Dr. Ana Maria Bidegain was born in Colonia Suiza, Uruguay. She studied History in Uruguay and Belgium, where she earned her PhD, with great distinction at the Catholic University of Louvain. She developed her academic career in Colombia, where she lived and taught for more than 20 years. Dr. Bidegain founded the History Department in the University of Los Andes and opened the field of Religious Studies at the National University of Colombia. In the 2003-2004 biennium, she directed the Social Sciences Research Center of the National University of Colombia. Prior to joining us here at Florida International University, Ana Maria was a Visiting Professor in Harvard's Women's Studies in Religion Program. Dr. Bidegain's main research themes revolve around Religion, Society and Politics in Latin American History, on which she has published extensively. She has participated in many academic and international research teams in South America, Europe and the U.S. Currently, she is a member of the editorial board of the Cambridge Christian Dictionary and an editorial member of the History of the World Christian Movement, published by Orbis Books, N.Y. In 2005, she edited and published two books that resulted from her teaching and research experience in Colombia: Historia del Cristianismo en Colombia. Corrientes y Diversidad (Editorial Taurus) and Globalización y Diversidad Religiosa en Colombia (Nacional University of Colombia Press).
Since she came to FIU, Dr. Bidegain' research interest has been related to two topics: the presence of women in Latin American Christian History and the Religious Experience of Latin American and Caribbean migrants. As a result, in October 2009 she published the Participación y protagonismo de las mujeres en la historia del Catolicismo Latinoamericano (Buenos Aires, Argentina); several book chapters such as "Frauen, empowerment und religiöse institutionen in der lateinamerikanischen geschichte" in Empowerment von Frauen in der lateinamerikanischen Geschichte ( V.R.Azcuy-M. Eckholt eds) Munster, 2009; "Le Martyre des religieuse en Amerique Latine au 20e siecle. L'importante historique de la vie religieuse feminine pour le Catholicism latino-americain". In L'image d'Oscar Romero Heros: Prophetes et martyrs d'Amerique Latine. (C. Zappia) Academie -Bruylant.BE, Louvain, 2009 and a polemic article co-authored with the theologian Maria Clara Bingemer: "Latin American Matristics: Beginnings of Recognition?" in Concilium 2009/5. Dr. Bidegain strongly supported the Colombian Studies Institute, bringing to CSI/LACC the Colombian Migration Research Network's coordination. In addition, she successfully presented and obtained a multi-disciplinary grant from the Colombian State Department for the study of Colombian Immigration to the United States at FIU. In 2008 she coordinated and edited a volume published by the Colombian Ministry of Foreign Relations: Presencia Colombiana en Estados Unidos. Caracterización de la población immigrante. The same year she published in Concilium "Living a Transnational Spirituality: Latin American Catholic Families in Miami."
Currently she is the Program Director for Research at the Latin American and Caribbean Center at FIU.
Christianity in Latin America, Women in Latin American Religions, History of Religion in Latin America