Faculty and Staff

Kristin Wintersteen
Assistant Professor

Robert Zaretsky

Phone: (713) 743-0378
Email: kawinter@central.uh.edu
Office: 527 Agnes Arnold Hall

Kristin Wintersteen earned B.A. degrees in Latin American Studies and Spanish at the University of Washington, and a Ph.D. in Modern Latin American History at Duke University, specializing in the environmental history of industrial fisheries in the Southeast Pacific. Her research has been supported by Fulbright-Hays, the Organization for American States, the Forest History Society, the American Historical Association, and the American Society for Environmental History, among others. Before coming to UH, Dr. Wintersteen spent a semester as a research fellow with desiguALdades.net, an interdisciplinary research network co-hosted by the Free University of Berlin. She later taught courses at Tulane University as a postdoctoral fellow with the Stone Center for Latin American Studies, where she also co-coordinated the Down By The River public history project, a collaboration between the Louisiana Bucket Brigade and faculty and students at Tulane and Xavier Universities in New Orleans. Dr. Wintersteen is a 2014-15 Resident Fellow at the Institute for Historical Studies, University of Texas-Austin.


Professor Wintersteen’s teaching interests broadly include environmental history, marine, terrestrial, and beyond; Latin American history; global history; food studies; and public history. She teaches courses—such as Environmental History in the Americas, Water & Ocean Rights in Historical Perspective, and Environmental Justice in the Gulf/Caribbean—that highlight connections across national and disciplinary boundaries. Her pedagogy regularly incorporates visual cultures, digital media, and community-based learning.

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Research Interests

Oceans, water, and the maritime world are at the center of Professor Wintersteen’s research interests in the field of environmental history. Her work explores the history and ecology of fisheries industrialization and the impacts of this process at a global scale, especially as it relates to the food system. Geographically, her research has focused primarily on the West Coast of the Americas (especially Chile, Peru, Ecuador, and the United States), and more recently, the Gulf Coast.

Professor Wintersteen has presented her work at numerous conferences and workshops, including the American Society for Environmental History, the Latin American Studies Association, the American Historical Association, and the Latin American Society for Environmental History (SOLCHA).

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Selected Publications

Tentatively titled Protein from the Sea: The Global Rise of Fishmeal and the Industrialization of the Humboldt Current Ecosystem, Dr. Wintersteen’s book project explores the relationship between fluctuations in the Peru-Chile (Humboldt) Current marine ecosystem and the boom-and-bust cycles of industrial fisheries along the South American Pacific Coast.

Articles and chapters

  • Review of Guano and the Opening of the Pacific World, by Gregory T. Cushman [Cambridge: 2013], Hispanic American Historical Review 94.2 (2014).

  • “Sustainable Gastronomy: A Market-Based Approach to Improving Environmental Sustainability in the Peruvian Anchoveta Fishery,” in Environmental Leadership: A Reference HandbookVol. II, ed. D. Gallagher (SAGE, 2012): 626-634.

  • "Protein from the Sea: The Global Rise of Fishmeal and the Industrialization of Southeast Pacific Fisheries, 1918-1973,” Working Paper No. 26, desiguALdades.net, Free University of Berlin (2012). Trans. forthcoming in the ed. vol., Desigualdades socioambientales en América Latina (Bogotá: Univ. Nacional de Colombia/CEFCH), 2014.

  • Co-author with John D. French, "Crafting an International Legal Regime for Worker Rights: Assessing the Literature since the 1999 Seattle WTO Protests," International Labor and Working Class History 75 (Spring 2009), 145-168.