at this moment feels like the perfect combination of three things: the right intellectual environment for my academic projects, a clear and well thought-out institutional commitment to increasing diversity on campus, and that Southern California is my home; after years of living on the East Coast and the South, I get to be home.”

Why did you choose your field of study?

“As the product of multiple political exiles from Latin America, I absolutely connect the role of historians and of history to the need for building and maintaining historical memory. I firmly believe, as the time-tested adage goes, that ‘those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.’ The tremendous political violence that overtook Latin America in the 20th century altered the lives and trajectories of so many people. Understanding and learning from those experiences is crucial to building a more just world in the future.” 

What advice do you have for students studying in the arts and humanities?

“Go to the library! I know it sounds silly, but I mean it. Go take a walk through the stacks. Pick a subject you like and browse all of the material on it. Books are magic.”

How do you view your role relative to the greater regional community?

“I am literally still unpacking, but I look forward to designing courses that are embedded in the local history and Latino community. Drawing on the rich history of San Diego political cultures is important to how I think about the development of my next book, so I am excited to settle and delve deeper into local politics.” 

What is something about yourself that is not typically included in your bio?

“If you see me pulling into the parking lot, you'll probably hear me blasting a strange combination of early 90s hip hop and Rock en Español. I might also be drinking a matcha boba, or at least wishing that I was!”

Professor Sara Kozameh earned a Ph.D. in Latin American and Caribbean History from New York University in 2020. Her research specializes on the Cuban Revolution, social movements and popular uprisings, agrarian history and Black radicalism. Professor Kozameh is completing her first book, which is a history of the agrarian reform project that transformed Cuba during the first decade of its 1959 revolution. Tentatively titled Harvest of Revolution: Agrarian Reform and the Making of Revolutionary Cuba, the book centers the actions of ordinary people immersed in the upheaval of revolution to rethink the origins and process of the revolutionary project. Before joining UC San Diego, she was the postdoctoral research fellow at Princeton University’s prestigious Shelby Cullom Davis Center for Historical Studies from 2020-2022 and an ACLS Emerging Voices postdoctoral fellow at Vanderbilt University from 2022-23.

Professor Kozameh has published her research on the Cuban Revolution in Cuban Studies, Souls: A Critical Journal of Black Politics, Culture and Society and in The Americas. Her article in Souls, “Black, Radical, and Campesino in Revolutionary Cuba,” has been taught in several undergraduate and graduate courses and her article in The Americas won honorable mention for the Tibesar Prize granted by the Conference on Latin American History. Her writing on Latin America, more generally, has appeared in more popular outlets including NACLA, OnCubaNews and Jacobin. She is assistant editor for the journal Historias Agrarias de América Latina, based in Santiago, Chile. Her work has been supported by the American Council of Learned Societies, the Davis Center for Historical Studies at Princeton University, the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and the Cuban Heritage Collection.