ENFOQUE SPRING 2012 NEWSLETTER
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Grad Student Conference Grad Student Conference Sustainability Dialogue Iran and Venezuela 2012: Tourism, Profit Jason Ruiz | João Ubaldo Cinema Maldito
The Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies at Indiana University A US Department of Education Title VI National Resource Center
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La Palabra en el Bosque Luz Rivera Martinez Beth Conklin Albert Valdman Eden Medina FLAS and Tinker Director’s Letter
First annual CLACS GRADUATE STUDENT CONFERENCE Latin American Studies in Practice: Theory Beyond the Academy During the past year, the Chilean student movement has generated a popular social mobilization that challenges key structures of the neo-liberal state in that country; environmental activists in Ecuador garnered one of the largest environmental settlements in history from the oil giant, Chevron; and, new market reforms in Cuba have brought significant changes to daily life on the island. The theme of this year’s innaugural CLACS Graduate Student Conference, “Latin American Studies in Practice,” encouraged participants to consider the relationship between scholarship and human practice beyond the academy. Literature and National History: Saturday, 9:00-10:15am History: Friday, 4:00-5:45pm Kevin Coleman (Indiana University)
Development and Human Rights: Friday, 2:00-3:45pm A. Sofía Rivera (Queen’s University at Kingston, Ontario) Stephanie Baker (University of Illinois at Chicago) Rachel Dotson (Indiana University) Andrew Shultz (Tulane University) Discussant - Christiana Ochoa (IU Professor of Law)
Timo Schaefer (Indiana University) Kate Furham (Western Washington University) Discussant - Jason McGraw (IU Professor of History) Keynote: Friday, 6:00-7:30pm Professor Daniel James (IU Bernardo Mendel Chair of Latin American History) “Between History and Memory: Oral History and the Challenge of the Memory Boom” Enfoque - Page 2
Cherif Diatta (Tulane University) Kyle Matthews (Brown University) Gael Guzman-Medrano (Georgia College & State University) Discussant - Alejandro MejiasLopez (IU Professor of Spanish and Portuguese)
APRIL 13-14, 2012
Media and the Politics of Documentation: Saturday, 4:00-5:45pm Michael Lemon (Indiana University) Chris Moore (Indiana University) Discussant - Michael T. Martin (IU Professor of Communication and Culture) Education: Saturday, 11:00am-12:45pm Kate Kedley (University of Iowa) Ngaire Honey (Tulane University) Abubacar Leon (York University, Ontario) Discussant - Daniel Suslak (IU Professor of Anthropology)
Indigenous Identity and the State: Saturday, 2:00-3:45pm Andrew Ehrinpreis (Stony Brook University)
Documentary Screening and Directorâ€™s Q&A: Saturday, 6:00-7:30pm
Sarah Foss (Vanderbilt University)
La Palabra en el Bosque (2011)
Edward Brudney (Indiana University)
With Jeffrey Gould, IU Rudy Professor of History
Discussant - L. Shane Greene (IU Professor of Anthropology/ CLACS Director)
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Michael Cepek and Andrew Mathews
On March 1st, CLACS hosted a dialogue with Michael Cepek of University of Texas San Antonio and Andrew Mathews of University of California Santa Cruz. The event, titled “Critical Approaches to Environmental Sustainability across Latin America,” is a part of CLACS’ Sustainable Development Initiative. Michael Cepek and Andrew Mathews are both emerging scholars in the field of environmental anthropology. Cepek’s work with indigenous Cofán people in the eastern lowlands and capital city of Ecuador explores the relationship between socioecological crisis, cultural difference, and directed change. His forthcoming book with University of Texas Press and his recent article in American Ethnologist, “Foucault in the Forest: Questioning Environmentality in Amazonia,” focus on relationships between Cofán actors and constellations of scientific knowledge, activist networking, and corporate power. Andrew Mathews studies the culture of environmental institutions and the links between local communities and national and global levels of power and knowledge. His recently published book Instituting Nature: Authority, Expertise, and Power in the
Mexican Forests (MIT, 2011), explores the history of forest management in Oaxaca, Mexico, and the relationships between state forestry institutions and indigenous forest communities. Both Cepek and Mathews are interested in the relationships, discourses, and forms of knowledge that link broader projects of environmentalism to local communities in Latin America. The event at Indiana University provided an opportunity for the two scholars to comment on each other’s work and engage in dialogue on the critical study of environmentalism in Latin America. Their discussion focused, among other things, on shared concerns with the potential and limitations of Foucauldian theory for a critical and engaged anthropology of environmentalism. This event was made possible by the Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies Sustainable Development Initiative, a U.S. Department of Education Title VI project.
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Geoff Thale - the Washington Office on Latin America
Iran Looking South? Latin American Politics, Foreign Policy and the Role of Iran
Foreign Policy Talk on Latin American and Middle Eastern Relations On Wednesday March 21st CLACS hosted a visitor from the Washington Office on Latin America (WOLA), Geoff Thale, who gave a talk titled “Iran Looking South? Latin American Politics, Foreign Policy, and the Role of Iran.” The initiative to launch a discussion about cross-regional geopolitics and international relations was a new and important one for CLACS, sparking considerable interest from diverse sectors all across campus. The multiple co-sponsors included the Maurer School of Law, Political Science, International Studies, the Center for the Study of Global Change, Center for the Study of the Middle East, and Islamic Studies. In order to generate a more robust cross-regional dialogue among relevant experts CLACS arranged for IU Professor of Anthropology and Central Eurasian Studies, Nazif Shahrani, to act as commentator.
Thale’s talk reflected on global news reports, US policy statements, and political pundit pieces that question the motives behind Iranian President Ahmadinejad’s visit to several Latin American countries in the fall of 2011, a visit that was largely the result of an invitation by Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez. A long time expert in US foreign policy towards Latin America, Thale concluded that Iran’s interest in Latin America’s “pink tide” countries (like Venezuela and Nicaragua, where a former Sandinista Daniel Ortega has been in office since 2007) seems to be of a largely symbolic and posturing nature rather than in pursuit of geopolitical enemies of the US in the Western Hemisphere. This is in constrast to some of the wildly exaggerated scaremongering in which conservative US politicians and news pundits have engaged as a result of Ahmadinejad’s visit to the Americas. To this perspective, Nazif Shahrani added more depth based on his own expertise in modern Islam and the state politics of the Middle East. In particular, he emphasized the importance of populist rhetoric, aimed to rally the poor sectors of countries suspicious of US power, as a point of connection between modern Islamic leaders like Ahmadinejad and leftist presidents like Hugo Chavez.
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Quetzil E. Castañeda and Al Jazeera: Is the Maya prophecy being exploited for profit?
CLACS Yucatec Maya Lecturer, Dr. Quetzil Castañeda, discusses the Future of the End of World on Al Jazeera English’s The Stream http://youtu.be/6a3F-zwrcdQ At the end of January, the Mexican government announced a capaign for promoting tourism to southern Mexico. This was billed as “Mayan Doomsday” travel in anticipation of the supposed end of the world prophecy associated with the completion of the great cycle of 5200 Maya years on December 21, 2012. This was all the hosts the Al Jazeera English TV talk show, The Stream, had been waiting for: A critical angle to discuss the Maya 2012 phenomenon. They invited Dr. Quetzil Castañeda, who teaches Maya language and culture and specializes in tourism studies, heritage development, Mexico, and representation, to discuss the 2012 tourism based on Maya prophecies of the End of the World. The Al Jazeera hosts focused the debate on the question, who is profiting on 2012 “Doomsday Tourism”? The announcement of the Mexican Government triggered a response by an Indigenous group in Chiapas, México, who denounced the tourism campaign as yet another example of the government leaving the Indigenous people out of policy and social processes that effect them. The other guest, Alejandra Quintanilla, a Yucatec historian of the colonial period, seconded the opinion that the Maya are being exploited by the government and by tourism. In contrast, IU’s Castañeda maintained that tourism in fact has been especially beneficial to the rural and Indigenous communities of Yucatán. He pointed out the Mexican government has been a pioneer of state organized tourism development that has successfully lead to widespread, pervasive socioeconomic development. Castañeda illustrated how the “trickle down” theory of development clearly was effective in a transforming stagnant regional economy and has been an effective path to increased economic participation and wealth for rural communities of Yucatán. In fact Castañeda’s work over the last twenty years has been an argument against the ideological denigration of tourism. The creation of Cancún and other Mexican poles of tourism development has sustained significant socioeconomic growth, he argues, and this factor must be considered alongside multiple clearly unwanted side effects, such as destruction of coral reefs. Castañeda, contrary to a number of opinions presented on the show, argued that it is in fact the obligation of the Mexican government to develop effective promotion of tourism from the U.S. Last year, in 2011, the overall drop of 4 million tourists, from 25 to 21 million, caused economic hardships throughout México. In Yucatán, this was felt not only in the major resorts of Cancún and the Maya Riviera but throughout less visited Maya communities. Moreoever, even educational tourism suffered 50 to 70% losses as reported by personal communication to Castañeda by the Dean of International Student Exchange Studies at the Universidad Autónoma de Yucatán. For Castañeda, the government promotion was a good strategy to counter the negative press caused by the Mexican “drug war.” By mid-February the Mexican government no doubt negotiated another victory when the US State Department modified its Travel Advisory to Mexico by stating clearly that certain places throughout Mexico, especially those that are internationally renowned tourism destinations are completely safe. Despite the lifting of a blanket ban against Mexico, many universities, such as Indiana, continue to prevent IU undergraduates from receiving grants and financial aid to do educational programs in México. On other side of the border, Mexicans and especially Indigenous Maya in Yucatán are anxiously awaiting US tourists this summer — they know their economic livelihood is at risk if the tourism flow is dammed. Enfoque - Page 6
Jason Ruiz, Assistant Professor of American Studies UNIVERSITY OF Notre Dame
Americans in the Treasure House: Travel to Porfirian Mexico and the Aesthetics of Economic Conquest The long dictatorship of Porfirio Díaz (1876-1911, a period known as the “Porfiriato”) marked both the emergence of modern Mexico and the start of large-scale tourism across the U.S.-Mexico border. Many thousands of Americans took advantage of the newly linked rail lines to see firsthand this “strange land near home” and to think about how they might take full advantage of the Díaz regime’s notorious friendliness to foreign investors. Some observers even referred to the presence of U.S. citizens at Mexican hotels, rail stations, and tourist haunts as a “foreign invasion”—a loaded term at the apex of U.S. imperialism. In a guest lecture on March 23, based on his forthcoming book of the same title, Jason Ruiz argued that travelers played a crucial but overlooked role in producing knowledge about Mexico and “Mexicanness” through literary and visual tropes that circulated in the United States during the Porfiriato. In particular, Ruiz elucidated the roles that discourses of race, gender, and sexuality played in shaping Mexico as a desirable but dangerous location in which to expand U.S. capitalist influence.
João Ubaldo Ribeiro Brazilian Academy of letters Born in Ilha de Itaparica, Bahia in 1941, João Ubaldo Ribeiro is widely considered one of the greatest Brazilian writers of his generation. His 1984 novel, Viva o Povo Brasileiro, won worldwide renown and was published in English in 1989 as An Invincible Memory. In 2008, Ubaldo was awarded the Prêmio Camões, widely considered the highest honor in Portuguese-language literature. With the kind collaboration of the University of Illinois, the Brazilian Consulate in Chicago, and the Brazilian Academy of Letters (of which he is a member), João Ubaldo Ribeiro spent the week of April 2 in residence on the IU-Bloomington campus. Drawing upon his longstanding interest in questions of nation-building and national identity in Brazil, he presented a lecture on April 3 titled “Four or Five Myths About Brazil and Latin America.” The following day, Ubaldo delivered a talk at the IU Lilly Library, together with his translator in several recent projects, Clifford Landers. That session, titled The Writer as Translator, The Translator as Writer, afforded significant time for questions from those in attendance. CLACS would like to extend sincere thanks to our colleagues in the IU Portuguese program Darlene Sadlier (Director), Luciana Namorato (Coordinator of the Brazilian Studies Working Group), and Estela Vieira - for their extraordinary efforts in making this residency possible. Enfoque - Page 7
Cinema Maldito: On the Margins of Brazilian Cinema
In February of 2012, CLACS and the Brazilian Studies Working Group partnered with the IU Cinema to host a unique view into an under-explored side of Latin American film history. While Brazilian and other Latin American cinemas are often discussed as being “peripheral”--accounting for woefully small percentages of their domestic markets, all dominated by the Hollywood giant--those very cinemas have developed their own margins, films which for various reasons fall outside the mainstream of domestic films. Brazil has a rich tradi-
tion of fervent creativity on the margins: there were always filmmakers ready, willing and able to challenge what passed for the establishment.
the film that more than any other launched what became known as the Brazilian underground (or cinema marginal) in the late Sixties, a response to worsening military dictaThe three films selected for the torship as well an aesthetic Cinema Maldito series all were challenge to the Cinema Novo produced in Sao Paulo, always movement that had thrust the junior partner to Rio in Brazilian cinema onto the Brazilian cinema. They repre- world stage. sented a variety of styles and approaches, from the ultraThe series was programmed low budget horror of Mujica and discussed by Columbia Marins (THIS NIGHT I WILL University’s Richard Peña, POSSESS YOUR CORPSE) Program Director of the New to the incisive critique of the York Film Festival. As part Brazilian Sixties that is ROof the series, Professor Peña MANCE. Also included was also delivered a lecture titled Rogerio Sganzerla’s remark“Confessions of a Festival able RED-LIGHT BANDIT, Academic.” Enfoque - Page 8
La Palabra en el Bosque IU Cinema Screening of the New Documentary Film by IU Rudy Professor of History Jeffrey Gould and Carlos Henríquez Consalvi
In January of 2012, CLACS proudly hosted the debut Indiana screening of the documentary film La Palabra en el Bosque (The Word in the Woods), the documentary released in 2011 by IU Rudy Professor of History Jeffrey Gould and Carlos Henríquez Consalvi. The screening, co-sponsored by the IU Cinema, was followed by an extended Q&A between Professor Gould and the more than 100 people in attendance. At the film’s beginning, peasants from Morazán, the poorest department of El Salvador, offer testimony about their participation in Christian Base Communities (CBC) beginning of the 1970s. An estimated one-third of the population of Northern Morazán (50,000 total population) joined the CBC. By the late 1970s most of those activists had joined either the guerrilla organization el Ejercito Revolucionario del Pueblo (ERP) or its mass organization las Ligas Populares 28 de Febrero (LP-28). By the early 1980s, Northern Morazán was a “liberated zone” controlled by the FMLN composed of the ERP and four other guerrilla groups. Former CBC activists who became guerrillas present a linear narrative about the growth of the guerrilla movement: the state repressed the CBCs and militants joined the ERP to combat the authorities. Further state terror caused masses of peasants to join the LP-28 who then responded to further jailings, tortures and killings by joining the
ERP and launching the revolutionary struggle. La Palabra en el Bosque suggests an alternative narrative without performing an overt critique from the people who recount their memories. It does so by allowing the ambivalence of some testimony to purposefully leave open interpretive possibilities. Why did some 30 catechists join the ERP in 1974 and 75, despite the lack of direct repression against the CEBs at that time? Access to the decision-making process in 1974 is obscured by the compression and accentuation of historical time induced by the revolutionary mobilization of 1977-80. In late 1977, a cycle of repression commenced that was so intense, brutal and arbitrary that an objective reassessment of the 1974 decision is extremely problematic. The cold fury directed at the National Guard and paramilitaries by the late 70s colored the moment when the campesinos opted to join the ERP. They thus attribute their initial adhesion to the ERP to local repression, even though CBC activists had suffered neither arrests nor torture. Ultimately, La Palabra en el Bosque emphasizes the utopian aspects of the Christian Base Communities – their highly developed communitarian and egalitarian qualities -- more than the heroism of the guerrillas. In so doing it suggests that those roots are perhaps most compelling today in a world where utopian thought and deep collective experiences have been banished to the dustbin marked “archaic.”
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Luz Rivera Martinez, Co-Founder Consejo Nacional Urbano Campesino, Tlaxcala, Mexico
Mexico Solidarity Network Red de Solidaridad con México Sowing Struggle: Urban and Rural Social Movements in Tlaxcala, Mexico On Friday March 9th, Indiana University students and faculty and Bloomington community members gathered at Rachael’s Café for a talk by Luz Rivera, a community organizer from Tlaxcala, Mexico.
Also during her visit to Bloomington, Luz Rivera was interviewed by Melissa Britton for Hola Bloomington, WFHB’s Spanish-language radio show. A podcast of the interview is available at www.wfhb.org.
Luz Rivera is the co-founder of the Consejo Nacional Urbano Campesino (CNUC), an organization that has worked for over twenty years organizing autonomous, communitybased projects in the state of Tlaxcala, located in east-central Mexico. Over the past two decades, CNUC has led campaigns focused on a wide range of issues including peasants’ and workers’ rights, trade, community health, and government accountability.
Luz Rivera’s talk was a part of a speaking tour organized by the Mexico Solidarity Network, a Chicago-based network that organizes around issues of human rights and economic justice on both sides of the US-Mexico border. More information is available at www.mexicosolidaritynetwork.org. This event was co-sponsored by CLACS, the Labor Studies Program, the Latino Studies Program, and the Department of American Studies.
Rivera focused her talk on CNUC’s current campaign to organize small farmers in Tlaxcala to respond to the threats posed by the encroachment of transgenic corn seeds. She spoke about the cultural and economic significance of corn in Tlaxcala, and the struggles of farmers to maintain small-scale production of this important crop. She linked the experiences of farmers in Tlaxcala to larger questions of free trade, neoliberalism, and democracy, and engaged with audience members in a lively discussion of NAFTA and Mexico’s upcoming presidential elections.
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Be t h Conk l in , Pr of e s s or of A n t hr op olo g y Va nd e r bilt Uni v e rsi t y “performing indigeneity and the politics of Possibility: from amzazonia to wall street, and beyond”
On March 28, 2012 CLACS and the CLACS Minority Cultures & Languages Program sponsored a visit from Professor Beth Conklin, associate professor of Anthropology and Religious Studies at Vanderbilt University. Dr. Conklin is a cultural and medical anthro pologist who has done extensive research in Brazil with indigenous Amazonian peoples. The main body of her work has focused on questions of health, bodies, and how people deal with death and loss. Her most well-known piece is a book entitled Consuming Grief: Compassionate Cannibalism in an Amazonian Society (2001). In it she explores a form of ritualized cannibalism once practiced by the Wari people. Friends and distant relatives once consumed the bodies of the deceased on behalf of their close kin in order to hasten their transition from human to spirit. Alternatives such as cremation or burial were viewed as less honorable or compassionate. In the morning, Dr. Conklin visited Dr. Stacie King and Dr. Sonya Atalay’s “Food in the Ancient World” archaeology course. The students had just read her book and were eager to meet with her to ask questions about her research. In the ensuing discussion the class took up the question of “what defines food” and how eating and consuming are not necessarily the same thing. Later that afternoon Dr. Conklin gave a talk entitled “Performing Indigeneity and the Politics of Possibility: From Amazonia to Wall Street, and Beyond” to a packed room of students and faculty from CLACS, Anthropology, Folklore, Latino Studies, and several other IU programs. A second focus of Dr. Conklin’s interests is the politics of indigenous rights, and the intersection between indigenous rights movements, environmentalist movements, and religious movements. Her writing on these subjects included articles entitled “Body Paint, Feathers, and VCRs: Aesthetics and Authenticity in Amazonian Activism” (1997), “Shamans versus Pirates in the Amazonian Treasure Chest” (2002), and “Environmentalism, Global Community, and the New Indigenism” (2006) In her presentation she took up the question of how Amazonian activists use music, movement, and “performances of indigeneity” to protest dam construction projects and other incursions that threaten their lands and livelihoods. At one and the same time they challenge public perceptions of who they are and what it means to be indigenous in the 21st century. Throughout her presentation she highlighted various points of similarity with the forms of protest taking place in the United States and around the world under the banner of the Occupy Movement. Find out more about Conklin’s research: 1997. “Body Paint, Feathers, and VCRs: Aesthetics and Authenticity in Amazonian Activism.” American Ethnologist 24(4):711-37. 2001. Consuming Grief: Compassionate Cannibalism in an Amazonian Society. Austin, TX: University of Texas Press. 2002. “Shamans versus Pirates in the Amazonian Treasure Chest.” American Anthropologist 104(4):1050-61. 2006. “Environmentalism, Global Community, and the New Indigenism,” in Inclusion and Exclusion in the Global Arena , ed. Max Kirsch. NY: Routledge.
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Faculty Spotlight Albert valdman
Albert Valdman has been a central contributor to CLACS programs for decades. Valdman is Rudy Professor Emeritus at IU, Bloomington where he established the Creole Institute, the only center in the United States which specializes in research and training in the area of applied linguistics with a focus on French-based creoles, and chaired the Departments of French & Italian and Linguistics. He has been instrumental in developing the Haitian Creole language program, currently offered by CLACS through its Minority Languages and Cultures Program, into a national leader in Haitian Creole language education. Through this program, graduate students successfully earn funding every year through the Foreign Language and Area Studies program (FLAS) for academic-year and summer study at IUB, other American universities, and Haitian institutions. Valdman was recently awarded the Médaille d’Or du Mérite Francophone from La Renaissance Francaise in Washington, D.C. This medal recognizes “those who devote themselves to the development or tightening of linguistic or cultural ties between France and other countries sharing the French language, or to the development of the French language and culture in their country.”Valdman’s most recent publications are The Haitian Creole-English Bilingual Dictionary (2007) and The Dictionary of Louisiana French as Spoken in Cajun, Creole, and American Indian Communities (2011), the first of its kind. Valdman earned his Ph.D. at Cornell University and has been awarded an honorary doctorate from the University of Neuchatel. He served as president of the International Association of Applied Linguistics and the American Association of Teachers of French. He currently serves on the Comité International des études Créoles. Valdman was recently recognized by the French Government as a Commandeur dans l’Ordre des Palmes Académiques and was received into the Ordre des francophones d’Amérique by the Couseil supérieur de la langue francaise in Quebec.
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Faculty Spotlight eden medina During her seven years at IU-Bloomington, Eden Medina has built an impressive profile as a dynamic scholar, an awardwinning teacher, and a devoted member of the CLACS community. Dr. Medina was recently promoted to Associate Professor in the School of Informatics and also serves as an adjunct professor of History. Dr. Medina’s research interests center on the history of technology, particularly the relationship of politics and technological development in Chile. Her first monograph, Cybernetic Revolutionaries: Technology and Politics in Allende’s Chile (MIT Press, 2011), explores the development of Proyecto Synco, a cybernetic computer system designed to map, monitor, and control the socialist economy in Chile under President Salvador Allende. Medina critically explores the extent to which the socialist values of worker empowerment and bottom-up control were embedded in the design of the computing system as well as the extent to which Project Cybersyn implemented a top-down system of control of the socialist economy. Rejecting facile notions of technological determinism and unproblematic flows of technology from Europe and United States to Latin America, she reveals the manner in which political projects and technological systems co-produce the other. Dr. Medina’s work has helped call attention to Latin America in the field of history of technology, an area that has typically focused on Europe and the United States. Studies of the history of technology in Latin America have helped focus attention in that field on the adaptation of technology in local contexts, the salience of the relationship between technology and labor, and the nature of technology transfer between Europe and the United States and Latin America.
Dr. Medina is spending the Spring 2012 semester in Santiago, Chile as a Fulbright Senior Specialist in the area of Engineering Education. For this program, she is helping to design a social informatics curriculum for the Computer Science Department at the University of Chile. Last year, Indiana University recognized Dr. Medina’s dedication to teaching and her important research with the 2011 Outstanding Junior Faculty Award. Dr. Medina is currently co-editing a volume under contract with MIT Press with Ivan da Costa Marques and Christina Holmes entitled Beyond Imported Magic: Studying Science and Technology in Latin America. She has served on the CLACS steering committee since Fall 2008. Enfoque - Page 12
Recipients of the 2012 Tinker Field Research Grants Alex Badillo Mexico Rosalie Lopez Mexico Eric Bindler Costa Rica Chris Moore Argentina Edward Brudney
Julian Carillo Mexico Stephen Fafulas Peru
David Nemer Brazil
Andrew Smith Brazil Amara Stuehling Costa Rica
Elizabeth Juarez-Cummings Mexico
ACADEMIC YEAR AWARDS, 2012-2013 Heather McFadden Quechua
SUMMER 2012 AWARDS Edward Brudney
Robert Stearman Portuguese Nicholas Tschida-Reuter Haitian Creole Chanelle Wactor Haitian Creole
Simon Hurst-Dodd John Kroondyk
Bryan Rupert Quechua Enfoque - Page 14
A Message From the Director
Saludo del Director
Here’s to hoping that the first year in the Directorship is the most difficult but also one of the more memorable. I expect to meet some of the same challenges next time feeling better equipped and to confront the new ones with the knowledge that as long as I’m surrounded by buena gente, pues, nada, todo saldrá bien. That later part about the buena gente – y el compromiso que viene incluido – is hard to overstate; indeed it has been a constant source of support the entire academic year. CLACS entered Year 2 of the current Title VI cycle in the midst of significant change both at Indiana University and nationally. Significant but interesting challenges lie ahead as the College of Arts and Sciences at IU begins to work toward the creation of a School of International and Area Studies. This is an initiative that promises greater cross-unit collaboration between the various area studies centers on campus and in which CLACS aims to be a meaningful contributor. Following a year of steep national budget cuts in Title VI funding, National Research Centers all across the country wait to see what exactly the future holds for federal grants in support of area studies, an open question answered only with time. Despite the changing academic landscape CLACS maintained a very busy calendar. We sponsored several events both small and large, combining new programming initiatives with well-established territory. We are particularly proud of having hosted the first inaugural CLACS graduate student conference in Latin American Studies on April 13-14. It was an idea for intellectual exchange among graduate students that our GAs rallied around with amazing success, resulting in participation from visiting graduate students from as far away as Washington State, New York, and Canada. We pursued another non-traditional path by inviting Geoff Thale from the Washington Office on Latin America to lead a foreign policy discussion about geopolitical relations between Iran and various Latin American countries. To these new initiatives we added multiple other activities associated with our major grant rubrics in Brazilian Studies, Minority Languages and Cultures, and Sustainable Development Initiative. The Brazilian Studies group showed a series of wonderful films and held discussions in February in collaboration with the IU Cinema. CLACS also hosted a critical dialogue between two emerging environmental scholars on problems of sustainability in Latin America in early March. Later that same month the MLCP sponsored an engaging presentation about performance and politics by Beth Conklin, undoubtedly one of the most well-known anthropologists working in Brazil on indigenous Amazonia. All this merely to mention the major events CLACS has been involved in during the Spring semester and unfortunately without the space to include mention of multiple others we helped co-sponsor. Some of those events, like the extraordinary conference “Desencuentros” (in which CLACS merely lent a helping hand to an already efficient organizing team), took place a little too late in the calendar to make it into this edition of Enfoque. But stay tuned for the fall edition of the newsletter where we expect it to make an appearance. In short, I want to thank everyone who works at and contributes to the life of the Center for making my first year as Director such an enjoyable, productive, and creative one. Hasta la próxima. Shane Greene
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The Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies at Indiana University 1125 E. Atwater Ave. Bloomington, IN 47401 Phone 812.855.9097 Fax 812.855.5345 Email: email@example.com Visit: www.indiana.edu/~clacs
Please help support CLACS today! The Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies at Indiana University
Your support provides that added measure of funding to help maintain and enhance the quality of education we provide. Gifts are tax-deductible as allowed by law.
L. Shane Greene Director
Matthew J. Van Hoose Associate Director
Richard Valdez Administrative Secretary Sarah Bosk Academic Secretary Graduate Assistants Rachel Dotson John Kroondyk Michael Lemon Sonia Manriquez
Mailing Address: ________________________________ Enclosed, please find my contribution in the amount of: □ $500 □ $250 □ $100 □ $50 □ Other ___________ Donations made out to “Indiana University Foundation” may be mailed to: Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies Indiana University 1125 E. Atwater Ave. Bloomington, IN 47401 Online donations may be made with a credit card via the CLACS website at www.indiana.edu/~clacs. Attention Alumni! Please send us updates on your activities to share in our next edition of Enfoque. Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.