Roger Thayer Stone Center For Latin American Studies

Tulane University

"RA blog" written by Amanda McLearn-Montz

By Annie Gibson

I am handing over my blog on the CIAPA Experience to the students participating in the program. This way you all can have a better idea of what life is like for a student at CIAPA. This blog entry is written by Currin Wallis. She is a freshman student who has begun her first semester of Tulane at CIAPA in Costa Rica 2012. Pura Vida, Professor Gibson

Amanda’s blog:

I’m a sophomore, so I’ve already spent a year at Tulane. I knew this semester at CIAPA would be different; I’d be learning more Spanish and would be taking a break from my pre-med classes. However, I never imagined just how different this semester at CIAPA would be.

This is my first semester as a Residential Adviser, and it is very different than the semesters other first-time RAs are having. I only have five residents, so I know so much more about them than their names, years, and potential majors. We spend so much time together that we’ve gotten to know each very well; we’re like a make-shift family. This makes my job as RA pretty easy. Every once in awhile we’ll have some blips (stomach flu, stolen pizza, minor conflicts), but it always works out.

Residential life is also extremely different. The food is 100% better than Bruff, and the cooks have become our friends. Campus is so peaceful; it’s much easier to find a place to study here, and I’m not woken up by drunks singing at 2:00 a.m. the night before an exam. It is also convenient to be a five-minute walk away from most of my classes. All the workers here are friendly and let me practice my Spanish with them. Best of all, the campus here is just as beautiful as Tulane’s; it has sculptures, flowers, great architecture, and a gorgeous wooded area with a brook.

Being here has also taught me to not live in the college bubble. At Tulane, many of us students stay in our Tulane bubble which consists of campus, college bars, and fraternity houses. I did leave this bubble to work at Reginelli’s, volunteer at the Children’s Hospital, volunteer at the Boys and Girls Club, and row at Bayou St. John and regattas in other states. Despite getting off campus, I never truly explored New Orleans. When I hung out with my friends, we would stay on campus or go to the normal Tulane places, and I would go straight to my destination and back when I left campus for work or volunteering. Here, in San José, I’ve been much more immersed in the city. We take the buses to the University of Costa Rica three times a week for Spanish class. Then, we’ve experienced the night life several times visiting roller rinks and bars. During the day, we’ve gone on guided tours through the city. I’ve also explored San José on my own. As directionally challenged as I am, I’ve even been able to find museums, parks, and cafes on my own. Any day I’m not able to leave CIAPA to explore and experience San José, I’m very disappointed. I can’t believe how many experiences I missed out on staying in Tulane’s bubble, and I plan to drag my friends into New Orleans next semester.

I’ve also gained more independence and discipline. I can take taxis and buses by myself in a different language. I’ve also planned weekend trips without the help of my parents or coaches for the first time. Also, I don’t have a roommate this semester to help me wake-up, and I need to manage my finances more carefully since I’m not working a job this semester. Most of all, I have to stay in shape for the rowing team without scheduled team practices or a coach to hold me accountable.

My favorite part of this experience has to be all of the traveling. All of our trips have increased my love of traveling, and I feel so blessed to see all the places we’ve already been. Some of these places, like Monteverde and Rara Avis, are being severely affected by climate change and will probably change significantly during my lifetime, resulting in specie extinctions. The trips let our classes come to life because we are able to see Costa Rican life, culture, art, and environment firsthand. Because of the trips, our classes are more meaningful.

This experience has changed my life, and I expect it to for the next two months. When I go back to Tulane, I’ll have a much different perspective. I’ll explore more, take advantage of more opportunities, and be a more understanding person. And I will count down the days until I can return to Latin America. I have fallen in love with Latin America, and I hope one day I can serve as a doctor in this amazing place.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

  • Annie Gibson

    Administrative Assistant Professor - Department of Global Education

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Upcoming Events

28th Annual New Orleans Film Festival to Feature Latinx Programming

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The 28th Annual New Orleans Film Festival will be held from October 11th to October 19th at participating theaters in the New Orleans area. Born in a city known for its eclectic and artistic vibrancy, the New Orleans Film Festival (NOFF) has sought out bold and passionate storytellers since 1989. It is the longest-running festival of its kind in the state of Louisiana and one of the largest film festivals in the South. Now in its 28th year, the New Orleans Film Festival has grown into an internationally respected annual event that attracts 20-25k people, 400+ filmmakers, and 240 films.

This year’s film festival will feature a number of films relating to the Latin American community, either in subject matter and/or made by Latin American filmmakers. The Stone Center for Latin American Studies and the Center for Cuban and Caribbean Studies Institute will be sponsoring several films, including Olancho and Cuban Short Stories.

A full list of film selections and synopses may be found here.

For more information on tickets, passes, and film packages, visit the NOFF website.

The Stone Center for Latin American Studies and Tulane University are sponsoring the following films:

Olancho
Manuel, a farmer from Olancho, Honduras, seeks fame by making music for the region’s drug cartels. When some of his song lyrics get him in trouble, he must make the most difficult decision of his life: continue the quest for fame, or flee. For information on times and locations, visit the Olancho event page.

Cuban Shorts: Cine Cubano
These Cuban short stories are a series of short films highlight cultural and social subject manner relating to the Cuban community. For more information on show times and locations, visit the event page.

Fighting Cuba’s Boxing Ban
A short documentary about female boxing in Cuba, where the Cuban government forbade women from competing in the 2016 summer olympics.

Manuel
A short documentary about an 87-year-old Cuban man who brews and sells potions said to be aphrodisiacs.

Parade
Jazz students from New Orleans travel to Cuba on a cultural exchange and collaborate on a parade, celebrating open borders.

Connection (Conectifai)
A portrait of a park in Havana where, thanks to public Wi-Fi, a new kind of meeting place has arisen.

Charlie
Four decades after hijacking a plane to Cuba to avoid charges of killing a state trooper, a former black power militant reflects on his past in a letter to his nine-year-old Cuban son.

Forever, Comandante (Hasta Siempre, Comandante)
Living in the shadow of the revolutionary generation’s unrelenting Cuban ideals, Ernesto, a 14-year-old barber, wants to get a tattoo despite his father’s adamant objection.

Prince of Smoke
Cuban tobacco farmer and artisanal cigar maker Hirochi Robaina follows in his legendary grandfather’s footsteps as he fights to preserve a 171-year-old family legacy.

Additional titles relating to the Latin American community include:

The Thunder Feast (Truenos de San Juan)
A documentary about the ancient festival of San Juanito in Guanajuato where homemade explosives are part of the revelry, but not everyone in the community is sure this tradition should continue.

Sambá
A documentary about Cisco, a Dominican-born man who returns to the Dominican Republic after doing time in a United State prison. Cisco soon finds that the only way he can make money is getting involved in loosely organized street fighting.

Days of Wholesome Joy
A Cuban narrative short about a woman taking care of her grandmother who has dementia.

Holy Hill
A narrative short story about a nun who works at a school for young boys in the Dominican Republic. Both she and the boys have parallel sexual awakenings.

Camp of the Innocents
A Louisiana-made short documentary about the U.S. interment of Latin American “enemy aliens” during World War II in New Orleans. The entire synopsis, as well as show times and location may be found here.

Dead Horses
A Catalan animated short film about a child fleeing his home during wartime.

Bells in the Mountains
A Spanish short documentary about a group of cows who migrate seasonally from the town of Ullé through the foothills of the Spanish Pyrenees Mountains.

Elegy
A short narrative film about a girl who cannot process her complicated feelings about the death of her two classmates.

Cuban Shorts: Cine Cubano-New Orleans Film Festival

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The Stone Center for Latin American Studies and Tulane University are sponsoring the following screenings for the New Orleans Film Festival, which will run from October 11th-19th. Screenings are held at various locations in New Orleans. The box office is located at the Ace Hotel (600 Carondelet Street, New Orleans, LA 70130).

CUBAN SHORTS: CINE CUBANO

  • Saturday, October 14th 1:00PM | Member $10 General $13
  • Thursday, October 19th 11:30AM | Members $7 General $10

Tulane to host MET Curator Dr. Joanne Pillsbury for talk on Luxury Arts in the Ancient Americas

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Dr. Joanne Pillsbury, the Andrall E. Pearson Curator of the Art of the Ancient Americas at the The Metropolitan Museum of Art, will give a presentation titled From the Heart of the Andes: On Creating Golden Kingdoms, as part of the 2017 Wladis Seminar on Curatorial Careers at the Woldenberg Art Center, Tulane University. The lecture is free and open to the public.

Dr. Pillsbury will give a behind-the-scenes view of the exhibition Golden Kingdoms: Luxury and Legacy in the Ancient Americas (Getty Research Institute and Metropolitan Museum of Art, Fall 2017-Spring 2018), and the international research project that inspired it. Drawing upon significant recent archaeological findings and new investigations into the roles of artists, their patrons, and their workshops, the lecture focuses on luxury arts in the lands between the two great imperial capitals of the ancient Americas: Cusco, the seat of the Inca state, and Tenochtitlan, the Aztec capital. It probes a fundamental question: How can we discern and interpret indigenous ideas of value?

Dr. Pillsbury is a specialist in the art and archaeology of the Precolumbian Americas. Pillsbury earned her PhD from Columbia University. She was previously associate director of the Getty Research Institute and director of Precolumbian Studies at Dumbarton Oaks. She is the author, editor, or co-editor of numerous publications, including the three-volume Guide to Documentary Sources for Andean Studies, 1530–1900 (2008), the Alfred H. Barr, Jr., Award recipient Ancient Maya Art at Dumbarton Oaks (2012), and Past Presented: Archaeological Illustration and the Ancient Americas (2012), which was awarded the Association for Latin American Art Book Award.

The lecture is sponsored by the Newcomb Art Department, supported by a gift from Mark and Diane Wladis.

For more information contact Dr. Elizabeth Boone via email to eboone@tulane.edu.

For more information, view the official flyer here.

Tulane to host Dr. Andrew Paxman for a talk on William Jenkins and the Golden Age of Mexican Cinema

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Join us at the Stone Center for Latin American Studies in welcoming historian and biographer Dr. Andrew Paxman, who will present his research and recent book in a talk titled William Jenkins: Profiteer of the Golden Age of Mexican Cinema on October 19th.

In his talk, Dr. Paxman will focus on the life and film industry activities of William Jenkins, an American from humble beginnings who became the richest man in Mexico. Using biographical information and excerpts from his recent book Jenkins of Mexico: How a Southern Farm Boy Became a Mexican Magnate, Dr. Paxman will highlight how the American entrepreneur built up the Mexican film industry.

Currently, Dr. Paxman is a research professor at the Centro de Investigación y Docencia Económicas (CIDE) in Mexico, where he teaches history and journalism. Earlier in his career, Dr. Paxman was a journalist in Mexico and co-authored El Tigre: Emilio Azcárraga y su imperio Televisa (2000). He earned a Masters in Latin American Studies from University of California, Berkeley, and a PhD in History from the University of Texas, Austin.

International Education Week: Hosted by Center for Global Education

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Tulane University’s Center for Global Education will be hosting International Education Week on campus from October 16th to October 20th. International Education Week is celebrated nationwide each year, this year it is November 13 – 17, 2017. It is a joint initiative of the U.S. Department of State and the U.S. Department of Education and is an opportunity to celebrate the benefits of international education and exchange worldwide.

The CGE will be hosting a variety of events to celebrate IEW, including the Study Abroad Fair, an international guest speaker, international meals at Bruff Commons, and several talks and workshops surrounding Tulane’s contribution to an international student and scholar community.

For a full calendar of events for Tulane’s IEW, click here.

Cultural Kinship Conference: Presented by the LA Creole Research Association

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The Louisiana Creole Research Association will host its’ 13th annual conference from October 20-22 in New ORLEANS, LA. The conference will explore the phenomenon of Creolization and identity that exists in both the Caribbean and in New Orleans and their common Creole culture. Learn how the influence of the St. Domingue immigrants in New Orleans bolstered that common Creole on the cusp of Americanization following the Louisiana Purchase. Registration for the conference is now open, using the following link.

2017 Conference Schedule

  • Friday, Oct. 20- Annual Members Meeting
    Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities
    938 Lafayette St.
    6PM-9PM
  • Saturday, Oct. 21- Annual Conference
    Xavier University of Louisiana
    1 Drexel Dr., Administration Auditorium
    8AM-4:30PM
  • Sunday, Oct. 22- Laura Plantation Tour & Lunch
    2247 Highway 18, Vacherie 70090
    9AM-2:30PM
  • Sunday, Oct. 22- LAGNIAPPE!
    Xavier University of Louisiana
    2PM

For more details on the 2017 Schedule and Speakers, visit our post on Facebook! To register, become a member, or get extra information, click here.