Dr. Benjamin Amaya

Adjunct Professor



I was born in San Salvador, El Salvador. I studied cultural anthropology in Costa Rica, Calgary and Quebec City. In my doctoral project, I explored the social life and world-views of adolescents in San José, Costa Rica. My research interests include cultural identity and generational profiles, particularly in relation to personal relationships, media preferences and lifestyle choices. I have also investigated religious affiliation in Latin America and the experiences of immigrant and refugee youth in Atlantic Canada.

My teaching experience includes courses in introductory anthropology, prehistory, ethnicity, comparative family, youth cultures, research methods and ethnography of the Americas. I have also taught courses on contemporary world issues, armed conflict and human rights. Since 2012, I teach the course Intercultural Communication at Dalhousie University, a seminar that benefits from the participation of students from a wide variety of disciplinary and cultural backgrounds.

For the last five years, I have conducted a conversation group at MSVU, enhancing the members’ fluency in the Spanish language through discussion of cultural, artistic, and political topics from Latin America and Spain. I enjoy Nova Scotia’s oceanic setting and Halifax’s lively university life. My interests also include several culinary traditions as well as Latin American, Russian, and Canadian literature.


2019 “Journey” and “Government-Sponsored Refugees”. Entries in Refugee and Forced Migration in Atlantic Canada: A Handbook. Catherine Baillie and Shiva Nourpanah, (Eds.) Halifax: Nimbus Publishing.

2014 “Religious Practices in El Salvador”. Entry in The Worldmark Encyclopaedia of Religious Practices. Thomas Riggs, Ed., Gale Publishers, Farmington Hills.

2011 “The Experience of Gender, Culture and Ethnicity in Nova Scotia High Schools” (pp. 175-208) in: Immigrant Women in Atlantic Canada. Feminist Perspectives. Jaya Peruvemba and Evie Tastsoglou, (Eds.), Toronto: CSPI/Women’s Press.