Tag Archives: Latin America

Event Re-Cap: Trump, Mexico and Latin America

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On December 13th, the Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies, in conjunction with Columbia University’s Institute of Latin American Studies and supported by NYU’s Mexican Student Association, hosted a panel discussion that delved into what Trump’s presidency means for Latin America. The discussion was led by Global Distinguished Professor of Politics and Latin American and Caribbean Studies Jorge Castañeda, and the panel also included John H. Coatsworth, Provost at Columbia University, and Arturo A. Valenzuela, Senior Latin America Advisor at Covington & Burling LLP and former Assistant Secretary for Western Hemisphere Affairs in the U.S. Department of State.

With over 150 attendees, it is clear that the need for academic spaces to discuss the reality and feasibility of Trump’s campaign promises is extremely relevant. This event discussed the deeper implications that President-Elect Trump might have on the region, with the panelists providing their expert opinions on the subject. Castañeda kicked off the conversation, and believes that for Mexico, “the Trump presidency is an unmitigated disaster.” He continued, stating that the Mexican government, and other Latin American countries, should take a hardline approach against Trump, especially hot button issues like  renegotiating free trade agreements, mass deportations, and in the case of Mexico, the proposed border wall. Continue reading

NYU’s Kalman Silvert: Engaging Latin America, Building Democracy Event Re-cap

CLACS wants to thank all those who attended our 50th Anniversary Inaugural Reception and book talk that celebrated the contributions of Latin Americanist and founding CLACS Director Dr. Kalman Silvert.

Silvert’s family and scholars scholars including Jorge Balán, Abraham F. Lowenthal, Chris Mitchell, Martin Weinstein were among those who joined us in the celebration. The panelists presented the book “Kalman Silvert: Engaging Latin America, Building Democracy” and outlined Silvert’s legacy as a father, mentor, Latin Americanist and interdisciplinary scholar.

You can see the broadcast of the book presentation on our CLACS NYU Youtube page or watch the video below!

Thank you again for joining us and please be sure to check out more of our events and celebrations of our 50th Anniversary by visiting our events page.

CLACS 50th Inaugural Event: Engaging Latin America, Building Democracy

Layout 1The year the Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies’ (CLACS) celebrates its golden anniversary. Every significant milestone deserves reflection. In honor of our 50th year of existence, we revisited our department’s history.

The early history of the department is inextricably tied to its founding director, the gregarious Dr. Kalman Silvert. A political scientist and first-rate scholar of Latin America, he was tasked with helping to craft the early vision of NYU’s Ibero-American Language and Area Center (IALAC) under Dean George Winchester Stone Jr.

At the time of his directorship, Kalman Silvert also worked as Social Science Advisor to the Ford Foundation. Prior to his arrival at NYU he served as the first president of the Latin-American Studies Association (LASA). Silvert was instrumental in shaping an early model of internationally focused interdisciplinary studies and in helping to shape a community of regional experts in New York City. One of Silvert’s lasting legacies is his commitment to promoting scholarship, education and democratic society.

Today our center is greatly informed by this early commitment to democracy and intellectual rigor within Latin American and Caribbean Studies and it is reflected in the rich diversity of our students, exceptional language courses, community relationships, events, and scholarship.

It is in the spirit of celebrating our history and the contributions of Latin Americanists like Dr. Kalman Silvert that we  invite the entire NYU and CLACS community to help kick off the celebration of  our golden anniversary with our 50th Anniversary Inaugural Reception and Book Presentation this Friday, September 16th.

We will feature four Latin Americanists that will discuss the legacy of political scientist and CLACS founding director Kalman H. Silvert. We have invited important scholars Jorge Balán, Abraham F. Lowenthal, Chris Mitchell, Martin Weinstein to discuss the recently published book “Kalman Silvert: Engaging Latin America, Building Democracy.”

The book presentation will be preceded by the CLACS 50th Anniversary Inaugural Reception at 4:30pm. This event is free and open to the public. Please join us this upcoming Friday to kick off our celebration of CLACS 50th Anniversary!

‘A New-New Left in Latin America?’ with Verónika Mendoza Event Recap

Thanks to everyone who joined us last Friday for our event ‘A New-New Left in Latin America?: The Challenge of Progressive Politics in the Midst of a Conservative Turn.’ More than two hundred students, professors, activists, local media, Peruvian journalists and community members joined us at KJCC Auditorium to hear former Peruvian Presidential candidate Verónika Mendoza speak about the rise of  a ‘New-New left’ in the region.

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CLACS Assistant Director Omar Dauhajre presented the event and panelists. Speakers included essayist and poet Mariela Dreyfus who highlighted the feminist activism in Peru and Jose Luis Rénique, historian and principal professor at Lehman College, who discussed democracy, education, and the promise of the left. Panelist Paula Garcia shifted the conversation to the challenges of the Frente Amplio as an organization.

Verónika shared her perspectives about the challenges of the Left in the new Latin American scenario, her strong results in notoriously conservative Peru, and her vision of the future. One of her strongest messages was,  “The absence of the left in national politics represents an opportunity to create something new.”

You can watch a video of the event on the CLACS NYU Youtube page, included below!


Thanks again for joining us, please be sure to learn more about our events on our webpage here.

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.

Struggles for the Land in Latin America, Past and Present

Posted by Tony Wood, graduate student in Latin American History at NYU

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Poster for the “Luchas sociales por la tierra en América Latina” conference, Universidad Nacional Mayor de San Marcos, Lima

On 24 June 1969, Peru’s military government decreed a sweeping agrarian reform, and at the same time ordered that the day itself – previously designated the “day of the Indio”, a term which carried a racialized, discriminatory charge – be renamed the Día del Campesino. It was only fitting, then, that the Universidad Mayor Nacional de San Marcos in Lima should host its conference on “Luchas sociales por la tierra en América Latina” on 24-25 June this year.

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African Diaspora in the Americas as the Focus of Upcoming CLACS Events

Written by William Ramirez, NYU CLACS MA Candidate

In April and May CLACS will be featuring a series of exciting events focusing in the history, culture, and current affairs of the African Diaspora experience in the Americas. These will feature insightful discussions with distingished scholars, performances by renowned artists, and experts on the topics of the Haitian Revolution, 19th Century Afro Brazilian history, the resonance of today’s Quilombos, and the figure of Cuban slave revolt leader and artist Jose Antonio Aponte.

On Monday April 27th, the Spring 2015 Colloquium series Latin American Spring Colloquium, PosterIndependence in the Age of Revolution will feature professor Madison Smartt-Bell (Goucher College) who will discuss his upcoming biography on Jean-Jacques Dessalines, one of the fathers of the Haitian Revolution, and his growing significance in Haiti. His lecture is titled “Dessalines Disembodied.”

Thursday April 30th, CLACS hosts two events on Afro Brazilian history and current affairs. Starting at 5pm,  distinguished historian João José Reis (Universidade Federal da Bahia), will discuss the history of slave-owning slaves in Brazil in a presentation titled “Where Slaves were Slave Owners, the Case of 19th Century Bahia.” This lecture is co sponsored by the Africa~Diaspora Forum at NYU and Fordham University.

Later at 7pm, on the second event of the night, Maga Bo, both a DJ and producer residing in Brazil, and BNegão, a vocalist and composer recognized for his Afrocentric hip-hop, dub, funk, and punk music, will present “Quilombo do Futuro: The Contemporary Social and Cultural Resonance of Brazil’s Maroon Communities.” A performance which uses the notion of runaway slave communities as an onset for the interaction of traditional and contemporary music in the country. Brazilian scholar Mariela de Andrade (Universidade Estadual de Campinas), will situate their performance in the larger scope of the current challenges and success of the quilombo movement in Brazil. This event is co sponsored by The Consulate General of Brazil, The Brazilian Studies Center and ILAS at Columbia University.

Friday May 8th and Saturday May 9th, a one-of-a-kind two-day conference hosted by NYU, centered on the leader of the 1811-1812 massive slave rebellion in Cuba. “José Antonio Aponte and His World: Writing, Painting, and Making Freedom in the African Diaspora,” features renowned scholars from NYU, and other distinguished institutions in the U.S. and abroad, will discuss the visionary leader, his legendary “book of paintings,” and the future direction of “Apontian” scholarship.

Aponte Symposium, Poster
All of the above mentioned events will be held at the King Juan Carlos I of Spain Center at NYU (map) For more information on these and other upcoming events, visit the CLACS website. You can also find the latest information on the events on Facebook and Twitter under the hashtag #ClacsEvents.