Teacher-Scholar Legacies: Luis Roniger

By Peter Siavelis, Professor of Politics and International Affairs

Roniger headshotThe term endowed professor often conjures the notion of an insular scholar dedicated to research and publication first and their students as an afterthought. And yet, throughout his 40-year career — 17 of which he held as the Reynolds Professor of Latin American and Latinx Studies and with a joint appointment in the Department of Politics and International Affairs — Luis Roniger showed that prodigious and rigorous scholarship could be balanced with a deep and personal commitment to students and service to his department, university community, and profession.

In Professor Roniger’s decades-long research career, he moved from studying clientelism to researching legacies of authoritarianism and political exile, shifting frontiers of citizenship, human rights, and populism. Most recently, his scholarship has focused on transnational politics and conspiracy theories. With 25 books and almost 200 articles and book chapters under his name, he is among the most prolific authors in the history of Wake Forest University. These publications, as well as his ability to engage with sociologists, anthropologists, and historians, have brought him international acclaim as a rigorous and respected intellectual whose visionary work straddles social science disciplines — a feat accomplished by few scholars.

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