The following is a list of common questions plus other general information. If you have additional questions, please feel free to email me.
Who are you?
A very brief bio: I was born in Santa Cruz (Bolivia) in 1975 & moved to the US w/ my family in 1985. I lived in Michigan (the Great Lakes State) for more than two decades (I alternately call Saginaw & Kalamazoo “home”).
Since then, I moved quite a bit: In 2006 I moved to Pennsylvania to teach at Dickinson College as a visiting professor of Latin American politics, then Baltimore in 2008 to teach at Mount St. Mary’s University. Last year I moved again: this time to Oxford & the University of Mississippi.
Why is this blog called “Pronto*”?
I’m an Italophile. My previous blog was called “Ciao!” (used to mean both “hello” & “goodbye”). I renamed my blog “Pronto*” (not sure why I put the “*” in it) because it’s a multi-purpose word: it means both “ready” and “hello” (when used to answer the telephone); in Spanish, it means “quickly” (which can be used both to indicate either a command or a desire).
Where are you?
Though I frequently write about Bolivian politics (I visit the country regularly, both for research & to visit family/friends), I currently live in the charming town of Oxford, Mississippi. Unless otherwise specified, that’s where I’m blogging from.
What do you blog about?
My academic interests include democratic theory, democratization, democratic institutions (e.g. political parties, electoral systems, presidentialism), “national imaginaries” & nationalism, populism & the “new left” in Latin America, and decentralization/federalism. Other than that, I’m interested in politics more broadly, internet & “new media”issues, pop culture, and various kinds of “indie” (non-mainstream) music. These are all things I blog about, as well as my daily life. I also now have a son and a daughter, two other frequent topics.
On the academic side, sometimes I post quick reflections on current events. Some of these may go into conference papers or other manuscripts later. I may even post links to manuscript drafts; feel free to comment, critique, or provide other feedback.
How can I find posts on specific topics?
I tried using categories, but that turned into a huge hassle as the number of topic categories grew. Instead, my blog is now organized more efficiently. If entries are tagged, clicking on any tag will take you to all entries tagged with that term. Or you can just enter a keyword or phrase into the search bar, and find every post with that term.
Where did you study?
I’m a product of state schools (and proud of it). I did my undergrad in both political science & history at Central Michigan University, followed by grad school at Western Michigan University. If you’d like to know more about my “professional” life, you can read my curriculum vitae.
Where can I learn more about Bolivian politics?
I’m glad you asked! You can start by downloading my dissertation; at the very least, I’m sure the bibliography’s useful.
I list several Bolivian news sources on the left sidebar. For citizen’s journalism, one good source I recommend is the Global Voices Bolivia page, which regularly gives roundups of the growing Bolivian blogosphere. My blogroll also includes a number of Bolivian bloggers (some in English, some in Spanish); noted w/ (•••). If you read Spanish, here’s a comprehensive list of the Bolivian blogosphere & a blog about Bolivian blogs. Finally, check out some in-print books on Bolivian politics & history at my Amazon.com Bolivia bookstore.
Can I cite you for a paper/website?
My blog’s fair game (so long as you follow my Creative Commons License). Be sure to attribute the information to me (in the case of posts) or to the comment’s author (in the case of comments).
Do you moderate comments (and other issues)?
Unfortunately, yes. Because I try to keep this as on-topic, respectful, and serious a blog as possible, I often will use my judgment. This blog is not meant as a social forum to vent your personal frustrations (whether at me or the wider world). If you respect others & remain on topic, you will be fine.
Also, please note that this is a personal blog. It does not reflect the views of my family, friends, my employer, my landlord, or anyone else.
Can I subscribe to this site?
Can I buy you things?
Of course! Here’s my Amazon.com wish list. Note that I have separate lists (e.g. Latin American politics, electoral/party systems, and political science) besides a “personal” list (DVDs, music, non-academic books, etc.) that’d make great presents for holidays, birthdays, or special occasions. If you want to buy things from me, check out my My Amazon Bookstore.