Tag Archives: history

Indigenous Puno?

MalagaSabogal_Peru_Puno.JPG

Posted by Ximena Málaga Sabogal – PhD student in Anthropology at NYU

It has been a couple of weeks since I arrived in Puno, one of the biggest cities in the southern Peruvian Andes. I have a long history with this city, having researched in the area throughout my bachelor and masters degree. Still, Puno was always a place to go through, in order to get somewhere else. This time I am going to spend two months in the city, going through the archives and talking to people who can somehow enlighten me on my research topic. Although I am an anthropologist, I also have a background in history and always try to bring these two together in my research. I am interested in the Aymara and Quechua identity definitions and its connections with the international indigenous movement.

Who is indigenous? What does it even mean? For a long time, this was not a question being asked in Peru. El problema del Indio (the Indian problem) became a topic at the beginning of the 20th century but the question about who is indio was not put forward until the last decades. As in Latin America more broadly, ethnicity in Peru is constructed through a combination of quite fluid physical and cultural categories that are sometimes claimed as means of self-identification, but more often ascribed by others. During the first half of the 20th century, the category of race became culturized (and culture became racialized) which led to even more complications in the definitions of who the indio was. From an elite and “white” perspective, national progress required de-indianization of the country’s population, to be accomplished through education and literacy, while the growing rural-to-urban migration process watered down distinct cultural characteristics of those who only a decade before were considered by the state as definitely Indian. Velasco Alvarado’s revolutionary government (1968-1975) further advanced the process of de-indianization, although for different reasons, advocating for the use of the term “peasant.

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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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State of Immigration Reform Focus of Indocumentales Discussion

On November 23rd, a full house at the King Juan Carlos I of Spain Center’s auditorium gathered for the screening of Empire of Dreams (1880-1942). An audience of 70, which included activists, teachers, and members of the NYU community, watched this insightful documentary from the PBS series ‘Latino Americans’, about the history of the first waves of Latin American immigrants to the U.S. The screening inspired an interesting conversation between the audience and our panelists for the night, Maribel Hernandez Rivera (Executive Director of Legal Initiatives at the New York City Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs), and Juan González (award-winning journalist, author, and 2015 Andrés Bello Chair of Latin American Cultures and Civilization). Interesting questions around the level of information within the general public about immigration history and issues, the economics of immigration vs. changes in demographics, and how current politics will drive the immigration debate, guided an engaged conversation.

Join us for the last screening of the Indocumentales series on December 17 at 6:30pm, when we will be showing the award-winning film La Jaula de Oro.

 

Early Latin American Migration to the U.S. Focus of Next Indocumentales

Post by Gretchen Kyle Shaheen, CLACS MA Candidate and Graduate Associate for K-12 Outreach

On Monday, November 23, CLACS will be presenting the second film in this semester’s installation of Indocumentales.  Starting at 6:30pm, we will be screening Empire of Dreams (1880-1942) of the PBS Series Latino Americans.

The second part of the Latino Americans Series, this film highlights immigration to the U.S. from Latin America during the late 19th and early 20th centuries.  Empire of Dreams documents how the American population begins to be reshaped by the influx of people that began in 1880 and continues into the 1940s, as Cubans, Mexicans and Puerto Ricans begin arriving in the U.S. and start to build strong Latino-American communities in South Florida, Los Angeles and New York. 

The screening will be followed by a conversation with award-winning journalist, author, and 2015 Andres Bello Chair in Latin American Cultures and Civilizations at NYU’s King Juan Carlos I of Spain Center, Juan González, and Maribel Hernandez Rivera, Executive Director of Legal Initiatives at the Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs.

To read more about the screening of Empire of Dreams (1880-1942), and register to attend, click here.

Viewers interested in K-12 education can find more information on ways to incorporate the themes explored in the film into their classrooms by clicking here.

Indocumentales is a film and conversation series exploring the immigrant experience. This series is done in partnership with Cinema Tropical, and What Moves You?.  For more on Indocumentales, click here.

Our last screening of 2015 will be the award-winning film by Diego Quemada-Diez entitled La Jaula de Oro. This film will be showcased on Thursday, December 17. More information here.