Brendan Jamal Thornton (Religious Studies) earns Barbara T. Christian Literacy Award

Brendan Jamal Thornton (Religious Studies) earned the Barbara T. Christian Literary Award presented by the Caribbean Studies Association to the best book in the Humanities in 2017 for his book Negotiating Respect: Pentecostalism, Masculinity, and the Politics of Spiritual Authority in the Dominican Republic (Gainesville: Florida University Press, 2016).

Yucatec Maya students make connections

The Level 2 students of the Yucatec Maya  Institute deepened their knowledge of the continuity between ancient and contemporary Maya culture last week through an excursion to the archeological sites of Uxmal and Mayapán.  They were joined by a group of students studying Education and Migration under Dr. Patricia Baquedano-López of the University of California at Berkeley. The trip was enriched by the contributions of archeologist Felipe Chan Chi, whose family has lived alongside the Uxmal site for generations and who offered privileged insight into the purpose, function, and symbolism of the historic structures, and by Dr. Juan Castillo Cocom, who made a surprise appearance at Mayapan to explain how oral accounts of ancient events serve competing power interests today. The day’s activities fostered unique conversations about the conditions under which the Yucatec Maya language has developed and continues to flourish.

Patricia A. McAnany (Anthropology) receives grant from Department of State

Patricia A. McAnany (Anthropology) received a grant from the Department of State, “Maya from the Margins: Archives and Experiences of History, Identity, and Migration,” administered by the American Alliance for Museums.  Delivered the V. Gordon Childe Lecture at University College London in May 2017.

Jacqueline Hagan (Sociology) elected Chair of International Migration Section and awarded 2016 Outstanding Book Award

Jacqueline Hagan (Sociology) was elected Chair of International Migration Section of American Sociological Association.  She was recipient of the 2016 Outstanding Book Award from the Inequality, Poverty, and Mobility Section of the American Sociological Association for the book, Skills of the “Unskilled:” Work and Mobility among Mexican Migrant (Oakland: University of California Press, 2015).  She was appointed as Scholar in Residence at Fudan University, Shanghai, during the summer of 2017

Angela Stuesse (Anthropology) awarded 2017 C.L.R. James Award and 2016 Society for the Anthropology of Work Book Prize

Angela Stuesse (Anthropology) received the Working-Class Studies Association C.L.R. James Award for Published Books for Academic or General Audiences and the Society for the Anthropology of Work Book Prize for her book Scratching Out a Living: Latinos, Race, and Work in the Deep South (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2016.)

 

Cynthia Radding (History) awarded Fulbright-García Robles Senior Scholar Fellowship

Cynthia Radding, Gussenhoven Distinguished Professor, was awarded a Fulbright-García Robles Senior Scholar Fellowship to complete her book project, “Bountiful Deserts: Environment, Nutrition, and Cultural Resilience in Arid Lands.” She will be in residence in Mexico City during Academic Year 2017-2018, where she is affiliated with the Instituto de Investigaciones Históricas at the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México. During May-August 2018, she will be in residence with a fellowship at the John Carter Brown Library of Brown University.

 

Miguel La Serna (History) receives American Council of Learned Societies Collaborative Research Grant

Miguel La Serna received an American Council of Learned Societies Collaborative Research Grant to complete his co-authored book (together with Duke University anthropologist Orin Starn), tentatively titled “The Last Revolution: Shining Path and the War for the End of the World.” Peru’s Shining Path insurgency led a whole generation of scholars, military experts, and policymakers to puzzle over just what led a small band of Maoists to such macabre extremes in the final two decades of the twentieth century. Yet, the full story of the Andean insurrection has never been told. “The Last Revolution” is the first complete history of the guerrilla group’s rise and fall.

Adam Versenyi (Dramatic Arts) receives prestigious Travis Bogard Artist in Residence Fellowship

Adam Versenyi received the prestigious Travis Bogard Artist in Residence Fellowship at the Eugene O’Neill Tao House at University of California, Berkeley.  The Fellowship is for scholars whose work is focused on the performing arts.

From the Director: Academic Year 2016-2017 in Review

Louis A. Pérez is the J. Carlyle Sitterson Professor of History and the Director of the Institute for the Study of the Americas.

As the tempo of academic life at Carolina slows into “summer mode,” we pause to reflect upon the accomplishments of the past year with a rightful sense of satisfaction. We are especially pleased to announce that during the academic year 2016-2017, the Institute for the Study of the Americas has awarded more than $250,000 in the form of grants, fellowships, and stipends to support undergraduate education, graduate-student research, graduate-student recruitment, language training, travel, and faculty development projects. The study of Latin America is indeed flourishing in Chapel Hill and in the aggregate makes for a vibrant environment of innovative research and professional engagement.

Global Take Off: Puerto Rico program offers first-year students a fully-funded opportunity to participate in a first-time travel experience.

ISA initiatives have continued to increase in numbers and expand in scope. The breadth of interest in Latin America at Carolina has served as the basis for a number fruitful collaborative projects on the basis of shared goals and common purpose. These have involved multiple and multifaceted activities across the College and throughout the University, within the humanities and social sciences, and the development of wider collaborative networks with the professional schools. The success of the activities during academic year 2016-2017 serves to sustain the pursuit of best practices in undergraduate education, graduate training, faculty research, and outreach initiatives.

ISA joined with the Center for Global Initiatives, the Stone Center for Black Culture and History, and the University of Puerto Rico in support of the Global Take Off: Puerto Rico Program. The open-access program offers first-year students a fully-funded opportunity to participate in a first-time travel educational experience. Twelve students participated in this year’s study program organized around the theme of food security in Puerto Rico.

ISA has also joined with the Gillings School of Global Public Health and the Pedro Kourí Institute of Tropical Medicine in Cuba to support the development of collaborative projects dealing with teaching, graduate student training, and faculty research.

Under the auspices of the Consortium, Duke and UNC hosted the very successful 64th annual meeting of the Southeastern Conference of Latin American Studies (SECOLAS) in March 2017. The 2017 Conference was one of the best attended SECOLAS programs in recent years, and included 265 registered participants from 22 states. A total of 66 panels addressed a diverse Latin American topics within the social sciences, humanities, and health sciences.

The City of Sanford awarded keys to Latino Migration Project Director Dr. Hannah Gill and Building Integrated Communities (BIC) Researcher and Coordinator Jessica White (pictured second from right) in recognition of the statewide BIC initiative.

In the course of the past year, ISA has continued to sponsor a variety of speaker programs designed to provide a venue for scholars from both within the University and beyond, including the Faculty Lecture Series, Latin America Speaker Series, and the Federico Gil Lecture Series. In this regard, we are especially gratified to announce the inauguration in 2017 of the George and Anne Platt Distinguished Lecture Series. The Series is designed to bring to Carolina annually a distinguished scholar of Latin American and/or Latino/a studies. This year’s inaugural scholar was Professor Vicki Ruiz, Distinguished Professor of History and Chicano/Latino Studies at the University of California at Irvine, who spoke on the subject of “Why Latino History Matters to U. S. History.”

In 2017, the Latino Migration Project (LMP) celebrated its tenth anniversary, providing research and public education about Latin American migration and integration in North Carolina. Some accomplishments this year include the expansion of staff capabilities with a grant from the Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation, new partnerships with Chapel Hill and Siler City to create municipal immigrant integration plans, and the tenth Guanajuato trip as part of APPLES Global Course Guanajuato. LMP was recipient of the National League of Cities’ City Cultural Diversity Award, and the Key to the City of Sanford. The NEH-Funded New Root Oral History initiative, a collaborative project with the University Libraries and the Southern Oral History Program, was recipient of the 2016 Elizabeth B. Mason Award from the Oral History Association.

Students (above) participated in the tenth APPLES Service-Learning Global Course Guanajuato taught by Hannah Gill

Important outside funding this past year has served to support important facets of ISA programs. An award from the Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation for $118,000 has provided the Latino Migration Project (LMP) vital support for the expansion the Building Integrated Communities (BIC) initiative. BIC assists municipal governments in North Carolina in working with foreign born residents to promote economic development, enhance multi-cultural communication, and improve community relationships.

ISA also acknowledges with appreciation the receipt this past year of a generous gift of $50,000 for the creation of the Director’s Fund for Excellence in Latin American Studies. The fund was formed to support the strategic priorities of the Curriculum of Latin American Studies, including but not limited to faculty and student support, public lectures, and program events.

It is with pleasure that we welcome Joanna Shuett to our corner of the Third Floor in the Global Education Center. Joanna has assumed the position of Department Manager and within just a few months has established a welcoming and efficient presence within ISA. We wish also to welcome Jessica White to Latino Migration Project to assume the new position of Research and Program Manager of Building Integrated Communities. We are delighted to have Jessica with us.

Beatriz Riefkohl Muñiz

Hannah Gill

Several notable accomplishments were registered within ISA in the course of the past year. The accomplishments of Beatriz Riefkohl Muñiz and Hannah Gill–long recognized within the community of Latin Americanists at Carolina–have been recognized by the University community at large. Beatriz received the University Award for the Advancement of Women, given by the office of Chancellor, in recognition of her contributions on behalf of women at Carolina, including mentorship of young professionals, years of leadership and advocacy of policies and cultures affecting women faculty, staff, and students. She has been an influential leader in collaborative efforts among area-study centers in the expansion of global education in North Carolina and Latin American Studies nationally.

Hannah was recognized for her years of engaged teaching and her commitment to the APPLES Service-Learning Global Course Guanajuato. Hannah was recipient of the 2017 Office of the Provost Public Service Award for Engaged Teaching. The annual spring semester course serves to train bilingual students to understand the contemporary and historical complexities of immigration through research, service-learning with immigrants in North Carolina and travel to communities of migrant origin in Guanajuato, Mexico.

2016-2017 graduating class of LTAM majors

We are delighted to congratulate the 2016-2017 graduating class of LTAM majors: Verónica Aguilar, Iris Chicas, Raina Enrique, Luis Daniel González Chávez, Lauren Groffsky, Jacqueline López, Michael Olson, Laura Ornelas, Damaris Osorio, Diego Suárez Salazar, and Jackson McKenna Wright. ISA extends its warmest best wishes for their continued success.

We end this review of academic year 2016-2017 to reflect on the personal and professional loss with the passing of Shelley Clarke. Shelley was vital a presence in all our endeavors for almost two decades. The lives of three generations of LTAM majors and two generations of graduate students were enhanced and their projects enabled through Shelley’s efforts. We will–and we do–miss Shelley–but the impact of her presence at ISA and the Latin Americanist community will endure for years to come. We celebrate her presence, the life she lived among us, and the ways she enriched the lives of almost everyone with whom she shared so much of herself.

 

Lou Pérez
June 2017

Former LTAM major Jackie López featured in “Amateur archivists”

Fourteen high school students listened attentively as University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill anthropologist Gabrielle Vail invited them to examine letters, drawings, photos, diaries, codices, newspapers and other Maya materials from the Southern Historical Collection in Wilson Library.

It was also a great experience for two Carolina undergraduate students who served as mentors. Jacqueline López was a senior pursuing a double major in Latin American studies and public policy. She spent six weeks in Yucatán in 2015 and worked with the students on learning Yucatec Maya.

“I didn’t start developing the tools to explore my own culture until I arrived at UNC,” said López, a first-generation college student. “To help them do that earlier in their careers has been so rewarding.”

Read the article in its entirety here: http://college.unc.edu/2017/05/30/amateur-archivists/