Irina Carlota (Lotti) Silber

Professor and Chair, Department of Anthropology, Gender Studies and International Studies

Main Affiliation


Additional Departments/Affiliated Programs

Women's Studies

International Studies

Areas of Expertise/Research

  • Disability Studies
  • Salvadoran Diaspora and Migration
  • El Salvador War
  • Children and Chronic Illness


North Academic Center



Irina Carlota (Lotti) Silber


Irina Carlota (Lotti) Silber received her PhD from New York University and is currently Professor and Chair of the Department of Anthropology, Gender Studies, and International Studies at the Colin Powell School, CCNY. She is also on the Doctoral Faculty in Anthropology at the CUNY Graduate Center. Dr. Silber is the recipient of various fellowships including a Fulbright-Hays, Interamerican Foundation Fellowship, Charlotte Newcombe, Rockefeller Fellowship, a Fulbright Specialist Award, and a CUNY Mellon Mid-Career Fellowship. She is the author of the award-winning book Everyday Revolutionaries: Gender, Violence, and Disillusionment in Postwar El Salvador (Rutgers 2011), which was subsequently published in Spanish with UCA Editores in El Salvador (2018). Her work has been published in journals such as Gender & History, Women’s Studies Quarterly, Anthropology & Humanism, and The Journal of Latin American and Caribbean Anthropology. Silber remains committed to pursuing various ethnographic genres and received a First Prize in Poetry from the Society for Humanistic Anthropology (2012).

Silber has two major projects underway. The first, Numbers and Bodies: Stories of El Salvador’s Postwar, under contract with Stanford University Press, explores the longue durée of El Salvador’s postwar through the lives and narratives of what she terms the 1.5 insurgent generation—the now adult children of the too-often-forgotten rank-and-file Salvadoran revolutionaries. This broadly defined generation was socialized through a collective radical project and is making transnational families in expected and unexpected ways—indeed, in ways not originally envisioned by their insurgent kin.

The second project, Luminous: Children in Chronic Times, pursues her interest in embodied trauma through an ethnography of childhood genetic difference. It builds upon feminist, positioned and intimate methodologies and new competencies in Disability Studies.

She is co-chair of the University Seminar in Disability, Culture, and Society at Columbia University and on the Board of the Anthropology Section of the New York Academy of Sciences.

Silber is committed to public scholarship and most recently provided an expert anthropological dictamen for the El Mozote Massacre case currently underway in El Salvador.



Ph.D., New York University
B.A. George Washington University


Anthropology of Health & Healing; Anthropology of Childhood; Ethnographic Research Methods;
Cross-Cultural Perspectives; Anthropology and Disability Studies; Anthropology of War and Trauma

Research Interests

Anthropology of Central America; war, gender and revolution; trauma; postwar societies; social movements; Latinx Studies; Latin American Studies; immigration; medical anthropology; disability studies; childhood studies; public anthropology; ethnographic poetry.

Select Publications



In Contract  Numbers and Bodies: Stories of El Salvador’s Postwar. Under contract with Stanford University Press.
Forthcoming  Everyday Revolutionaries: Gender, Violence, and Disillusionment in Postwar El Salvador. Audiobook with Abantu Audio.
2018 Cotidianidad Revolucionaria: Género, Violencia y Desencanto en la Posguerra Salvadoreña (Translation with new Preface). San Salvador, El Salvador: UCA Editores [University of Central America Press].…
2011 Everyday Revolutionaries: Gender, Violence, and Disillusionment in Postwar El Salvador. New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press. [International Latino Book Awards, Mariposa Book Award, First Prize for First Book, Non-Fiction by a Latinx Writer]…

Refereed Journal Articles & Book Chapters

2019 “Está bien recordar: Stories of the 1.5 Insurgent Generation.” Cultural Anthropology…
2018 Entangled Aftermaths in El Salvador. In Latin America Since the Left Turn, Tulia Falleti, and Emilio A. Parrado, eds. Pp 326-352. Philadelphia, PA: University of Pennsylvania Press.
2014 In the After: Anthropological Reflections on Postwar El Salvador. Journal of Latin American and Caribbean Anthropology 19(1): 1-21. (Lead Article)
2013  Nanita. Anthropology & Humanism 38(1) 93-94. (Poem)
2012 ¿Aguantando hambre o luchando? Identidades 4: 127-146.
2006 It’s A Hard Place to Be A Revolutionary Woman. In Engaged Observer: Anthropology, Advocacy and Activism. A. Angel-Ajani and V. Sanford, eds. Pp. 189-211. New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press.
2005  Mothers/Fighters/Citizens: Violence and Disillusionment in Postwar El Salvador. In Violence, Vulnerability and Embodiment: A Gender and History Reader. Anupama Rao and Shani D'Cruze, eds. Pp. 67-93. London: Blackwell. (article reprint)
2004a Mothers/Fighters/Citizens: Violence and Disillusionment in Postwar El Salvador. Gender & History 16/3:561-587.
2004b  Not Revolutionary Enough?: Community Rebuilding in Postwar Chalatenango. In Landscapes of Struggle: Politics, Society and Community in El Salvador. A. Lauria-Santiago and L. Binford, eds. Pp. 166-186. Pittsburgh: University of Pittsburgh Press.

Public Scholarship

2018 Cotidianidad revolucionaria. Género, violencia y desencanto en la posguerra salvadoreña.” La Hora de Sofía: UCA Radio.,  November.
2017 “Posguerra pero nunca posviolencia.” El Faro Académico, March 5.….
2016  “In the After.” Panoramas. University of Pittsburgh, February 16.…’s-long-postwar
2014  “Revolucionarios Cotidianos: Género, Violencia y Desencanto en El Salvador.” El Faro Académico, October 18.….