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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“Memory is the strength of our resistance”: A performance geography of peace, memory, and territory in the San José Peace Community, Colombia

“Memory is the strength of our resistance:”

A performance geography of peace, memory, and territory in the San José Peace Community, Colombia

Department of Geography Doctoral Candidate Chris Courtheyn performs his research with the Peace Community of San José de Apartadó

Monday, November 2nd
6:00 – 7:30 pm
Gerrard Hall
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

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The Peace Community is group of small-scale farmers in the Urabá region of Colombia that have resisted forced displacement and co-optation by state, paramilitary, and guerrilla forces since 1997.

Through a series of critical and performative ethnographic pieces titled “If we remain on the land,” “Even the stones speak,” “We will stay if…”, and “Peace does not come from them,” this event will perform the ways this community creates and lives peace through food sovereignty, embodied and material memory practices, and transcommunal solidarity networks.

Sponsored by the Critical and Performance Ethnography Working Group, Carolina Performing Arts, Graduate Certificate in Participatory Research, Institute for the Study of the Americas, Curriculum in Global Studies, and the Department of Geography.

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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:

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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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On Campus and Abroad: Global area studies centers offer resources and expertise on world regions

Associate professor of women’s and gender studies Emily Burrill credited the African Studies Center with helping her further her research when she first came to UNC.

Burrill is a gender historian focusing on 20th century Africa. Through Title VI funds, she was able to return to Mali and Senegal, which resulted in her book, States of Marriage: Gender, Justice, and Rights in Colonial Mali (Ohio University Press, 2015). Burrill, who is now director of the African Studies Center, said that the center “can serve as a hub for those of us who work on Africa, regardless of our disciplinary orientation.”

The College of Arts and Sciences actively promotes the research and study of global issues. A total of six global area studies centers, including the African Studies Center, the Carolina Asia Center, the Carolina Center for the Study of the Middle East and Muslim Civilizations, the Center for European Studies, the Center for Slavic, Eurasian and East European Studies and the Institute for the Study of the Americas, focus on world regions.

UNC is also one of a few universities in the country with several National Resource Centers (NRCs), many of which are in the College. These centers, funded by the U.S. Department of Education’s Title VI program, provide resources for teachers, students and the public to learn, teach and research global issues.

The centers’ interdisciplinary approach provides an array of resources and programs on and off campus, from Foreign Language and Area Study (FLAS) Fellowships to culture kits that are shared with K-12 classrooms across the United States.

The centers offer their expertise to faculty and students not only in the College, but across the university.

Leslie Puzo recently completed her J.D. at the UNC School of Law and ultimately plans to do foreign policy work in South America. Already fluent in English, Spanish and French, she can now add Portuguese to the list thanks to a FLAS Fellowship through the Institute for the Study of the Americas.

The funds helped pay for tuition, allowing her to focus on her law and Portuguese studies.

“It’s a great program because it’s a holistic program; you don’t only learn that language, but you also take these classes that teach about the culture in South America or Brazil, where the language comes from and why they speak it,” said Puzo. “You’re not only getting the linguistic needs but also the cultural needs.”

Story and video by Kristen Chavez ’13, UNC College of Arts and Sciences

– See more at:

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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 ( 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 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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