Paula Orozco Espinel

  • PhD Student, History

I am interested in the history of women and sexuality in Latin America and the United States. For my dissertation, I focus on Colombian women's role in the country's demographic transition (1959-1991). My main goal is to determine how local women supported and/or contested the birth control policies advanced by male politicians and doctors—both from the US and Colombia. Learning about how Colombian women advocated in favor of and against birth control policies can inform the local work and processes that effectively halted population growth in the country and unravel the characteristics, contradictions, and boundaries of the Colombian feminist movement.

Before enrolling at Pitt in Fall 2020, I received my BA in History (2016) and my MA in Gender Studies (2019) from Universidad Nacional de Colombia. I wrote my BA thesis on the construction of Carmen Miranda as the stereotypical image of Latin America during the Good Neighbor Policy years. For my MA thesis, I examined the US and Mexican film industries (1929–1946), following the careers and personal lives of actresses Dolores del Río and Lupe Vélez. I connected different levels of analysis—from the international context of World War II to the Mexican national landscape of the long Mexican Revolution and the actresses’ struggles for recognition.

Representative Publications

Maria Paula Orozco Espinel, Estrategias de Película: Lupe Vélez y Dolores del Río en las industrias fílmicas de México y los Estados Unidos, 1921-1946. Bogotá: Universidad Nacional de Colombia, in print.

Paula Orozco-Espinel y Daniela Moná Ramírez, “Gloria Valencia de Castaño: tradición y trasgresión en voz de la primera dama de la radio colombiana, 1951-1966,” Ni calladas ni sumisas. Historia de la transgresión femenina en Colombia, ed. Mabel López. Bogotá: Uniagustiniana / ACOLEC, 2021.

Paula Orozco-Espinel, “Carmen Miranda en Hollywood (1939-1945): en el centro de la pantalla, al borde de la historia,” Palabras Clave 22.4 (2019).