My scholarly interests lie principally in the gendered dimensions of economic development in Latin America. Over the course of the past three decades, I have conducted grassroots fieldwork in Peru, Bolivia, Chile, and Mexico.
These projects reflect my ongoing interest in human rights, spatial justice and conflict resolution, post-conflict reconstruction/reconciliation, , grassroots social movements, the urban informal sector and micro-enterprise development.
Since 2000 I have been working, both in the field and from afar, on issues relating to post-conflict reconstruction and reconciliation in Peru. During the internal conflict, I conducted in-depth studies of the urban informal sector [1985-1992] and micro-enterprise development [1993-1999]). With the cessation of armed hostilities, I have been investigating processes of political, economic and social reconstruction within post-conflict Peru.
One current project looks specifically at the gendered dimensions of human rights, political literacy, empowerment, displacement and resettlement in post-conflict Peru. In my fieldwork with national, regional, and grassroots organizations in urban and rural settings, I am privileged to work with (and learn from) women survivors of the conflict. I hope to understand more fully the roles they played, individually and collectively, in achieving initial peace and now, together with a new generation of activists, in building a sustainable peace.
A second current project concerns the recently published Final Report of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Peru. I have been analyzing the Final Report from (i) gendered and (ii) spatial justice perspectives. This project further involves building a conceptual framework for a comparative analysis of the work of several truth commissions in Latin America.
My research methodologies include the analysis of quantitative and qualitative data. My field methodology is based upon participatory research analysis, and includes focus groups, in-depth interviews, oral history, participatory mapping and participant observation in addition to archival research.
Hays-Mitchell, M., and Irvine, J., eds. Special themed issue titled “Gender and Political Transformation in Societies at War”, Journal of International Women’s Studies (2012) 13 (4).
“Gender and political transformation in societies at war”." In Hays-Mitchell, M., and Irvine, J., eds, Journal of International Women’s Studies (2012) 13(4): 1-9, co-authored with Jill Irvine.
Brunn, S., Hays-Mitchell, M., and Zeigler, D., eds. Cities of the World: World Regional Urban Development, 5th ed. Rowman and Littlefield (2012).
Zeigler, D., Hays-Mitchell, M., and Brunn, S. “World Urban Development.” In Brunn, S., Hays-Mitchell, M., and Zeigler, D., eds, Cities of the World: World Regional Urban Development, 5th ed., pp. 3-50. Rowman and Littlefield, (2012).
“Cities of South America.” In Brunn, S., Hays-Mitchell, M., and Zeigler, D., eds, Cities of the World: World Regional Urban Development, 5th ed., pp. 137-187. Rowman and Littlefield (2012), co-authored with Brian J. Godfrey.
S. Brunn, M. Hays-Mitchell, and D. Zeigler, eds, Cities of the World: World Regional Urban Development, 4th ed., Rowman and Littlefield (2008).
"Cities of South America." In S. Brunn, M. Hays-Mitchell, and D. Zeigler, eds, Cities of the World: World Regional Urban Development, 4th ed., Rowman and Littlefield (2008), pp. 142-199, co-authored with Brian J. Godfrey.
"Who Are the Victims? Where is the Violence: The Spatial Dialectics of Andean Violence as Revealed by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Peru." In D. Cowen and E. Gilbert, eds, War, Citizenship, Territory, pp. 199-218. Routledge (2007).
"The Informal Economy." In B. Warf and A. Cravey, eds, The Encyclopedia of Human Geography, pp. 254-57. Sage Publications (2006). Reproduced in D. Goldfield, ed., 2007, Encyclopedia of American Urban History, vol 1, 379-381, Sage Publications (2007).
"Women's Struggles for Sustainable Peace in Post-Conflict Peru: A Feminist Analysis of Violence and Change." In J. Seager and L. Nelson, eds, A Feminist Companion to Human Geography, Blackwell Publishing (2005), pp. 590-606.
"Global Change and the South American City." In S. Brunn, J. Williams, and D. Zeigler, eds, Cities of the World: Contemporary World Urbanization, 3rd ed., Rowman and Littlefield (2003), pp. 122-167, co-authored with Brian J. Godfrey.
"Coping with Austerity: A Gendered Perspective on Neoliberal Restructuring in Peru." Gender and Development, (2002) 10:3, 71-81. Reproduced in C. Sweetman, ed., Gender, Development, and Poverty, pp. 71-81. Oxford: Oxfam GB.
"Globalization at the Urban Margin: Gender and Resistance in the Informal Sector of Peru." In J. Short and R. Grant, eds, Globalization at the Margins, Macmillan Press (2002), pp. 93-110.
"Danger, Fulfillment, and Responsibility in a Violence-Plagued Society." The Geographical Review, (2001) 91(1-2):311-321.
"Gender, informal employment and the right to productive resources: The human rights implications of microenterprise development in Latin America." In T. Fenster, ed., Gender, Planning and Human Rights: The Fragilities of Equality and Difference in Planning and Development for Multi-Cultured Societies, London: Routledge (2000), pp. 111-124.
"From Survivor to Entrepreneur: Gendered Dimensions of Microenterprise Development in Peru." Environment and Planning A (1999), 31:251-271.
"Development vs. Empowerment: The Gendered Legacy of Economic Restructuring in Latin America." Journal of Latin Americanist Geography (1997), 23:119-131.
"Voices and Visions From the Streets: Gender Interests and Political Participation Among Women Informal Traders in Latin America." Society and Space (1995), 13:445-469.