Welcome ‘back’ . . . .
It is with a sense of irony that all of us at ISA welcome the Carolina Latin Americanist community ‘back’ to campus. Perhaps an oddly hollow greeting. For we are not quite ‘back’ . . . . We continue to be away. Various degrees of distances. Social distance. On-line teaching--‘distance learning,’ we call it.
We zoom. We are virtual. We are remote. The University webpage is filled with helpful hints on ‘remote:’ set up a remote desk top, support remote learning, remote participation, remote conferences, remote consultation, remote services . . . . We have institutionalized ‘remote.’
We at ISA contemplate the onset of Fall Semester 2020–and perhaps beyond–with a recognition of the challenges presented by the world of ‘remote’ and ‘virtual,’ under circumstances of ‘distance’ and degrees of ‘separation.’ We will continue to support within the limits of program resources and personnel capacities undergraduate education and graduate training, to explore new ways to support faculty teaching and scholarship, to experiment with and to improvise new programming possibilities. Most of all, to sustain to the best of our abilities the esprit of the Latin Americanist community at Carolina. To expand the dimensions of virtual space to produce the most optimum outcomes, recalling Howard Rheingold’s comment that ‘any virtual community that works, works because people put in some time.’
A safe Fall Semester to everyone . . . .