Category Archives: CLACS News

Welcome Back and Upcoming CLACS Events

CLACS - Washington Square Park

The Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies (CLACS) at NYU would like to welcome back our students and faculty and wishes all our followers a happy Fall!

We kicked off the semester by enthusiastically welcoming our newest MA students at orientation. We are excited to have such a dynamic group begin a new academic year.

We would like to usher in the new semester with an amazing set of events at our center. Some of the events we have planned for the Fall include a talk with Peruvian activist Verónika Mendoza about the challenges of the Left in the new Latin American scenario; a POETEA showcase to celebrate Quechua & Kreyòl  with a night of poetry and tea; a panel presentation of the book “Kalman Silvert: Engaging Latin America, Building Democracy,” to celebrate CLACS’s founding director and the center’s 50th anniversary; and and a presentation of the Chilean fantasy series “Trilogía del Malamor.”

Stay tuned for CLACS events this fall by joining the CLACS email list, liking CLACS at NYU on Facebook, and following us on Twitter at @clacs_nyu!

Quechua/Kichwa Film Showcase on the Road

From June 17th to the 19th the Quechua/Kichwa film showcase May Sumak! (How Beautiful!) is going on the road  to Washington, D.C. The showcase is a celebration of indigenous and community filmmaking in the Quechua languages spoken throughout the Andes and by immigrants in the United States. Created in 2015 by the CLACS student-led Runasimi Outreach Committee (ROC), May Sumak! will be part of the National Museum of the American Indian’s ongoing exhibition The Great Inka Road The opening night will feature the film Killa  and Q&A with its director  Ecuadorian filmmaker Alberto Muenala. This conversation will be hosted by CLACS alum and former ROC member Charlie Uruchima. Click here for more details on the films, show times and venues.

maysumak ifle invite

NRC Partnership in Exploring Intersections of Mexican/Middle East Experience

On Friday, April 29th at 4pm, two of NYU’s National Resource Centers, CLACS and the Kevorkian Center for Near Eastern Studies partner to present an event titled Displacement. Borders. Home: Echoes of the Middle Eastern, North African, and Mexican Experienceas part of the PEN Literary Mews at NYU. This event will count with the participation of two great artists and educators Mark Gonzales and Bocafloja. They will reflect in conversation and performance, on their explorations of the intersections between the Middle East, North Africa, and Mexico around the topics of displacement, borders, and culture. This conversation will be moderated by Laura Torres-Rodriguez, Assistant Professor of Spanish and Portuguese at New York University. The event will be held at the Kevorkian Center. To RSVP click here.

Here is more on these amazing artists:

 

African Diaspora Spotlight at CLACS this Week

On Monday, April 18th CLACS will be hosting and co-sponsoring events that focus on the culture and current affairs of the African diaspora in the Caribbean and Latin America.

IMG_62571We begin at 5:00pm with the opening of The Free Black Women’s Library: NYU CLACS Pop-up, as part of the Kreyòl at NYU initiative. Installed at KJCC’s Portrait Room through the evening, this edition will feature a conversation with its founder Ola Ronke and will focus on Caribbean Women authors. Visitors to the pop up are encouraged to bring books and/or make donations to The Free Black Women’s Library. For more information click here.

colloquium final (2)

At 6:00pm CLACS will host the last edition of the 2016 Spring Colloquium Political Imaginaries Across Latin America and the Caribbean, with a lecture by Elizabeth McAlister titled “The Militarization of Prayer and Evangelical Spiritual Warfare in Haiti.” The lecture by Professor McAlister of Wesleyan Univesity, describes how Americans engage evangelicals in Haiti to fight against the creole religious tradition called Vodou, which they consider a Satanic enemy. This event will be held at the KJCC Auditorium. To learn more about the lecture and to rsvp, please follow this link.

blacklivesmatterAt 6:30pm, CLACS is proud of co-sponsoring the event titled “#Blacklivesmatter: Race, Space, and Consciousness.” Organized by a committee of NYU graduate students, including Larnies Bowen of CLACS, the event features a panel of renowned experts from the US and Latin America moderated by Arlene Davila Professor of Anthropology, Social and Cultural Analysis at NYU. For more information and to rsvp click here.

Live Streaming and New Participants in “From War to Politics”

“From War to Politics” begins this Thursday night with a keynote address by Álvaro de Soto, former UN Assistant Secretary-General for Political Affairs, at Columbia University. On Friday and Saturday, the conference continues at New York University with panels of key players in the peace talks and scholars of the process.

For those who cannot attend the conference in person, we are offering live streaming video of every talk and panel that can be viewed wherever there is an internet connection. Click here for the links to the live streams in both English and Spanish.

Join us to learn more about why the process worked, who made it possible and how each side perceived the outcomes. In addition to the existing participants, including the former President of El Salvador, an FMLN representative to the Accords, and a former US Ambassador to El Salvador, we are pleased to announce the following additions to the program:

parada_luis_newLuis Parada: Parada was assigned to the Salvadoran Embassy in Washington DC, where he represented the Armed Forces and assisted the Salvadoran Ambassador in his relations with Congress and the Administration in support of the peace process.

 

1157752802_740215_0000000000_noticia_normalFrancesc Vendrell: Former UN Ambassador and Secretary-General’s Deputy Representative in the El Salvador peace process. He has specialized in Central America and worked closely and extensively with Secretary-Generals Javier Pérez de Cuéllar and Boutros Boutros-Ghali.

 

 

 

peter_romeroPeter Romero: Former US ambassador and Assistant Secretary of State for Western Hemisphere Affairs. Romero pioneered and directed whole-of-government programs to demobilize army and guerrilla combatants and the commensurate community-based development strategies still employed in Iraq and Afghanistan today.

canciller-martinez-titulares-rree2Hugo Martinez: The current Foreign Minister of El Salvador, who will deliver a message from the current President of El Salvador, Sánchez Cerén.

 

From War to Politics: An International Conference on El Salvador’s Peace Process

(Written by CLACS MA student Vladimir Penaloza.)

From March 31st to April 2nd, New York City will play host to a conference about the process and effects of the 1992 Peace Accords that brought an end to El Salvador’s bloody and lengthy civil war. The conference is hosted by New York University’s Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies and Columbia University’s Institute for Latin American Studies.

The Chapultepec Peace Accords were signed on January 16, 1992. The treaty was brokered by representatives of the Salvadoran government, the rebel movement (FMLN) and Salvadoran political parties, with observers from the Roman Catholic Church and United Nations. These peace accords brought peace to a country that had endured a twelve-year acuerdosdepazphoto (1)civil war that was waged between the military-led government and a coalition of leftist groups and the communist party (FMLN). Its is believed that more than 75,000 people died, and an unknown number of people “disappeared” during one of Central America’s longest and bloodiest conflicts.

It has been close to 25 years since the Salvadoran Peace Accords were signed at Chapultepec Castle in Mexico City. From War to Politics intends to reflect on the circumstances that allowed the peace process to be successful. The peace process itself was a remarkable achievement that ended an intractable conflict and enabled El Salvador to transition to peaceful civilian rule. By bringing together over a dozen of the most crucial participants and scholars, this conference hopes to find consensus on what happened and what the outcomes were. The panels to be held will focus on the topics still considered the core details of the Accords, for example, what impact did the role of external actors on the process have in shaping the peace process? Were the external actors of greater impact than internal actors? All this and more will be discussed during the conference.

The panels will include the following topics:

  • The Role of El Salvador’s Internal Actors in Shaping Peace
  • Fighting While Talking: How Battleground Dynamics Influenced Negotiating Strategies
  • The Role of External Actors in Shaping Peace
  • Roundtable: What Difference Did the Accords Make?

The conclusions reached during these sessions will have been arrived at by the people who actually participated in the original Peace Accords. Some of the participants include:

Armando Calderon Sol, former president of El Salvador (1994-99) and Mayor of San Salvador (1988-94)calderon-sol

 

Bernard W. Aronson, former U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for Inter-American Affairsbernardquien201

 

 

Salvador Samayoa, former member of the FMLN’s Political-Diplomatic Commissionsama2

 

 

For more information about the conference, including a detailed program, biographies of the participants, and a link to register, please see the official conference website.

Anti-Imperial Imperialism as a Revolutionary Model?

Written by CLACS MA student Michael Cary.

Last Monday marked the second installment of the Spring 2016 Colloquium Series. CLACS was happy to receive Joshua Simon of Columbia University, who gave us a preview of his upcoming book. In a lecture titled “The Ideology of Creole Revolution: Imperialism and Independence in American and Latin American Political Thought,” Simon presented a unified interpretation of independence movements in the Americas.

Breaking with the models expounded by what he calls the “Age of Revolutions” and “Incipient Nationalism” theses, Simon instead posits that we should consider the commonalities among the American independence movements themselves. He makes his case by analyzing the specific role played by Creoles, and their position within colonial empires. Essentially, Simon links the Creole revolutions by showing how various revolutionary leaders reacted the inherent contradictions caused by revolution in the context of the Creole classes positioning between the European colonizer and the American colonized. For the Creole class, the dilemma was: “How to end European rule of the Americas without undermining Creole rule in the Americas?”

Drawing on the revolutionary figures Alexander Hamilton, Simón Bolívar and Lucas Alamán, Simon characterizes American and Latin American independence movements as both “anti-imperial and imperial at the same time.” He then points out how shared political thought manifested itself in the justification of independence, the constitutions of these nascent governments, and their early foreign policy positions.

You can watch the full video of the event below:

Colloquium Series Part 2: Joshua Simon

On Monday, February 22nd at 6:00pm in the King Juan Carlos I of Spain Center, CLACS will welcome Columbia University’s Joshua Simon, who will present the second lecture of the Spring 2016 Colloquium SeriesPolitical Imaginaries across Latin America and the Caribbean. Professor Simon’s talk, entitled “The Ideology of Creole Revolution: Imperialism and the Independence in American and Latin American Political Thought,” will explore the similarities that existed among Creole revolutionaries during the independence movements that swept the American continent in the 18th and 19th centuries. Monday’s lecture is based on Simon’s work for an upcoming book, The Ideology of Creole Revolution: American Political Thought in Comparative Perspective (Columbia University Press).

Professor Simon explains the themes of his lecture and book:
headshotresize“This book manuscript proposes a new, unified interpretation of the leading ideas of the independence movements of the United States and Latin America. It takes as its point of departure the fact that all of the American independence movements were led by Creoles, the American-born descendants of European settlers. Creoles occupied a distinctive position within the social structure of the empires, simultaneously dominating fellow Americans of indigenous and African descent and dominated by fellow Europeans from the metropoles. I argue that this shared social position imposed common dilemmas on the independence movements’ political theorists, explaining key ideological similarities in their defenses of revolution, constitutional designs, and ideas about inter-American relations.  I illustrate my claims in three carefully chosen case studies of important Creole revolutionaries: Alexander Hamilton of the United States, Simón Bolívar of Venezuela, and Lucas Alamán of Mexico.”

Joshua Simon (Ph.D., Yale) is an Assistant Professor of Political Science at Columbia University, specializing in political theory. He has held positions at King’s College London and the New School for Social Research. His research focuses on American and Latin American political thought, especially the ideas underlying the Americas’ revolutions, constitutions, and approaches to foreign policy. He has also studied American and Latin American adaptations of European traditions of political thought, including republicanism, liberalism, positivism, and Marxism. His work draws on the theories and methods of comparative political science and historical institutionalism, offering systematic accounts of the co-evolution of political ideologies and political institutions with both explanatory and critical intents.

After the lecture, Professor Simon will be joined by CLACS Faculty Fellow Edgardo Pérez Morales for a discussion and Q&A with the audience. The event is free and open to the public. For more information, click here to see the event page and RSVP here.

Colloquium Series Presentation: Irene Silverblatt

By Michael Cary, CLACS MA Student

On Monday, February 1st, CLACS inaugurated the Spring 2016 Colloquium Series with a presentation by Irene Silverblatt. The theme for this semester’s colloquium series is “Political Imaginaries Across Latin America and the Caribbean” and Silverblatt, a professor of cultural anthropology at Duke University, spoke on race thinking and Spanish colonial Peru.

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Announcing the Spring 2016 Colloquium

By Brendan Fields, CLACS MA Student

Beginning on February 1st at 6pm, CLACS will be hosting its research Spring colloquium series where top scholars will present current research in the field of Latin American Studies. The theme of the colloquium is “Political Imaginaries Across Latin America and The Caribbean.” “We chose this theme because it should allow us to think about processes and dynamics of power, ethnicity and state formation. Citizenship, race or gender are ways of thinking and forms of interdependence unfolding within power relations, not essences or monoliths,” says CLACS Professor Edgardo Pérez Morales who is one of our faculty members organizing the series. “That’s what we aim to grasp in this colloquium.”

To help attendees grasp the complexities involved in understanding these imaginaries, CLACS has invited a diverse group of scholars to present their work from disciplines ranging from anthropology to political science to religion. With such a collection of renowned scholars present, attendees will surely gain a lot from the talks. “If you attend the whole series, I think you can begin to really see the state of Latin American and Caribbean studies and what the new frontiers are,” says CLACS Professor Katherine Smith. “Plus, there’s always a reception, which is often when the best conversations and insights happen!” The opportunity to share time and conversations is invaluable as a way for individual students to participate in a community of knowledge. “Focusing on our political imagination is something worth considering. Coming to these talks can help take this normally individual endeavor and make it a bit more collective,” says CLACS Professor Pamela Calla.

To kick off the series on February 1st Irene Silverblatt, of Duke University, will give a talk entitled Stained Blood in the Old World and the New: New Christians and the Racial Categories of the Colonial-Modern World.

Professor Silverblatt will explore the racializing of human beings and its repercussions for colonial categories of rule and the cultural ordering of the modern world. The lecture and following discussion, moderated by CLACS faculty member  and Associate Professor of History at NYU Sinclair Thomson, is framed on the following abstract by the presenter:

Hannah Arendt, among others, understood 19th century European colonialism – a form of governance which, like twentieth century fascism, supported the world-wide dominance of a master race – as key to understanding the brutal, submerged underside of modern, Western experience. However, it was 16th century Europe’s first wave of colonial expansion, spearheaded by Spain, that provides a more elaborate picture. The first wave was forged during the turbulence of modern state-making when many (but not all) officials of Church and Crown believed the Iberian Peninsula’s “New Christians” (or conversos of Jewish and Moorish descent) could not be loyal subjects because they were cursed by the “stained blood” of their ancestors. Transported to the Americas, the New Christian syndrome, with its obsession with blood purity and its political language of stains, fertilized the racial bent of modern, colonial geopolitics. The point of entry into this discussion will be the meanings of “New Christian” in the New World.

Irene Silverblatt is a Professor of Cultural Anthropology, History, and Women’s Studies at Duke University. She researches the cultural dimensions of power; specifically, state-building and colonization in Latin America and the politics of memory in central Europe. Her published works include Harvest of Blossoms: Poetry of a Life Cut Short (Collected Poetry of Selma Meerbaum-Eisinger) (edited and with an introduction by Irene Silverblatt and Helene Silverblatt 2008); Modern Inquisitions: Peru and the Colonial Origins of the Civilized World (2004); Moon, Sun, and Witches: Gender Ideologies and Class in Inca and Colonial Peru (1987) as well as articles on related themes. She has received fellowships from the Guggenheim Memorial Foundation, the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study (Harvard University), and the Social Science Research Council, among others. Professor Silverblatt has also served as President of the American Society for Ethnohistory.

For more information about the event and to RSVP, click here.