Fall 2009 Semester at CLACS

The 2009/2010 school year has begun at NYU and there are many exciting things happening at CLACS this semester. Ada Ferrer, who was previously a CLACS affiliated faculty, is now the Director of the center for a three year term. Students have returned from summer research trips and there is a new incoming class of students who you can read about at, http://clacs.as.nyu.edu/object/clacs.people.gradstudents
Unique to this semester is the presence of James Dunkerley who is currently the Andrés Bello Chair in Latin American Cultures and Civilizations at the King Juan Carlos Center. Dunkerley will be giving a lecture on November 17 titled, “Andrés Bello and the Role of Scholarship in Nation-Building” and is teaching the course “Ideas and Power in Spanish America: 1512 to “Now.””
CLACS is also very excited to present the Fall 2009 Research Colloquium Series titled, “Cuba: History, Culture and Revolution.” The Series will host nine scholars from the United States, Spain and Cuba and the events will take place on Monday evenings from 5-7pm in the KJCC Auditorium following the graduate course of the same name, which is taught by Ada Ferrer. Details for the Research Colloquium Series can be found here, http://clacs.as.nyu.edu/object/clacs.events.colloquium

In addition to many wonderful presentations by scholars and academics around the images of the exhibits, and around TRCs in general, one special guest was the mayor of Pútis, Gerardo. While Gerardo was here, we had the good fortune of asking him to come to our Quechua class. In our small class, we had an hour long conversation with him in Quechua about many things such as what crops they plant, what markets they buy and sell their goods in, what his family is like, etc. We were able to ask him many questions. One question I asked is “Imayna yuyankichis chay manchay tiempota”, which means “how do you remember that time of fear?” His response was that he saw it, the violence, with his own eyes. How could they not remember if they saw it? He was 25 when it started. He told us how he lost 2 sons to the military one day when they came in and took all the children away. He still wonders if maybe they are living in Lima, working. He also emphasized that although the mass grave from the massacre in Pútis in which 123 were killed in one day has been exhumed, hundreds more are still missing, still “disappeared”. So the point is that even though the TRC has come and gone, and many conservatives in Peru are still trying to discredit and undo the “truth” that the TRC produced, there are still so many that have not seen any kind of justice at all. There are still so many that continue to wonder where their loved ones are. As José Pablo Baraybar put it in his introduction to the companion report to the “Si no vuelvo, busquénme en Pútis” exhibit, “Those who live, those who are here, those who never left, remember them and keep them on this side of the world, the world of every day. They think of them, speak to them, tell them their sorrows; that of the mother anguished by not knowing, of the younger brother who had no one to defend him, of the sister he never could care for or protect”.

Rebecca Fisher
MA Candidate, CLACS

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