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Francis Sophia Gow

Hometown

Managua, Nicaragua

Education

B.A. in Political Science and History, Minor in Latin American Studies, Summa Cum Laude. Augustana College, Illinois.

Interests

The Legacy of Paternalism in Latin American history, Authoritarianism in Latin America, Gender Relations and Power in the Americas, Revolutionary Movements in Latin America, Human Rights, Historical Memoir, the Southern Cone, Argentina.

Experience

Born and raised in Nicaragua, Francis Sophia Gow attended Augustana College where she received her B.A. in Political Science and History. Gow focused her curriculum on Latin America, creating a multidisciplinary approach to explore modern Latin American political culture. In the summer of her junior year, Gow performed research at the University of Texas in Austin on how European colonialism in Latin America led to the emergence of authoritarian regimes in the 20th century, focusing on Argentina as a case study. Her research results showed that military dictatorships relied in paternalism to ensure “order and progress.” Gow also explores how women influenced the public sphere of Latin America. Her senior thesis, The Female Trinity: The Rise and Fall of Argentina’s Female Leaders, analyzed the factors that led to the failure of Argentine women’s political leadership. Gow concluded that the paternalistic colonial domination in the Americas, combined with the accepted idea of a “strongman” as the sole efficient leader of a nation, has contributed to the disillusionment of Argentine society towards female leadership.

The Race, Diaspora, Gender and Sexuality track resonates with her research interests as it frames the gender-based social inequalities as rooted in the legacy of coloniality that has remained unchallenged in the Americas. Gow hopes to expand her research by analyzing how colonial expectations of gender roles eventually led to the disregarding of women’s voices in the public sphere to ensure the continued dominance of a male-led political system, regardless of current movements demanding equality and modernization. 

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