April Yoder, Ph.D.

April Yoder Headshot
Associate Professor

Department of Human Sciences - History
College of Arts and Sciences

Ph.D., Georgetown University, Washington, DC
M.A., University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ
B.A., University of Indianapolis, Indianapolis, IN

About April

I have been interested in Latin America and people from the region since elementary school when a recent immigrant from Mexico joined my third-grade class because my teacher was one of the few in the district who spoke Spanish. I developed that interest through studying language and literature during much of my academic career. I was always interested in how politics infiltrate popular culture. After completing an M.A. in Latin American Studies, I took a professor’s advice and turned my focus from literature to baseball.

Studying sport and its various effects on society not only led me to an exciting research question about how Dominicans used baseball to express their expectations for democracy, but it has been a great way to get students excited about history. While I believe history is exciting no matter what the topic, sport makes history seem more familiar rather than like a school subject divorced from their reality.

I am happy to be at the University of New Haven and make the Department of Human Sciences - History more visible on campus. In addition to teaching regular classes on Latin America and Sports, I plan to develop Study Abroad programs to the Dominican Republic, Cuba, and Spain (with Dr. Pepin). As the new Phi Alpha Theta advisor, I look forward to sharing my enthusiasm for the study of history through regular events on campus, including academic and current events panels, trivia nights, and speakers.

Selected Publications

Manscript in process: Pitching Democracy: Baseball and Politics in the Dominican Republic since the Era of Trujillo

"Sport Policy and Political Regimes in Latin America," in Gonzalo Bravo and Rosa López Amico, eds., Sport in Latin America: Policy, Organization & Management (London: Routledge), forthcoming Spring 2016.

 Entries for "Felipe Rojas Alou," "Mateo Rojas Alou," "Jesús Rojas Alou," "Ricardo Carty," Osvaldo Virgil," and "Annerys Vargas" in Henry Louis Gates, Jr., and Franklin Knight, eds., Dictionary of Caribbean and Afro-Latin American Biography (New York: Oxford University Press), forthcoming 2014.

Review of Antonio Sotomayor Carlo, "Playing the Nation in a Colonial Island: Sport, Culture, and olitics in Puerto Rico," Ph.D. Dissertation, Dissertation Reviews (www.dissertationreviews.org), 6 January 2014. 


Conference Presentations

"Presidente, Pelotero, Comunista, Madre: The Dominican Family at the Ballpark," paper to be presented at The Conference on Latin American History Annual Meeting, New York, NY, 5 January 2015.

 "Amateurism and Professionalism in the Dominican Republic’s Baseball Democracy, 1966–1978," presented at Latin American Studies Association: International Congress (LASA), Chicago, IL, 23 May 2014. 

"Magnífico Estímulo: Baseball and the Dominican Democratic Revolution, 1961–1963," presented at Latin American Studies Association: International Congress (LASA), Washington, DC, 29 May 2013–1 June 2013; Winner of the Dominican/Haitian Section Paper Award.

Coming Attractions

Sport in Latin American History 

Revolution and Reform in Latin America 

US-Latin America Relations: Drug Policy 

Local History: Latin-Americans and Conflict in East Haven 

Study Abroad Programs:  

January 2016: Cuban Cultural, Politics, and Economics (with Political Science and Economics)  

January 2017: Baseball in the Dominican Republic  

June 2017: Medieval Spain and Colonial Latin America (Seville, Spain, with Dr. Pepin) 

Courses Taught
  • HIST 1102 The Western World in Modern Times
  • HIST 3383 Colonial Latin America
  • PSCI 2241 Introduction to International Relations
  • UNIV 1175 Earth 2100

In the Media