Tag Archives: students

All Settled In

Hi! My name is Elizabeth Con and I am a first year M.A. student at CLACS. I just graduated from the College of Charleston in Charleston, South Carolina, with degrees in Political Science and International Studies and a minor in Spanish. I moved to New York City three weeks ago and living in Bushwick (Brooklyn) has proven to be a fun and interesting change. The past few weeks, I’ve been busy learning subway lines, checking out touristy spots (while trying to appear as a local), and savoring the last weeks of summer by trying out ice cream shops with my roommate.

As a first year student, new to CLACS, NYU, and NYC, I’m perpetually confused and anxious, but also enthusiastic and eager to be in a new place, to meet new people, and to challenge myself academically and personally.

From how I ended up at NYU and highlights from CLACS lectures to the best coffee shops around campus and goings on around town, I’ll be using this space to reflect on my daily experiences as a grad student. I look forward to sharing some of these experiences with you, and maybe even offering some tips on thriving in the labyrinths of NYU and NYC.

Elizabeth Con is an MA Candidate at CLACS at NYU

Newcomers in New York: The Interview Sessions

Rosanna-Nayanna_Interview

In keeping align with my methodological approach utilizing multimedia to conduct collaborative ethnography; the latest installments of the project were interview workshops.  In general, skill development workshops are a major component of this project.  The workshops focus on creative reconnaissance and technological skill building activities.  The participants and I work together (and with local experts) to learn more about different aspects of photography, video, and audio equipment and techniques, editing programs, blogging, creative writing, and more.  Furthermore, another purpose of the meetings and workshops is to familiarize the participants with the greater New York City area.

Last week, I met with the young ladies, in groups of two, at Washington Square in Manhattan. Throughout the day, each participant was able to enter and observe New York University’s Bobst Library (where they were granted limited access to the stacks and facility!), the Tisch School of Art’s ITP lab (the Interactive Telecommunications Program, where we borrow the 5D camera and audio recording equipment), and the CLACS office and rooms (the Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies, where the footage was actually recorded).  Each pair played artistic directors in setting the stage for their interview session. Unfortunately, a light decided to begin its slow, blinking decline during the “talk show” style interview, but the cameras kept rolling in order to maintain the “flow” of the conversation.  Claritza and Valin decided that a conversation style would be the most comfortable and effective approach.  Continue reading

Estudia y DESOBDC: the Higher Education Debate in Colombia

McLoughlin - Colombia - Graffiti

“Study and Disobey,” graffiti from the Plaza de Bolivar

I wasn’t in Bogotá for last year’s spate of student strikes and protests, nor have I seen its student movement in action. Its wake, however, is everywhere.

The graffiti doesn’t last long in the ritzier areas of the city. It’s wiped off advertisements rather quickly; the pretty woman declaring her desire to “estudiar” from the wall of the bus stop by my hostel was, by morning, yearning once more for the “solidez” of the cell phone network Claro. It lasts longer on university walls, but the artistic vandalism is at its most rambunctious and its most visceral in the Centro, where colonial architecture becomes a platform for modern conflicts and paintball protests have turned government buildings into Jackson Pollock paintings.

Sometimes it’s hard to discern who’s responsible for what when conducting graffiti archaeology; Bogotá is a city with protests in its mortars and a lot to be discontent about. Continue reading

Newcomers in New York: The Project

Marisa Cadena Belski - NYC - diploma Graduating high school is an emotional time for any teen.  It can be a simultaneously scary and exciting experience, a mix of anxious emotions to embark on a new life outside the confines (and safety) of the school, to tread the waters of the ‘real world.’  The story incurs an added twist when that apprehensive teen happens to be an English Language Learner who immigrated only a few years prior.  The opportunities and obstacles that that youth will encounter upon graduation are daunting.  Many newcomer youth have had interrupted schooling and have immigrated during their high school years.  They have been uprooted for a multitude of reasons by their families (or own volition) and landed in New York City with hopes of finishing their education and commencing a new life full opportunities.  The reality they encounter is not an easy one; most have not learned English prior to migration and many have to repeat years of schooling because records or curriculum from the home country do not transfer (Suárez-Orozco, Suárez-Orozco and Todorova, 2008).  This is all paired with a cultural and linguistic shock on top of the stressful (and sometimes violent) process of migrating.  Currently, an estimated 30% of 68 million youth are of foreign descent in the U.S.  Subsequently, these youth and their children will have a great impact on the trajectory of higher education and the labor market, as well as the cultural and political landscape of this nation (Rumbaut and Komazie, 2010:45; Flanagan and Levine 2010; Lopez and Marcelo 2008; Stepick, Stepick and Labisserie 2008).

It is important to understand this growing population to ensure they have the chance to positively contribute to the U.S. economy and society, as well as have the chance to accomplish any goal that they set forth.  By following the decision-making processes of these youth coupled with an insider view of their lives will provide a vital understanding of what institutional and societal obstacles and opportunities exist to help or hinder them in accomplishing their goals.  In my preliminary assessment of the students’ situations and recent research, it has become apparent that there remains a dearth of understanding of the particular needs and experiences of newcomer young adults in the U.S, especially as they transition out of the high school educational institution. Continue reading

WiPLASH Features Groundbreaking Research on Latin America

WiPLASHCLACS is committed to supporting – and disseminating – cutting-edge research on Latin America and the Caribbean across disciplines. In addition to ongoing events like the CLACS Research Colloquium, CLACS also co-hosts WiPLASH.

Works in Progress in Latin American Society and History (WiPLASH) provides an interdisciplinary space for NYC Consortium students and faculty to present and discuss their ongoing research on different topics concerning Latin America. Papers are pre-circulated, and then presented to a small group of students and scholars. After a brief presentation related to the pre-circulated paper, those in attendance partake in an in-depth (and supportive!) discussion.  Because the focus of the event is on works in progress, presenters have a chance to test out ideas, and attendees have access to groundbreaking scholarship in a rather informal, workshop setting.

The most recent WiPLASH event featured Alexandra Delano’s research on “Mexico and Its Diaspora in the United States: Past and Present.” Delano is Assistant Professor of Global Studies at The New School for Social Research. Her discussant was Alyshia Galvez, Assistant Professor of Latin American and Puerto Rican Studies, Lehman College/City University of New York.
Continue reading

Congratulations to our January 2012 MA Graduates!

NYU - TorchThe following graduates completed the CLACS MA program in three semesters. We offer you warmest congratulations, and best wishes as you embark on the next phases of your lives. Felicidades, graduates! Keep in touch!!

Kate Bedecarre, Katti Wachs, Sam Ginsburg, Sofia Huizar, Esther Mares, Yesenia Fernadez, Daniel Tate

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.

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

CLACS Alum Christine Weible at El Museo del Barrio

Photo courtesy El Museo del Barrio - Artist: Nicolás García Uriburu

CLACS alum Christine Weible was recently awarded a one-year fellowship at El Museo del Barrio.   El Museo is a Latino cultural institution dedicated to promoting Latin American and Caribbean art and culture.

Christine will be working in the education department where she will develop curriculum, organize events, and design and lead gallery tours in both Spanish and English.

At CLACS, Christine’s research focused on ESMA, formerly known as the Escuela Superior de Mecánica de la Armada. During the Argentine Dirty War, ESMA was the largest detention center implicated in human rights crimes such as torture and disappearances.  This facility now functions as a museum of memory, officially the Espacio para la memoria y para la promoción y defensa de los Derechos Humanos. The “Museo para la memoria” came together as a collaboration between numerous human rights organizations, such as the Madres de la Plaza de Mayo. Christine was interested in the role of collective memory in this and other such facilities in Argentina.

Christine Weible

Christine has a long history of work and research in the field of Latin American art.  As an undergraduate student she completed a dual B.A. in Spanish and Art History. She has also had several internships in the field – notably with the Fundación Cisneros.

Posted by Von Diaz – MA Candidate at CLACS / Global Journalism at NYU