Dr. David Cupery

Associate Professor, Department Chair, History & Political Science

David Cupery
(413) 662-5493
History House, Rm 6


Ph.D., University of Colorado Boulder, 2015

M.A., University of Colorado Boulder, 2011

Masters in International Sciences
and Diplomacy, Universidad de
Guayaquil, 2010

B.A., Centre College, 2005

Courses Taught

POSC 202: Introduction to Comparative Government
POSC 205: International Relations
POSC 316/HIST 350: Sub-Saharan African Politics
POSC 330/HIST 330: Latin American Politics and Society
POSC 333: The Politics of Conflict
POSC 343: Political Economy
POSC 345: Model United Nations
POSC 415: US Foreign Policy
POSC 420: Global Development
TRVL 300: Peru Travel Course 
TRVL 300: Cuba Travel Course 
TRVL 300: Mexico Travel Course

About Me

I moved to the beautiful Berkshires and joined the MCLA community in 2015 after completing a Ph.D. in political science at the University of Colorado.

I am most at home in the classroom. This makes sense as my experiences as an undergraduate at a small liberal arts college are what first made me think about pursuing a career in academia. At MCLA, I teach an introductory course on comparative politics and offer a wide variety of upper-level courses covering everything from Latin American politics to civil war and terrorism to political and economic development. I also have the pleasure of leading MCLA's annual Model United Nations course and participation in the North American Model United Nations Conference in Toronto, Canada. More information about one of our recent trips can be found here. Overall, my courses aim to highlight the fascinating challenges and complexity of international affairs. I work to prepare our students for the demands and opportunities of an increasingly globalized world. In addition to teaching the substantive content of each course, I prioritize skill development, including confident public speaking, clear and concise writing, reading comprehension, research, and critical thinking. My classroom often features simulations and structured debates, where students research and represent different roles as they confront a real-world challenge.

Professionally and personally, I have been heavily influenced by three-and-a-half years studying, teaching, volunteering, and researching in Latin America. The majority of this time was spent as a Rotary Ambassadorial Scholar in Guayaquil, Ecuador. In Guayaquil, I completed a Master’s degree in International Sciences and Diplomacy, taught social science courses at a local university, and was involved in many service activities, such as teaching in a low-income school, interning with a micro credit, and housing non-profit. I later returned to Ecuador for seven months of dissertation field research.

Peru tripI am working to promote more participation in internationally oriented education by MCLA students and each spring, I offer a travel course to a particular Latin American country. I These semester long courses involve 10-12 days of travel where students come face to face with the issues and places that they have been studying in the classroom. use my own extensive experience in Latin America to run the trips independently, which keeps costs down for our students. In 2017, 13 students studied and then came face to face with the rich history and cultural diversity of Peru. Highlights included homestays with indigenous families on the island of Amantaní in Lake Titicaca and a pre-dawn hike up to the ruins of Machu Picchu! Click here or here for more information on the Peru Travel course.

Trinidad groupDuring the spring semester of 2018, 11 MCLA students joined me in studying and visiting Cuba! The course examined Cuba's controversial political and economic systems, socioeconomic issues - such as healthcare, education, and race relations - and the evolution of relations between Cuba and the United States. We started this journey in the classroom with extensive readings and discussion of these topics. Then, in Cuba we met with artists, entrepreneurs, activists and academics while also visiting sites of historical, cultural and political significance. While in Cuba we stayed in homestays rather than hotels to maximize the time we interacted with locals. Another highlight of the trip was a day at the Bay of Pigs, where a morning learning about the failed invasion was paired with an afternoon swimming in the warm, transparent waters. More information about the travel course can be found here.  In 2019, 13 students formed part of my Mexico travel course. We studied and experienced Mexico’s incredible wealth of well-preserved history and cultural diversity as well as natural beauty, visiting Mexico City, Oaxaca, and the Yucatan Peninsula. More information can be found here.

Research/Creative Interests

My research interests lie at the intersection of comparative politics and international relations. For example, my dissertation studies Latin American public opinion and elite rhetoric towards the United States and China. In doing so, it engages the literature from areas as diverse as Latin American political history, political psychology, international political economy, and soft power. Other areas of interest include post-conflict economic development and regional integration within Latin America and other developing regions. Recently, I have begun to involve students in my research to help them develop the relevant skill sets and knowledge while I also benefit from their insights.

Outside of work, I enjoy hiking, reading, playing and watching soccer, and spending time with my wife and daughter. Perhaps my favorite hobby is international travel, through which I have been fortunate enough to visit over forty countries on six continents.


Cupery, David. 2016. "Yankee Go Home & The American Dream? Confronting the Puzzling Coexistence of Anti-American Elite Rhetoric and Pro-American Public Opinion in Latin America." The Latin Americanist 60(4): 473-496.

Baker, Andy, and David Cupery. 2013. “Anti-Americanism in Latin America: Economic Exchange, Foreign Policy Legacies, and Mass Attitudes toward the Colossus of the North.”Latin American Research Review 48(2): 106-130

Baker, Andy, and David Cupery. 2013.“Gringo Stay Here!” Americas Quarterly 7(3): 45-51.

Office Hours

Spring 2022
Monday, Wednesday 10:30am-12pm