Jorge E. Cuéllar

Lecturer and Research Associate
Academic Appointments

Faculty Fellow & Assistant Professor, Latin American, Latino & Caribbean Studies
Faculty Fellow, Consortium of Studies in Race, Migration & Sexuality (RMS)

Jorge E. Cuéllar is an interdisciplinary scholar of politics, culture, and daily life in modern Central America. Cuéllar's research and teaching focus on Central American Studies, Cultural Studies, and Social Theory.

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His current book project, Everyday Life and Everyday Death in El Salvador, traces the practices of peoplehood, community formation, and everyday life-making amongst varied groups in El Salvador since the end of the Salvadoran Civil War. This work explores the quotidian modes of living, thinking, and being produced by historical inequality, the postwar Salvadoran state, and by structural shifts in the transnational system. A multi-sited study, Cuéllar's research attends to the cultural and political strategies employed by in-country Salvadorans that, despite living in conditions of extreme marginality, economic abandonment and routine violence, engage in practices of refusal, survivance and critique that motion towards restored and dignified social futures.

Cuéllar's writing has appeared in American Indian Culture and Research Journal, Comparative American Studies, Diálogo, Revue française d’études américaines, Soccer & Society, and is forthcoming in Latino Studies, Radical History Review, and others. His public essays and columns appear in El Faro, NACLA, Social Text's Periscope, Los Angeles Review of Books, NLR's Sidecar and Radical History Review's The Abusable Past.

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Raven 219
HB 6026
Department(s): 
Latin American, Latino and Caribbean Studies
Education: 
Ph.D. Yale University
M.Phil. Yale University
M.A. University of Southern California
B.A. University of California, Santa Barbara

Speaking engagements

"Interview on El Salvador's Bitcoin experimentThe Crypto Syllabus, Dec. 20 2021.

"Entrevista sobre criptomonedas en América LatinaEl Salto Diario, Dec. 20, 2021.

"El Salvador: a legalização da Bitcoin e a fragilização da DemocraciaShifter, Nov. 29, 2021.

"Jorge E. Cuéllar on El Salvador and BitcoinA Correction Podcast, Nov. 23, 2021.

"Crypto CrazeRadar 2021, Nov. 18, 2021.

"Hasta Encontrarles: The Caravan of Mothers of Missing Migrants and Root Causes of Migration" Mahindra Center for the Humanities, Harvard University, Oct. 21, 2021

"El Salvador Becomes First Nation to Make Bitcoin Legal Tender Amid Growing AuthoritarianismDemocracy Now!, Sept. 16, 2021.

"El Salvador's Bitcoin Law" Al-Jazeera English, Sept. 7, 2021.

How the Pandemic Made Us Even Less Equal: Challenges and Opportunities in Africa and the Americas,” Drexel University, Feb. 26, 2021.

"On Disaster and the Future of Central America" Greater Philadelphia Latin American Studies Consortium Distinguished Lecture at Villanova University, The College of New Jersey, University of Pennsylvania, and Temple University, Feb. 22-26, 2021.

"A Dispatch from Bukele's Quarantine" Authoritarianism and Resistance in the Age of COVID-19 in Latin America, UCR Latin American Studies Program & Latin American Perspectives, June 2, 2020.

"As Pandemic Epicenter Shifts to Latin America, Gov’ts Use COVID-19 as Pretext for Police Repression" Democracy Now!, May 29, 2020. 

Selected works and activities

"Vital minimums: El Salvador between youth and old ageLatino Studies, 19, Issue 4, 2021.

"How to Read Equipo Maíz: Cartooning the Political in El SalvadorRadical History Review, 141, 2021.

"Waterproofing the State: Migration, River-Borders, and Ecologies of ControlComparative American Studies: An International Journal, Vol. 18 (1), 2021.

"The Value of a VolcanoNACLA & El Faro, November 1, 2021.

"Bitcoin Sanctuaries" New Left Review: Sidecar, September 15, 2021. [Español] [Italiano]

"There Is No Democratic Tradition in El SalvadorEl Faro, May 8, 2021. [Italiano]

"Why Should the U.S. Election Matter to Central Americans?El Faro, Oct. 30, 2020. [Español] [Italiano]

"El Salvador's Hydrosocial CrisisNACLA: Report on the Americas, Vol. 52, Issue 3, 2020. [Español]

"Endless Coup, Permanent Struggle: On Nina Lakhani's Who Killed Berta Cáceres?Los Angeles Review of Books, Sept. 3, 2020.

"Pandemic statelessness in MesoamericaRouted Magazine, June 20, 2020. [Español] [Italiano]

"On Waving the White FlagSocial Text: Periscope, June 5, 2020.

"El Salvador's Two Pandemics: Maximum InsecurityReVista: Harvard Review of Latin America, May 8, 2020. [Español] [Italiano]

"El Salvador Needs More than Savvy Messaging" El Faro, April 9, 2020.

"Deportation ContagionsNACLA: Report on the Americas, March 26, 2020.


"Nayib Bukele and the Punitive Option in El SalvadorThe Abusable Past, March 2, 2020.

"Salvadoran Militarism and Bukele's Post-PostwarEl Faro, February 13, 2020.