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Costa Rica: Field Research in the Environment, Social Sciences, & Humanities

San José & field sites, Costa Rica

Mario Morera

Area of expertise

Cultural interdisciplinary studies


  • B.S in English, University of Costa Rica
  • M.S. in Interdisciplinary Studies (Spanish, English and Latin American Studies), Stephen F Austin State University
  • PhD, Spanish and Portuguese, Texas Tech University

Potential student research areas

  • Latin American and Caribbean cultural studies XX and XXI centuries.
  • Latin American and Caribbean literature, theater and films.
  • British and American literature.
  • Pop culture.
  • Comparative studies. 
  • The dystopia in Latin American cultural products XX and XXI centuries.
  • Interdisciplinary studies.


At Stephen F. Austin State University, he worked as a Spanish Instructor Adjunct Faculty in the Foreign Languages Department for four semesters,  which included the coordination of their study abroad programs  in Costa Rica, and in Madrid, Spain. At Texas Tech University, he taught Spanish classes ranging from 1000 to 4000 levels, including two semesters with their study abroad program in Seville, Spain, and also worked as the Language Laboratory Coordinator and Lower Division Spanish Coordinator.

Since his dissertation is a study that explores the ways in which the dystopia is represented in the cultural production of Latin America, based in the analysis of plays, novels and films depicting different moments of the social, political and economic reality of the area over the past forty years, he created a  theoretical framework based on a research covering concepts related to hybrid cultures, globalization, technological revolution, international free trade agreements, dictatorships, post-colonialism, drug trafficking and transculturization of Latin-American societies. A significantly high percentage of the books, articles and critics used for this purpose are produced by Latin Americans writing on the subject the theory mentioned before, from and about this region; therefore, he has been able to develop a quite strong mindset regarding a wide array of current events that affect, change and shape the cultural situation in Latin America. Since Costa Rica is also being affected by some of these circumstances, he is prepared to offer an updated input on the country’s cultural, social, economic and political position from the colony up to now. The advantage of being a Costa Rican citizen who did his undergraduate studies in English there also strengthens his scope regarding having broad familiarity with their culture and society.

Costa Rica: Field Research in the Environment, Social Sciences, & Humanities

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Mark Myers, Associate Professor and head of Ecosytem Studies Program at Northern Iowa University I considered a number of study abroad programs before choosing ACM, and what appealed to me about the Costa Rica Field Research program was that it allowed me to pursue independent research at a single site over several months, rather than "touring" many sites for just a few days at a time with larger groups of students, as was typical of many other programs. The educational "pay-off" of this approach, both in terms of insights gained from the many hours spent in the field and in terms of the language skills and cultural experiences gained from living in a small, rural community, was huge. My experience in Costa Rica was a strong influence in my decision to pursue a graduate degree in Conservation Biology, and many of the experiences and contacts I made laid the groundwork for future projects in Costa Rica.

—Mark Myers, Associate Professor and head of Ecosytem Studies Program at Northern Iowa University, Costa Rica, Spring 1995

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