Patricia Tovar headshot
Phone number
Room number
9.63.14 NB

PhD, Graduate Center of the City University of New York, 1995, Anthropology
MA,  City College of New York, CUNY,  1987, Urban Applied Anthropology


Professor Patricia Tovar is a Professor in the Anthropology Departments of John Jay and the Graduate Center. She has a P.h.D. in Anthropology from the CUNY Graduate Center (1995), and a Masters degree in Applied Anthropology from CCNY, and a BA from Universidad Nacional de Colombia. During the Fall of 2014, she was a Distinguished Fellow at the Advanced Research Collaborative at the CUNY Graduate Center.  Dr. Tovar has been a meber of the Executive Board of the Latin American Studies Association, LASA, for a number of years, and at John Jay College since 2008.  From 2006 to 2008  she was affiliated with Pontificia Universidad Javeriana in Bogotá.  Before that, she was the head of the Social Anthropology section of the Colombian Institute of Anthropology and History. She has been a consultant with the Panamian Government, with the Colombian Science and Technology Entity, Colciencias. For several years, she was the coeditor of the Revista Colombiana de Antropologia. She is constatly invited to give expert opinions on human rights, and gender and violence.  

JJC Affiliations
Master's in Liberal Studies, MALS, Graduate Center, CUNY
Courses Taught

CUNY Graduate Center 

Research Methods

Latin American Culture and History

Anthropological Theory

Gender and Anthropology

John Jay College 

Sex and Culture

Introduction to Anthropology

Professional Memberships

Latin AmericanStudies Association, LASA

American Anthropological Association

Member of the editorial board of RCA, Revista Colombiana de Antropologia. 

Spanish, Portuguese
Scholarly Work

Las viudas del conflicto armado en Colombia. (“The Widows of the Armed Conflict in Colombia”) Bogotá,
ICANH, 2006.
Patricia Tovar, ed. 2003. Familia, Género y Antropología: Desafíos y Transformaciones. (“Family, Gender and
Anthropology: Challenges and Transformations”). Patricia Tovar, ed. Bogotá: ICANH.


Research Summary

Dr. Tovar has conducted research on women and armed conflict, displaced populations, and on the inequalities in gender and science. Her research interests have focused on the study of widowhood, mobility, forced displacement, violence, sexual and reproductive health, and gender and science. Her studies have involved collaboration with scholars in different countries, and with indigenous and afro-descendant grassroots organizations.  More recently, she became interested in colonial studies. She has published extensively on the consequences of armed conflict on women’s lives, the impact of new reproductive technologies for women, the construction of medical discourses and cosmetic alterations of the female body, and on why women lag far behind men in science and technology. She is the author of the books: “The Widows of the Armed Conflict in Colombia” and “Family, Gender and Anthropology in Colombia.” Her current research is about women explorers and travelers during the Age of Discovery. She has conducted fieldwork in Colombia, Ecuador, Portugal, and the United States, and her anthropological work has taken her to many places around the world.