Alfonso Matas, PhD
Graduate Alumni | PhD
Originally from Santiago, Chile, I received a B.S. in Economics as well as an M.B.A. and a M.A. in Political Science form New York University. Most recently I received an M.A. in Religious Studies, including a Graduate Certificate in Caribbean and Latin American Studies from Florida International University. With a background in international banking, I am interested in the commodification of culture and production of identities within the context of late modern capitalism. My research is multidisciplinary and centers on the interphase among globalization, transnational immigration, and religion. More specifically, I am interested in the emergence of new lifestyles and spiritualties at the intersection of global, mobile and countercultural processes. At GSS I am pursuing the Cultural Anthropology track and my dissertation will be a continuation of my Religious Studies’ master thesis about the global expansion of Santo Daime, a new religious movement, with roots in the Brazilian, Amazonian rainforest. This endeavor requires a high level of proficiency in Portuguese, a task I have partially accomplished through Portuguese and culture studies in Rio de Janeiro made possible by a Foreign Language and Area Studies fellowship bestowed by the Latin American Caribbean Center at FIU.