Tag Archives: revolution

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.

Spring 2015 Colloquium: Latin American Independence in the Age of Revolution

colloquium poster_horizontal_r7

On February 23rd, CLACS inaugurates its Spring 2015 Colloquium Series “Latin American Independence in the Age of Revolution” with a lecture by Sergio Serulnikov, Director of the Graduate Program in History at the University of San Andres in Buenos Aires, Argentina. His talk, titled “La crisis del orden colonial en Hispanoamérica,” will address crucial theoretical and methodological issues in the political history of Latin American independence. Professor Serulnikov contests scholarly positions that point to 1808 as the starting point of the colonial crisis after the Napoleonic invasion of Spain. Serulnikov, who is also a researcher at the Consejo Nacional de Investigaciones Científicas y Técnicas de la Argentina (Conicet), maintains that in order to understand Hispanic America’s different responses to the Spanish Kingdom’s debacle one needs a local, integrated, and long term view of these processes. This lecture and the reception to follow will be held at the Deutsches Haus starting at 6pm.

This lecture is part of a Research Colloquium which combines a graduate level course with a lecture series. The event series brings top scholars from around the world to present current research to the NYU community as well as the general public. CLACS Faculty members Sinclair Thomson and Sybille Fischer are co-teaching and spearheading the Spring 2015 Research Colloquium.

The colloquium features an interdisciplinary approach that “explores Latin American independence through readings in political history, political theory, and cultural studies,” said Professor Thomson. Special attention will be given to “primary sources (including chronicles, philosophical disquisitions, pamphlets and propaganda, speeches, constitutions, travelers’ accounts) and the distinctive and complementary aspects of historiographic and literary approaches.” Thomson adds that, “a broad awareness of historical context and careful attention to historical texts can yield revealing new understandings of the past.”

The February 23rd talk will be followed by “When the New Conquered in Latin America: Newness and Value in the Era of Independence,” with Victor Goldgel- Carballo, Assistant Professor in the Department of Spanish and Portuguese at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, on March 2nd. Goldgel’s talk is also at the Deutsches Haus. On April 13th, the Colloquium moves to the KJCC Auditorium where Marlene Daut, Assistant Professor of English and Cultural Studies at Claremont Graduate University, will speak on “Race and the Transatlantic Print Culture of the Haitian Revolution, 1789-1865.” Two weeks later, on April 27th, novelist and professor at Goucher University, Madison Smartt Bell will give a lecture titled “Desalines Disembodied.” On May 11th, our closing lecture of the series will be “Bolívar as Slaveholder, the Image of 1815, and the Myth of Abolition,” by Michael Zeuske of Universität zu Köln, Iberische und Lateinamerikanische Abt./ Historisches Institut.

To register for the February 23rd lecture please click here. For more information about the Colloquium series, and other upcoming events, click here to join our mailing list for weekly updates.