2016 Call for Proposals, UNC-Duke Consortium in Latin American and Caribbean Studies Annual Conference

at The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and Duke University

2016 Call for Proposals
10th UNC-Duke Consortium in Latin American and Caribbean Studies Annual Conference
February 12-13, 2016

Latin America and the Caribbean: Approximations of the Past, Anticipation of the Future

Submission Deadline: MONDAY, DECEMBER 7, 2015, 5:00PM (This is a firm deadline – late submissions will not be considered.)

The UNC – Duke Consortium in Latin American and Caribbean Studies is pleased to invite you to participate, propose panels and individual submissions, and/or nominate graduate students to the 12th annual Consortium Conference, to take place February 12 and 13, 2016 at Duke University’s John Hope Franklin Center and UNC’s FedEx Global Education Center.

This year the conference emphasizes collaborative work in Latin American and Caribbean Studies, exemplified by the research, scholarship, and practice of current scholars working at the UNC and Duke Consortium. We encourage proposals that demonstrate multidisciplinary approaches to Latin American and Caribbean research. Attention will be given principally to panels focusing on issues related to theory and praxis of Latin American studies from the social sciences, humanities, arts, health and environmental sciences.

We invite submissions for panels and/or short presentations by individuals, collaborators, or working groups. Panel proposals are strongly encouraged. The conference welcomes alternative formats such as multimedia presentations, film screenings, and performances by participants (that maintain the panel format and do not include complex production). Typically, sessions meet for a total of 90 minutes.

Please submit your proposal electronically no later than Monday, December 7, 2015 to Miguel Rojas-Sotelo mlr34@duke.edu (please use as subject line: 2016 Consortium Conference). Your proposal should include a title and a brief (250-word) description of the topic to be addressed, as well as name(s), affiliation(s), and e-mail addresses of the participant(s). Attachments in PDF are preferred, but if you send the information in the body of an e-mail message, be sure that your formatting includes international characters.

For more information, contact Miguel Rojas Sotelo (mlr34@duke.edu), Natalie Hartman (njh@duke.edu), or Beatriz Riefkohl-Muñiz (riefkohl@email.unc.edu).

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Latin American Studies at UNC Celebrates 100th Anniversary

See the original post here.

By Katie Bowler Young

LatinAmericanStudiesPromo_480x320_v03-325x250The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill is celebrating the 100th anniversary of Latin American studies on campus during the 2015-16 academic year.

“This is a remarkable anniversary,” says Jonathan Hartlyn, senior associate dean for social sciences and global programs in the UNC College of Arts and Sciences and a scholar of Latin American political science. “It helps explain why Carolina has long been at the forefront of Latin American scholarship—helping the university build extensive and deep relations with universities and colleagues in the United States and throughout Latin America.”

In conjunction with the anniversary, the UNC Institute for the Study of the Americas published One Hundred Years of Latin American Studies at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 1915-2015, prepared by the institute’s Director Louis A. Pérez and Associate Director Beatriz Riefkohl Muñiz. The book examines the history of Latin American courses and curricula at the University and offers tribute to leaders who have supported the area of study.

The first course with Latin American content at UNC was introduced in 1915. Professor William W. Pierson offered “Spanish-American History” in what was then the Department of History and Government. In conjunction with the course, Pierson published a syllabus on Latin American history, which—for a mere 25 cents—provided one of the earliest guides to an area of study for which there were very few English-language textbooks or survey histories.

In the following decades, the Latin American studies curriculum gradually expanded, with additional offerings in history, government, Romance languages, geology and geography. By the 1940s, the expansion of U.S. activity with Latin America —ranging from trade and commerce to leisure travel—was reflected in the increase in activity at UNC as well.

By this time, undergraduate and graduate education in Latin American studies began taking its current shape, with both levels of study approached in an interdisciplinary manner and influenced by the complexities of the history of the region.

Carolina also saw a rapid growth in incoming students from Latin America. The establishment of the Inter-American Institute in 1940, in cooperation with the University of San Marcos in Lima, Peru, created a program offering English-language training at UNC. The program was developed by an early advocate for Latin American studies at UNC and in the United States, Professor Sturgis Leavitt, who collaborated with Víctor Andrés Belaúnde Terry, director of the summer school in Lima, to create the program. The inaugural class brought 108 students to UNC from seven Latin American countries in 1941.

“It was a time of remarkable progress at UNC,” says Pérez, who notes that Leavitt’s contributions ensured that UNC was truly “of the two Americas.”

Latin American studies continued to expand over the years, with content included in courses in political science, anthropology, city and regional planning and economics. This growth occurred even despite the challenges that the 1950s brought, with a deepening of hostility toward the U.S. throughout the region in the post-war years.

UNC developed new initiatives, such as a 1960s Department of State-sponsored exchange program that brought 15 Cuban students to campus at a time of deep estrangement between Cuba and the United States. This, and other similar activity, continued to put UNC’s Latin American programs at the forefront of international activity throughout the Americas.

The programs and activities that Leavitt began were further strengthened by Federico G. Gil, a Cuban-born UNC scholar on Latin American governments—Chile in particular—and on Latin American-United States relations. Gil became director of the Institute for Latin American Studies, now the Institute for the Study of the Americas (ISA), in 1959 and served in this role until 1983. During his tenure, he was instrumental in the formation of the Latin American Studies Association (LASA), serving as a founding member and as president in 1971. Three additional UNC-Chapel Hill faculty members have also served as LASA president: Henry Landsberger, Lars Schoultz and Evelyne Huber.

Gil’s role in bringing forward Latin American scholarship throughout the U.S. is acknowledged in an award given each year by the Institute for the Study of the Americas. In recognition of Gil’s “receptivity to new ideas and approaches … especially his promotion of empirically based research,” the institute presents the Gil Award for the Best Undergraduate Honors Thesis written on a Latin American or Caribbean topic.

By the close of Gil’s tenure, there were 50 faculty members at UNC who devoted more than half their research and teaching to the study of Latin America. Today, there are more than 80. Many of their efforts are brought together through the Institute for the Study of the Americas, one of 20 National Resource Centers funded by the U.S. Department of Education to advance the study of Latin America.

The institute has been an integral part of the campus. Today, Latin American studies extends to a range of programs and initiatives, including the Latino Migration Project, the Yucatec Maya Summer Institute, Environmental Studies in the Galápagos, the Jewish Studies in Buenos Aires Summer Program, UNC in Costa Rica, and a many other community and campus programs, lectures and films.

The institute also offers funding for faculty and graduate and undergraduate activities, with $225,000 in fellowship and travel support available to enable students to pursue their research in Latin America—and has helped build UNC’s library collections, where there are now more than 388,000 volumes related to Latin America, including 265,000 volumes in Spanish and Portuguese.

The Institute for the Study of the Americas is also part of a consortium with Duke University, a collaboration first made possible by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation in 1989 and fortified with the first National Resource Center award at UNC. U.S. Department of Education funding has been continuous since 1991 and has allowed the institute to continue expanding offerings.

Learn more about the institute at isa.unc.edu.

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NEW! Policy Report, UNC School of Law Human Rights Policy Seminar

Faculty Adviser Deborah Weissman welcomes the group

Faculty Adviser Deborah Weissman welcomes the group

Read it now.

Over 20 students and community members gathered in the spring in Chapel Hill for a UNC School of Law Human Rights Policy Seminar presentation called, “Municipalities, Immigrant Communities, and Title VI compliance.” The presentation highlighted Building Integrated Communities and language rights.

Reef Ivey II Distinguished Professor of Law and Faculty Adviser Deborah Weissman began the program with an introduction of the UNC School of Law students and the policy completed.

The brief has four sections:

  • Law, Legal Norms, and Language Rights
  • Assessments
  • Oversight, Compliance, and Best Practices
  • Special Populations—Unaccompanied Minors

UNC School of Law student Ikee Gardner presents on a survey of law enforcement on the growing international community in NC

The presenters began by highlighting that language is “often decisive in defining differences, and represents perhaps the most notable obstacle that arises as Limited English Proficient speakers (LEPs) weave themselves into the tapestry of North Carolina communities.” The European Union, having 24 official languages, was shown as an ideal model for establishing language rights for all North Carolina residents.

Building Integrated Communities partners in Winston-Salem and High Point were also discussed for their outstanding practices for community integration and language access.

We were so pleased that the Director, Human Relations Department for the City of Winston-Salem, Wanda Allen-Abraha, attended the event as well as Terry Hodges, Compliance Attorney, Office of General Counsel. Hodges’ responsibilities include Title VI compliance in the NC Department of Health and Human Resources local agencies that receive federal assistance.


Latino Migration Project Director Dr. Hannah Gill (left) with Director, Human Relations Department for the City of Winston-Salem, Wanda Allen-Abraha, J.D.

Many thanks to the UNC School of Law Human Rights Policy Seminar students: Ashleigh Davis, Ikee Gardner, Patricia Heyen, Jacob Oakes, Caroline Outten, Leslie Puzo, Shun Ming Yau and Faculty Adviser, Deborah Weissman. 


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Searching for Site Q: Exploration, Archaeology, and Decipherment at La Corona, Guatemala

Searching for Site Q: Exploration, Archaeology, and Decipherment at La Corona, Guatemala
The George E. Stuart Memorial Lecture
Thursday, October 1, 2015

Wilson Special Collections Library
5:30 p.m. Viewing of the exhibition Chronicles of Empire: Spain in the Americas
6:00 p.m. Program

Free and open to the public
Information: Liza Terll, Friends of the Library, (919) 548-1203

An archaeological mystery will be the subject of the George E. Stuart Memorial Lecture at UNC’s Wilson Special Collections Library on October 1. David Stuart, a scholar of Maya writing, will tell the story of the discovery of “Site Q” in Guatemala. Now known as “La Corona,” it is one of the most interesting dynastic centers of ancient Maya civilization.

“Site Q” first came to the attention of archaeologists during the 1960s, when numerous ancient Maya sculptures appeared on the international art market. Archaeologists and art historians were unable to identify a ruin that could be the source of these works. Looters had plundered from a mystery site that came to be known by archaeologists as “Site Q,” for “question.”

In 1997, a team of archaeologists, including David Stuart, set out to investigate an unnamed site in northern Guatemala. Upon entering the ruins, Stuart realized that he was in Site Q, and he named the ruins “La Corona.” Today La Corona is the center of intensive archaeological and epigraphic research and has yielded important new discoveries.

Stuart is the David and Linda Schele Professor of Mesoamerican Art and Writing at the University of Texas at Austin. In 1984, he became at age 18 the youngest person to receive a MacArthur fellowship. Stuart has published widely on the archaeology and epigraphy of ancient Maya civilization. His books include The Order of Days (Random House, 2011) and, with George E. Stuart, Palenque: Eternal City of the Maya (Thames & Hudson, 2008). He operates the blog Maya Decipherment.

Stuart is the son of the late Dr. George E. Stuart, who, along with his wife, Melinda Y. Stuart, donated his collection of nearly 13,000 volumes about archaeology and anthropology to the UNC Libraries in 2007. The Stuart Collection is particularly rich in materials related to the Maya.

Stuart’s lecture is sponsored by the Howren Fund of the Institute for the Study of the Americas at UNC-Chapel Hill. It complements Chronicles of Empire: Spain in the Americas, the Rare Book Collection’s fall exhibition in the Melba Remig Saltarelli Exhibit Room of Wilson Library. Lecture attendees are invited to tour the exhibition beginning at 5:30 p.m. The free public exhibition will be on view through January 10, 2016.

– See more at: http://blogs.lib.unc.edu/news/index.php/2015/09/site-q/#sthash.cSJLfPx9.dpuf

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Damming Sonora: Water, Agriculture, and Environmental Change in Northwest Mexico

Sterling Evans, Louise Welsh Chair, Director of Graduate Studies, Department of History, University of Oklahoma
September 22, 2015 at 5:30pm
Room 4003 | FedEx Global Education Center
    This presentation seeks to explore the water history of Sonora, Mexico (just south of Arizona). Every river in the state has been dammed, some more than once. The result is that Sonora, characterized by some of North America’s harshest deserts, is now the most agriculturally productive region of Mexico via intensive irrigation made possible by the dams. Along the way there have been serious social and environmental consequences, all of which are significant aspects of damming Sonora.


sterlingevansSterling Evans holds the Louise Welsh Chair in Southern Plains and Borderlands History at the University of Oklahoma where he teaches Latin American, environmental, and borderlands history. His research interests include North American transnational history and ecosystem or landscape histories that transcend national boundaries. He is the author of Bound in Twine: The Henequen-Wheat Complex for Mexico and the American and Canadian Plains, 1880-1950 (Texas A&M, 2007) and The Green Republic: A Conservation History of Costa Rica (Texas, 1999). His current book project,Damming Sonora: An Environmental and Transnational History of Water, Agriculture, and Society in Northwest Mexico (Arizona, forthcoming) is nearing completion. He is also researching the history of the sugar industry in the Cauca Valley of Colombia as part of his interests in commodity chains. He has edited two volumes, one on American Indian history as a companion reader for U.S. survey courses (Praeger, 2002), and the other entitled The Borderlands of the American and Canadian Wests: Essays on Regional History of the 49th Parallel (Nebraska, 2006). His PhD was from the University of Kansas, and he previously taught at the University of Alberta, Humboldt State University, and Brandon University of Manitoba.

The speaker series is co-sponsored by the UNC Water Theme Committee and the Department of History.

Event co-sponsored by The Institute for the Study of the Americas.

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Chronicles of Empire: Spain in the Americas

Originally posted from our UNC Global friends
Spain’s discovery, conquest and settlement of the Western hemisphere is examined through the outstanding holdings in the Rare Book Collection at Louis Round Wilson Library at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. This includes the Bernard J. Flatow Collection of Latin American Cronistas, as well as other sixteenth- and seventeenth-century volumes. These early printed books demonstrate how the new graphic media communicated globally the story of Spain’s imperial enterprise, the first truly global empire.

This exhibition is part of the Institute for the Study of the Americas commemoration, “One Hundred Years of Latin American Studies at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill 1915-2015.” It will be on display in the Melba Saltarelli Exhibit Room of the Wilson Special Collections Library from Sept. 14 to Jan. 10, 2016.

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Southeastern Council of Latin American Studies—Call for proposals


63rd Annual Conference
Cartagena, Colombia
March 9-13, 2016 | Call for papers

The 63rd Annual Meeting of SECOLAS will take place in Cartagena, Colombia from Wednesday, March 9, 2016 to Sunday, March 13, 2016. SECOLAS invites faculty members, independent scholars and graduate students to submit panel and individual paper proposals for participation in the conference. Submissions on any aspect of Latin American and/or Caribbean Studies are welcomed. Graduate student presenters will be eligible to apply for the Ed Moseley Award for the best paper presented at the SECOLAS meeting. After the conference, all presenters will be eligible to submit their paper for publication consideration in The Latin Americanist, an international, peer-reviewed journal published by SECOLAS and Wiley Blackwell.


The Southeastern Council of Latin American Studies (SECOLAS)
SECOLAS is a non-political and non-profit association of individuals interested in Latin America. Its objectives are the promotion of interest in Latin America, scholarly research pertaining to Latin America in all fields, and the increase of friendly contacts among the peoples of the Americas.

SECOLAS holds one annual meeting each spring, at which scholarly papers and other activities are presented, as well as, the business meeting of members. SECOLAS also prints select conference papers once a year in a publication, entitled The Annals, a special issue of its academic journal, entitled The Latin Americanist. The Latin Americanist is published in cooperation with Wiley-Blackwell.

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Call for Proposals | Deadline August 14 for Consortium in Latin American and Caribbean Studies Interdisciplinary Working Groups

Deadline: August 14

Would you like to collaborate or keep collaborating with faculty and graduate students from different disciplines who share your passion for a focused research topic related to Latin America and/or the Caribbean? Would you like to participate in seminars, conferences, and professional development workshops with colleagues from both Duke and UNC campuses? Would you like to invite cutting-edge intellectuals and/or practitioners in your field of study to your campus/courses, complete a group publication, or present your own graduate work for feedback from your peers and professors? All of these possibilities exist in the interdisciplinary Working Groups sponsored by the Consortium in Latin American and Caribbean Studies. The competition is open to Duke and UNC faculty and graduate students from all disciplines.
The UNC-Duke Consortium in Latin American and Caribbean Studies is pleased to announce a call for proposals for the 2015-2016 Working Groups Program. The Working Groups provide one of the principal means by which the Consortium discharges its missions to promote interdisciplinary research and innovative scholarship, enhance the experience of graduate education, and disseminate knowledge of Latin America and the Caribbean to the wider university community. The program supports collaboration among faculty and graduate students from different departments, professional schools, and curricula on both campuses.
The Consortium will consider proposals that promote interdisciplinary collaborative and creative projects among Latin American and Caribbean faculty and graduate students at UNC and Duke University. Successful proposals will need to demonstrate strong faculty leadership and involvement. Please note that under this program, the same Working Group will be funded for a maximum of three years – however, an annual evaluation will take place (working groups can lose funding). Proposals will be considered in the following priority order:
• Joint Duke-UNC: Led by 2 faculty members (one from each campus) with at least 4 graduate student participants (some from each university). Or
• 2-campuses: Led by 1 faculty member (from either campus) with at least 4 graduate student participants (some from each university). Or
• 1-campus proposal: Led by 2 faculty members representing different disciplines at one campus and a minimum of 4 graduate student participants from either university. Every effort will be made to maintain parity for single-campus proposals between UNC and Duke.
In all cases, at least two disciplines must be represented.
Funds will be awarded competitively to no more than four (4) Working Groups on an annual basis within a budgetary framework up to $5,000 per year. We accept proposals that extend the range of work up to two years and envision a community / academic / exhibit / performance / publication event in the second cycle of the grant.
Proposals must include:
(1) Application Form
(2) Proposal narrative (see instructions and outline to be followed on application form)
(3) Itemized budget request (see sample budget)
(4) Groups that were funded in 2014-2015 and are requesting funding for 2015-2016 must also complete a reporting form.
Please submit your proposal as an e-mail attachment (Word documents and/or PDF files are preferred) to Miguel Rojas-Sotelo (mlr34@duke.edu) no later than Friday, August 14, 2015.
*Note that this is an absolute deadline, and late submissions will not be considered. Applicants should be aware that there will be a delay in notifications compared to previous years. Therefore any proposed activities that require travel arrangements should be planned for mid-Fall semester or later.
If you have any questions about this process, please do not hesitate to contact mlr34@duke.edu. General information about working group guidelines can be found on the Consortium Web site
Note: Working Group events must be open to the public and thereby serve as a way to increase public awareness of Latin America and the Caribbean, past and present.

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Photos: Museo Palacio Canton

11148360_990347604322990_169019890978711390_oWe are delighted to share photos from our Yucatec Maya Institute friends and participants. We hope you have a wonderful experience!

Courtesy of the Museo Palacio Canton Facebook page:

En el Museo Palacio Cantón, nos llena de alegría recibir al grupo de intercambio de la Universidad de Carolina del Norte para sus estudios de lengua maya yucateco (Yucatec Maya Institute Consortium in Latin American and Caribbean Studies at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and Duke University) coordinados por el Mtro. Fidencio Briceño.




























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ISA Faculty Member Emilio del Valle Escalante editor of new publication: Teorizando las literaturas indígenas contemporáneas


ISA Faculty member and Associate Professor of Spanish Emilio del Valle Escalante is the editor of the new publication, Teorizando las literaturas indígenas contemporáneas (A contracorriente Press, 2015). The book is the result of the UNC-Duke’s Abya Yala Working Group and the majority of the contributors for the volume have been invited speakers at UNC-CH and Duke between 2012-14.

“This book signals the profound process of visibilization that is happening in the contemporary intellectual, literary, social-political world(s) of indigenous peoples,” said Inés Hernández Ávila, University of California—Davis.

The introduction and eight chapters in English and Spanish that make up Teorizando las literaturas indígenas contemporáneas examine the textual production of indigenous authorship. The authors start from the nineties and problematize the relationship between Indigenous People and nation-state in Guatemala, Colombia, Peru, Chile, Ecuador, Mexico, and Brazil. It is one of the book’s suggestions that current indigenous movements and their demands can be best understood through a critique of textual production of its organic intellectuals. While much has been written about the activities of the social movements and current indigenous textual production, there is still the need for a book that contextualizes what has enabled the emergence of a contemporary indigenous literary canon and its relationship to those social movements. This book aims to fill some of these gaps.

The Duke and UNC-CH’s Abya Yala Working Group aimed to invite a number of Indigenous writers, local leaders, and Indigenous and non-Indigenous scholars that experience and work on issues of indigeneity to create open and public events that include literary readings, scholarly talks, workshops, and seminars.  The group engaged UNC-CH and Duke faculty and students in discussions about topics such as Indigenous rights (be these religious, cultural, linguistic, political), discussions of Indigenous identity and self-representation, Indigenous/Afro-descendant relations, among others.

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