Author Archives: Von Diaz

CLACS Kicks Off Spring Colloquium on Latin American Independence in the Age of Revolution

CLACS Colloquium - Latin American Independence in the Age of RevolutionOn Monday, CLACS hosted the first event of the Spring 2012 Research Colloquium seriesRonald Briggs, Assistant Professor of Spanish and Latin American Cultures at Barnard College, presented on “Independence Pedagogy and the Cult of the Perfect Book.”  The event was well attended, and was a strong kick-off to the spring series!

Each semester, CLACS hosts a Research Colloquium series that combines a graduate level course with a speaker series. The course is co-taught by faculty of distinct disciplines, bringing together different academic fields of study. CLACS Director Sinclair Thomson (NYU History) and Sibylle Fischer (NYU Spanish) are teaching the course this spring.
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Teachers in Residence Present at K-12 Educator Conference

CLACS K-12 Educator Conference
Teaching Latin America’s migration history in the classroom can be a challenge. The most recent K-12 Educator Conference focused on just this issue, bringing scholars and educators together for a day of learning and exchange.

Two educators participating in the CLACS Teacher Residency Program spoke at the event. David Hanna currently teaches at University Neighborhood High School, and presented on “The Great (Quiet) Migration: Brazil.” Ariela Rothstein is a teacher at East Brooklyn Community High School, and she gave a presentation on “Perspectives on the Cuban Revolution: Social class, equality of opportunity and equality of outcomes before and after the Cuban Revolution.”

CLACS piloted its first Teacher Residency Program in 2010. Through this program, select teachers work closely with NYU faculty members, NYU Bobst Library resources, and CLACS K-12 outreach staff on Latin American research topics. Residents receive expert support, and have the opportunity to develop curricular materials for use in their classrooms.
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CLASP Website Has a New Look

CLASPThe Consortium of Latin American Studies Programs (CLASP) recently got a website facelift! The new website features news and resources related to Latin American Studies, and a place for institutions to access resources and connect.

CLASP brings together Latin American Studies (LAS) programs from across the country, and CLACS at NYU is a member. CLASP’s mission is “to promote all facets of Latin American studies throughout the world.”  They also bring together LAS programs,  organize research activities, fund professional workshops, and develop classroom teaching aids.

In addition to the overall look, the new CLAPS website features updated summer language programs including eligible Foreign Language and Area Studies (FLAS) programs, study abroad, and indigenous languages of the Americas.

CLASP members also benefit from partnerships and networking opportunities across LAS programs, workshops and conferences on teaching, language and outreach, and members-only resources on the website via the CLASP listserve.

If you’re interested in becoming a CLASP member, contact Jen Lewis at jal15 [at] nyu [dot] edu. Visit the updated CLASP website to learn more!

CLACS Welcomes Director Sinclair Thomson

Sinclair ThomsonWe are thrilled to welcome Sinclair Thomson as the new CLACS Director!

Starting this spring, Thomson will bring innovative events and research on Latin America to CLACS. A historian, Thomson’s research focuses on indigenous social movements, and how revolutionary ideas live on in Andean collective memory and myth. Thomson’s book We Alone Will Rule: Native Andean politics in the age of insurgency, looks at native Andean politics in the eighteenth century. He also co-authored Ya es otro tiempo el presente: Cuatro momentos de insurgencia indígena, Revolutionary Horizons: Past and Present in Bolivian Politics, and is currently working on The Bolivia Reader: History, Culture, Politics.

Thomson says he’s looking forward to being at CLACS.

I’m excited to be involved with CLACS this semester. I am proud that CLACS has such strong programs in Andean studies and Quechua language studies, which coincide with my own interests. At the University of Wisconsin Madison I received great interdisciplinary training in Andean students, and Quechua was a big part of my education. I’m happy to support training new students in these area.

Visit the CLACS website to learn more about Sinclair Thomson.

NYU Conference Highlights Innovative Haitian Research

Roots and Branches: New Directions in Haitian StudiesOn Monday, January 23, CLACS joined the Institute of French Studies, the Department of History, the Center for French Civilization and Culture, and La Maison Française to sponsor Roots and Branches: New Directions in Haitian Studies.

The Haitian studies field has grown richer over the last several years and is becoming increasingly interdisciplinary; this conference aimed to provide a forum for dialogues across various disciplines such as History, Religion, Political Science, and others. Highlighting the work of nine graduate students, Roots and Branches explored ways to enliven and inspire new conversations about Haiti in its cultural, social and historical contexts.

Grouped into three panel discussions, topics addressed included Continue reading

K-12 Educator Series Explores US/Mexico Relations

Indocumentales/Undocumentaries: the US/Mexico Interdependent Film Series Indocumentales/Undocumentaries: the US/Mexico Interdependent Film Series Early this past December, CLACS and what moves you? hosted a series of two K-12 Educator Workshops which focused on two films from the Indocumentales / Undocumentaries US-Mexico Film Series. The December 5th event included a screening of Farmingville; and the December 14th workshop focused on the film Which Way Home.

The events featured an introduction to CLACS resources for educators about Mexico- U.S. issues, followed by a film screening. Educators then had the opportunity to discuss the issues addressed in the film with colleagues and what moves you? facilitators. These workshops opened a space for educators to discuss current events, and how film can be used to teach Mexico-U.S. relations in the classroom.

FarmingvilleFarmingville, a 2004 film by Carlos Sandoval and Catherine Tambini, documents the attempted murders of two Mexican day-laborers in Long Island. The movie features first-hand accounts from residents, day-laborers and activists, and underscores the continuing relevance of undocumented immigrant issues. Which Way Home, a 2009 film by Rebecca Cammisa, focuses on immigrant children from Honduras, El Salvador and Mexico, who must overcome tremendous odds in their journey to the U.S.

These are two of many K-12 events that are part of the CLACS K-12 Outreach Program. Learn more about CLACS K-12 Outreach on the CLACS website. You can also sign-up to our K-12 Outreach email list, which will send you notices only about K-12 educator-related events and programs.

History and Anthropology Conference Highlights Expansive Caribbean Archives

Ada Ferrer, Sidney Mintz, Aisha Khan -- RISM Symposium CLACS at NYU

CLACS Director Ada Ferrer, Anthropologist Sidney Mintz, and Anthropology Professor Aisha Khan at the CLACS Caribbean History and Anthropology Conference

On December 1 – 2, scholars and Caribbean studies enthusiasts came together for a two-day conference highlighting the recently acquired RISM Collection.

The expansive RISM (Research Institute for the Study of Man) Collection was founded in 1955 by Dr. Vera D. Rubin (1911–1985), and produced unique social science research ranging the fields of anthropology, history, demographics and medicine. This conference focused on three specific collections from Trinidad, Puerto Rico and Cuba.

Harvey Neptune - RISM Symposium CLACS at NYU

Harvey Neptune (CLACS alum and Assitant Professor of History at Temple University) talks about the Trinidad Study

The Trinidad Study is comprised of materials from the Study of the Aspirations of Youth in a Developing Society, which includes a series of in-depth surveys of high school student in 1957 and 1961. The project aimed to understand “how youth perceived the changing social, political, and economic issues facing Trinidad and Tobago as a developing nation in the Caribbean.”

The Puerto Rico Project, which scholar Sidney Mintz participated in, was conducted by Dr. Julian H. Steward and a team of anthropologists between 1947 – 1949.  The collection includes field notes, meeting minutes, manuscripts, printed matter and other ephemera.

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CLACS Alum Builds Latino and Hispanic Caribbean Studies at Rutgers University

Aldo Lauria Santiago - CLACS at NYUWhen Aldo Lauria Santiago was an MA student at CLACS at NYU, he began the research that led to several books, and eventually served as inspiration to grow the Department of Latino and Hispanic Caribbean Studies at Rutgers University in New Jersey.

Currently, Aldo is both Chair and Associate Professor of the Latino and Hispanic Caribbean Studies Department at Rutgers. He is also a joint professor in the History department.

“The good thing [about CLACS] is that it lends itself to people who want to get a professional MA, or for those who want to follow a traditional academic path,” he says.

Aldo says CLACS played a definitive role in his academic research and his overall career. At CLACS, he focused much of his research on El Salvador, combining Latin American history courses at NYU with political economy and economic anthropology courses at the New School. He wanted to find a way to blend social science and history methods and materials, and went on to further develop his ideas in this area as a PhD student at the University of Chicago (which he almost didn’t attend because of Chicago’s notoriously bad weather). Since then he’s written and co-authored several books on El Salvador, including To Rise in Darkness: Revolution, Repression, and Memory in El Salvador, 1920-1932, Landscapes of Struggle: Politics, Society, and Community in El Salvador, An Agrarian Republic: Commercial Agriculture and the Politics of Peasant Communities in El Salvador, 1823-1914, and Identity and Struggle at the Margins of the Nation-State: The Laboring Peoples of Central America and the Hispanic Caribbean.

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CLACS Hosts Mesoamerican Biodiversity, Green Imperialism, and Indigenous Women’s Leadership Conference

On October 19 CLACS co-hosted a conference on “Mesoamerican Biodiversity, Green Imperialism, and Indigenous Women’s Leadership in Defense of Territory.”

Mesoamerican Biodiversity Conference - CLACS at NYUMarisa Belausteguigoitia, director of the Programa de Estudios de Genero (PUEG) at UNAM, opened the “Mesoamerican Biodiversity, Green Imperialism, and Indigenous Women’s Leadership in Defense of Territory” conference (yes, it’s a mouthful!) with the idea that an exchange of ideas needs to happen between the “plaza and the classroom” in order to effect real change. Belausteguigoitia said the primary motivation for the conference was a response to the violence occurring in Mexico, utilizing UNAM’s important position as a public university to enter into a transnational dialogue. Although the conference focused mainly on Latin America, the objective was to create conversations covering topics that are important on a global level. The panel discussions highlighted issues of feminicide, environmental devastation and mythologization of indigenous people.

As a woman of Mexican heritage, a CLACS student, and a former resident of southern Mexico (where many of the talks were focused), the topics covered by the panelists resonated with me both emotionally and academically. The ideas and issues discussed, however, are of universal relevance. Overarching themes of struggle and identity were revealed through stories of extreme violence being contested with new forms of resistance; demands for society and environment to be confronted together in creating buen vivir; and women, who are turning the table on modernity by defending traditions in nontraditional ways. The paradoxes are many, and although no unequivocal resolution has been proffered, the door to dialogue has been opened‑ and it is up to us to walk through.

This conference was a collaboration between CLACS,  the Humanities Initiative at NYU, the Institute for Latin American Studies (ILAS) at Columbia University, the NYU Dean for the Humanities, the NYU Native Studies Forum, the NYU Department of Anthropology, Metropolitan Studies at NYU, the NYU Department of Social and Cultural Analysis, the Center for the Study of Gender and Sexuality at NYU, and the Research Center for Leadership in Action at NYU.

Posted by Marisa Cadena – M.A. Candidate, CLACS at NYU

CLACS Student Interviews Bolivia’s Minister of Foreign Relations for the Latin America News Dispatch

CLACS M.A. student Juan Victor Fajardo recently interviewed Bolivia’s Minister of Foreign Relations, David Choquehuanca, for the Latin American News Dispatch.

In the interview, Foreign Minister Choquehuanca spoke at length about Bolivia’s extradition request for ex-president Gonzalo Sanchez de Lozada to the U.S. government, and the future of lithium reserves in the Uyuni salt deposit. He also commented on the lowland indigenous march in defense of the Isiboro Secure Reserve (TIPNIS), which occurred before the indigenous march successfully overturned the Bolivian government’s plan to build a major highway through the ecological reserve.

This interview, moreover, forms part of the preparatory steps to organize a panel discussion on, “Environmental Politics Under Evo Morales: Buen Vivir vs New Extractivism” in February 2012. This panel is a collaborative initiative of CLACS M.A. students and faculty.

The Latin America News Dispatch was founded by four graduate students in the Global Joint Master’s program in Journalism and Latin American Studies at New York University. L.A.N.D. produces original news stories about Latin America, the Caribbean, U.S. foreign policy, and Hispanics in the United States. Visit the website to sign up for “Today in Latin America”, a daily digest of news stories about Latin America, the Caribbean, and Latina/o immigration issues in the U.S.

Posted by Pamela Calla – Visiting Associate Professor at CLACS at NYU