Author Archives: Elizabeth

Alumni Spotlight: Kristi Phillips

CLACS Alumnus, Kristi Phillips in Honduras (2013)

CLACS Alumnus, Kristi Phillips in Honduras (2013)

Kristi Phillips is a recent graduate of the CLACS MA Program who is now working as the Trip Coordinator with Central American Relief Efforts. She recently returned to the US, and shares her thoughts and experiences with us below.


CLACS: Can you please provide a brief introduction about yourself?
KP: I came to NYU after receiving my BA in economics and Spanish from the University of Northern Iowa and completed my MA at CLACS in January 2013. At CLACS, I focused on public policy evaluation within and with reference to Latin America. I have experience studying, working, and conducting research in Chile, Spain, Nicaragua, Brazil, Mexico, Argentina, and Honduras and currently work for a Pennsylvania-based non-profit organization called Central American Relief Efforts. Continue reading

Gaining Conference Experience: Leo Suarez

Leo Suarez

Leo Suarez, CLACS MA candidate

Leo Suarez, a first year MA candidate at CLACS, reflects on his recent experience of presenting his research at the Institute of Latin American Studies Student Association at the University of Texas at Austin.

CLACS: Could you tell us a bit about yourself?
LS: I’m a CLACS first year student from Chicago. My undergrad background is in Political Science and International Studies at Northwestern University. My current research concentrates on religions of the Yoruba Diaspora, specifically on the Ifá divination system as an alternative system of mental health. Continue reading

Alumni Spotlight: Amanda Tollefson

Amanda Tollefson

2012 CLACS Alumnus, Amanda Tollefson

Amanda Tollefson, a December 2012 CLACS alumnus, shares her thoughts and experiences with us below. Amanda is currently the Office Manager at the International Crisis Group in New York.

CLACS: Can you please tell us about yourself?
AT: I received my BA degrees in Spanish and the Comparative History of Ideas with a minor in European Studies from the University of Washington (Seattle). As an undergraduate student, I studied in Italy, the Czech Republic, Costa Rica, Nicaragua, and Cuba. After graduation, I earned my divemaster certification on the island of Utila, Honduras; taught English in Cadiz, Spain for a year; and spent a year as a flight attendant for an international airline. While studying at CLACS, I completed an internship in the Communications/Media department at the Coalition for the International Criminal Court. I also participated in a study abroad program during the January session in Puebla, Mexico, through the Food Studies department. Continue reading

Perspectives from the Field: Zamaly Diaz Lebron

Zamaly Diaz Lebron

Zamaly Diaz Lebron, Program Officer at the Institute of International Education (IIE) & CLACS Alumnus

On Friday, February 22nd, we had hosted another CLACS Alumn during our Perspectives from the Field Series, a speaker series that invites CLACS alumni from a wide range of professions to speak about their experiences since graduation, and how their studies at CLACS prepared them for the work that they are doing today. The topics that our invited speakers discuss in the series include development, education, human rights, business, public health, and more.

On this day, we welcomed, Zamaly Diaz Lebron a 2006 CLACS MA alumnus and currently is a Program Officer for university placement services at the Institute of International Education (IIE). Zamaly, a native of San Juan, Puerto Rico, has a Bachelor’s Degree from the Universidad de Puerto Rico, Rio Piedras, and also completed another NYU Master’s program in Performance Studies (completed in 2007) while studying at CLACS. Continue reading

The Life and Work of Michel-Rolph Trouillot: A Symposium

Trouillot Symposium

Presentation being made at Trouillot Symposium.

On Friday, March 1st, the Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies (CLACS) in conjunction with the Anthropology Department at NYU hosted the The Life and Work of Michel-Rolph Trouillot: A Symposium, an all-day event celebrating the life and work of prolific anthropologist and historian, Michel-Rolph Trouillot. Trouillot was born in Haiti in 1949 and immigrated to the US when he was nineteen, during the peak years of the Duvalier Regime. He would later go on to become a professor of Anthropology at the University of Chicago, with interests in ethnographic methodologies, historiography, and theory-building. Trouillot left behind a major body of work, among which most famous are Silencing the Past: Power and the Production of History, Haiti: State against Nation and Global Transformations: Anthropology and the Modern World. This symposium brought together a diverse assortment of individuals ranging from intellectuals and academics to activists and students, all gathered to commemorate the remarkable accomplishments and contributions of Michel-Rolph Trouillot to the humanities and social sciences. Continue reading

“What’s Left of Cuba” Colloquium: Queer Cuba

photo

On Thursday evening CLACS hosted the Queer Cuba Symposium in conjuction with NYU’s Center for the Study of Gender and Sexuality and the Department of Performance Studies, a part of the CLACS Research Colloquium series entitled, “What’s Left of Cuba? Culture, Politics, and Civil Society.” José Muñoz, Professor of Performance Studies at NYU Tisch and author of Feeling Brown: Ethnicity, Affect and Performance and Cruising Utopia: The Politics and Performance of Queer Futurity amongst other publications, moderated lectures by José Quiroga and Jafari Allen. The insights of Dr. Muñoz and the two speakers offered a nuanced understanding of queer history in Cuba and exposure to themes of recognition, expression, commitment and agency. Continue reading

Perspectives from the Field: Ben Aplin

Benjamin Aplin

Benjamin Aplin, Director of Institutional Advancement at the International Coalition of Sites of Conscience & CLACS Alumnus

On Friday, December 7th, we had hosted another CLACS Alumn during our Perspectives from the Field Series, a speaker series that invites CLACS alumni from a wide range of professions to speak about their experiences since graduation, and how their studies at CLACS prepared them for the work that they are doing today. The topics that our invited speakers discuss in the series include development, education, human rights, business, public health, and more.

On this day, we welcomed Benjamin Aplin, a 2006 CLACS MA alumnus and current Director of Institutional Advancement at the International Coalition of Sites of Conscience, to speak about the non-profit world and how his experiences at CLACS helped him get to where he is today.

Ben, who has been working in international NGOs since graduating from CLACS, has always been interested in working in an international environment because he traveled a lot with his mother when he was a teenager, including working at a summer arts camp in Haiti when he was 15. Ben graduated from the University of Tennessee with a degree in English, and came to CLACS interested in international development issues. He wrote his thesis on Protestantism in Latin America and its dominance in certain parts of the region. Continue reading

First Year, Round Two

Can't wait to get back to tango in the streets. (Buenos Aires, 2011)

Tango in the streets. (Buenos Aires, 2011)

The spring semester is upon us and from the looks of Washington Square and Bobst, it looks like students are back in town and ready to get back to work. Here at CLACS, this means that first-year students are preparing to submit their grant proposals in order to receive research funding for either a CLACS Tinker grant, or a FLAS fellowship. The proposals are due on February 8th, so we have about one week to make final edits and revisions, and get opinions from our peers and professors, before we submit them to the grant committee. These are the proposals that we have been working on since the very first day of class last semester, when we were encouraged to begin thinking about a topic that we would be interested in researching for our Master’s Project. I am planning my research to be in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Continue reading

Until Next Time

Washington Square Park, NYU

Washington Square Park, NYU

I’ve officially lived in New York City for exactly four months today, but I have no idea where those four months went! I can’t believe I’m nearly done with my first semester of grad school. While I have had a pretty great New York experience so far, I think what I’m really grateful at the end of this semester are the people who I’ve met here and how I’ve grown both personally and academically.

The people at CLACS, including those in my program and the faculty and staff, have all been great sources of encouragement throughout this semester. I’ve been amazed by how quickly my cohort has come together and how we’ve really become a family this semester. Everyone is so supportive of each other’s work, genuinely interested in everyone else’s research, and always willing to give out research and writing tips. Every single person is so passionate about their work and eager to learn that it’s really inspired me to work harder. I feel extremely lucky that I’m stuck with these people for another year-they’re pretty amazing and have made my time at NYU that much more enjoyable. Continue reading

CLACS Featured Faculty: Peter Lucas

CLACS Affiliated Faculty member, Peter Lucas

CLACS Affiliated Faculty member, Peter Lucas

Dr. Peter Lucas, is part of CLACS Affiliated Faculty whose work with graduate students ranges from human rights and media, participatory media, youth media, citizen journalism, indigenous media, and visual inclusion project. After obtaining his Masters/Doctorate at NYU, he started as an educational anthropologist doing dissertation research on youth and violence in North Brooklyn. He received his Ph.D. from the Department of International Education at NYU in 1996, with training in violence studies, a good preparation for human rights research in the future. He went to Brazil for the first time in 1997, when he went to speak at a conference on school violence. The paper he presented was later translated and published, he was invited to more conferences and gave workshops on alternatives to school violence in Brazil. During Lucas’ time in Brazil, he began to meet a lot of human rights workers in Brazil who approached violence from a human rights perspective. Continue reading