Beatriz Balanta was born in Colombia, South America. She received her Ph.D. from Duke University in 2010 and holds a BA in Sociology from Boston College. Balanta’s scholarly work analyzes the photographic and literary dimensions of racial formation in Latin America. Her research interests encompass 19th century debates regarding freedom, citizenship, and nation building in Brazil, Colombia, and the United States as well as contemporary theorizations of art practices from the Global South. She is an assistant professor at SMU’s Meadows School of the Arts. Balanta is currently co-teaching a course, along with Mary Walling Blackburn, that mobilizes the role of the stranger in both South and North American art production.