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February 13th, 2013
When Kate Schuenke-Lucien applied to and then began studying for her Master’s degree at Tulane’s Stone Center for Latin American Studies in 2003 she had no idea a Haitian Creole FLAS grant was an option, nor did she know the central role that Haitian Creole studies would play in her life. Schuenke was already connected to Haiti-her family had a deep commitment to the country in the form of philanthropic and volunteer work. In fact, after her mother’s death, friends and family contributed funds to build a K-12 school in Cap-Haitien, Haiti, an appropriate memorial for a woman who was both a teacher and dedicated to work in Haiti.
Schuenke-Lucien began her academic life at Wheaton College, a private Christian liberal arts college outside of Chicago. There she double majored in Political Science and Spanish. While at the time she was more interested in countries like Argentina than in Haiti, after graduating with her BA Schuenke was invited to come and teach English and Spanish for a year at her mother’s school. After that year her commitment to the region had deepened and solidified. An advisor from her undergraduate institution suggested she apply to Tulane for a Master’s, citing the Stone Center’s strong program in the Caribbean.
When Schuenke-Lucien arrived at Tulane in 2003 she was surprised and delighted to learn of the Haitian Creole program. She already spoke Creole reasonably well after her time in Haiti, but the courses were essential for firmly establishing her knowledge of grammar and vocabulary. As she notes, the program also provided her with much needed "credentials" in the language. The university level courses in Haitian Creole, a highly unusual offering among academic institutions, gave her increased confidence, and the ability to demonstrate her Haitian Creole ability in the form of coursework, not just time spent in the country. Ultimately, Schuenke-Lucien took Haitian Creole all four semesters at Tulane and was a FLAS fellow for three of them. She also focused on Haiti for her Master’s thesis, working with Professor Martha Huggins to investigate the efficacy of the U.S. police training programs in Haiti.
From Tulane Schuenke went immediately to Notre Dame University where she began PhD work in Political Science, working with professors at the Kellogg Institute for International Studies. There, she carried out research for scholars involved with the Kellogg Institute and, thanks to her Tulane training in Haiti and Haitian Creole, soon became the "default" person for research on Haiti. Thanks to her work at the Kellogg Institute, after the 2010 earthquake in Haiti, Schuenke-Lucien was recommended to assist the university in organizing and communicating about Notre Dame’s Haitian outreach programs. One of the professors she worked with in this capacity was Father Timothy Scully, csc, with the Alliance for Catholic Education (ACE). ACE works on a number of projects involving the Catholic Church and education in Haiti. In December 2012 Schuenke-Lucien was named Associate Director of ACE, responsible for coordinating and providing support for ACE Consulting's Haiti Catholic Education Initiatives.
Schuenke-Lucien is still working on completing her PhD, but describes her position at ACE as a "dream job," noting "I'm using all the skills I learned in graduate school in the most practical, effective, applied way possible to help dramatically improve the lives of Haitian children." While she acknowledges her PhD work certainly helped her achieve her Associate Director position, she writes that "I think the main reason I got this job is because of my training at Tulane, specifically all the Haitian Creole courses I was able to take and the research I did on Haiti."
To learn more about Schuenke-Lucien’s current work in Haiti, click here.
LATEST SITE UPDATES
- Higgins, Pereira paper highlighted in Folha de Sao Paulo newspaper
- Nora Lustig presents on fiscal policy at the World Bank
- Longtime love inspires gift to institute
- Latin American Resource Center Acquires New Films
- Local students learn about Carnival in Haiti
- Nora Lustig Presents at Ministerio de Hacienda in Costa Rica
- Diddier Santos presents two films on Cuban media and culture
- Persistent Inequality: Book Presentation at the Mexican Consulate
- Graduate Lunch Seminar with Dr. Robin Greeley
- Racism, Black Consciousness and the Problem of Unintended Dissidence in the Cuban Revolution, 1965-1971
- From Axis Mundi to Mappa Mundi: Great Temples and Sacred Bundles in Mesoamerican Traditions
- Social Policy in Latin America since the Left Turn: A Roundtable Discussion
- Paolo Spadoni presents new book on Cuban economy
- MARI Brown Bag: Ximena Chávez Balderas "Effigies of the death: ritual decapitation and modification of skulls from Offering 141, Great Temple of Tenochtitlan"
- The Pebbles Center turns 10!
- The African Presence in Venezuela Since President Hugo Chavez
- Materials in the Classroom Ecology: A Language Pedagogy Workshop
- The Traveling Illustrations of Sixteenth- Century Travel Narratives
- Guest Lecture and Reception: "Autoconstrucción's Dialectical Objects: Sculptural Materialism in the work of Abraham Cruzvillegas?"
- Candidate Talk for Research and Instruction Position at Latin American Library
- The Social System of White-Bellied Spider Monkeys in an Amazonian Rainforest: Insights from Long-Term Observations and Molecular Data
- Calendrics, Astronomy, and Math at the "Xultun Institute of Advanced Study"
- "How to Choose a Dissertation Topic?" Roundtable Discussion
Racism, Black Consciousness and the Problem of Unintended Dissidence in the Cuban Revolution, 1965-1971
Author and professor Lillian Guerra will be speaking at Tulane. This event is free and open to the public.
Lillian Guerra is a Professor of Cuban and Caribbean history at the University of Florida. She has just published Visions of Power in Cuba: Revolution, Redemption and Resistance, 1959-1971 (UNC Press). This book is one of the first major works to analyze the grand narrative of the Cuban revolution, and in the process, it reveals the internal divisions and resistance to the revolution at the popular level. It received a Special Mention for the 2013 Gordon K. and Sybil Lewis Award (Caribbean Studies Association) and was a 2013 Choice Outstanding Academic title.
Guerra is also the author of The Myth of José Martí: Conflicting Nationalisms in Early 20th Century Cuba (UNC Press) and Popular Expression and National Identity in Puerto Rico (University of Florida). Her work has appeared in the Hispanic American Historical Review, Social History, and Cuban Studies. She is currently working on a new project, Making Revolutionary Cuba, on Cuban political culture from 1947-1958.
MARI Brown Bag: Ximena Chávez Balderas "Effigies of the death: ritual decapitation and modification of skulls from Offering 141, Great Temple of Tenochtitlan"
Ximena Chávez Balderas, Doctoral Student in the Department of Anthropology, will present a talk about her dissertation work at the Templo Mayor in Mexico City entitled “Effigies of the death: ritual decapitation and modification of skulls from Offering 141, Great Temple of Tenochtitlan”
M.A.R.I.'s Brown Bag talk series is meant to provide a venue for students and faculty focusing on topics related to Mesoamerica to discuss their latest research in an informal and friendly setting. If you are interested in presenting, please email Marcello Canuto (firstname.lastname@example.org) for more information. For the current speaker list of this talk series, please click here.
From Axis Mundi to Mappa Mundi: Great Temples and Sacred Bundles in Mesoamerican Traditions
David Carrasco, the Neil L. Rudenstine Professor of the Study of Latin America at Harvard University, will present a talk on March 14th at 4 PM entitled: “From Axis Mundi to Mappa Mundi: Great Temples and Sacred Bundles in Mesoamerican Traditions.”
Professor Carrasco will give an illustrated lecture about his journey, discoveries, and changes of mind in the study of Mesoamerican religions. Working as an historian of religions, Carrasco helped decipher the patterns of the axis mundi/sacred centers in the ceremonial world of the Great Aztec Temple and more recently in the Mapa de Cuauhtinchan #2. His lecture will trace this interpretive journey by showing images from the Aztec Templo Mayor and the Cuauhtinchan Codex.
A reception will follow.
For more information please contact TASA at email@example.com.
Materials in the Classroom Ecology: A Language Pedagogy Workshop
This hands-on workshop for language teachers demonstrates activities and materials designed to promote language learners' listening and speaking fluency. These activities allow university and high school students to engage in meaningful use of the target language. Materials demonstrated at this workshop can be readily adapted by participating language teachers and implemented in their own classrooms. These innovative pedagogic activities bridge language teaching theory and practice, and recent research on language teaching materials and learning will also be presented. University instructors and high school teachers working with language learners of any proficiency level will benefit from this presentation. The workshop will be conducted in English, and teachers of any language are welcome to attend. Participants may wish to read the article Materials in the Classroom Ecology in advance of the event, although this reading is not required in order to participate in this interactive workshop. All interested language teaching practitioners are encouraged to attend.
The workshop will be led by Anne Marie Guerrataz. She earned a PhD in Second Language Studies at Indiana University and has extensive experience teaching Spanish, French, and English as foreign/second languages at the high school, undergraduate, and graduate levels. She has worked with teachers of many diverse languages, including less-commonly-taught languages such as Arabic, Yucatec Maya, and others. Dr. Guerrettaz has trained language teaching practitioners from across the world, from pedagogy workshops she facilitated for instructors at the Defense Language Institute in California to graduate-level seminars for language teachers in Central America and Maryland. In addition to her publications on language pedagogy, she is also deeply interested in the political dimensions of language and has researched Indigenous language rights in Mexico.
Sponsored by the Stone Center for Latin American Studies the Center for Engaged Learning and Teaching and the Department of Spanish and Portuguese.
The event is free but prior registration is required.
Engaging the Caribbean Space: A Talk by Earl Lovelace
Earl Lovelace, Trinidadian novelist, playwright, short-story writer, and winner of the 1997 Commonwealth Writers Prize, will give a talk entitled “Engaging the Caribbean Space.” A reception will follow the talk.
This event is sponsored by Center for Scholars, GSSA, Department of Spanish and Portuguese, African Diaspora Studies, Department of English, the Stone Center for Latin American Studies, Latin American Graduate Organization (LAGO), Center for Engaged Learning and Teaching, the Center for Public Service, and the Cuban and Caribbean Studies Institute.
Please contact Cherif Diatta (firstname.lastname@example.org) for more information.
For the event flyer, click here.
Tulane Maya Symposium Teacher Workshop: On the Maya Trail: Ancient Travelers, Epic Voyages
The Stone Center for Latin American Studies, the Middle American Research Institute, and the Audubon Aquarium are joining together to sponsor a K-12 teacher workshop in conjunction with the 11th annual Tulane Maya Symposium. This year the workshop will be held at the Audubon Aquarium in New Orleans, in celebration of the opening of a new exhibit on reefs in the Maya area. The workshop will focus on the symposium theme: traveling and voyages among the Maya. The workshop will integrate information about the geography and environment of the Maya area and the ancient and modern Maya utilization of environmental resources. The resources discussed will provide a great way for teachers working with the Common Core requirements to integrate information about the Maya into discussions of a variety of topics!
This year the teacher workshop will begin on Thursday evening, March 20th, with a special reception and talk at the Aquarium specifically for teachers. The main component of the workshop will take place on Friday, March 21st. For more information and to register, please visit the symposium website.
Thursday (Audubon Aquarium)
6:00 – 8:00 PM
6:00 – 6:30 PM
Introduction and Opening Remarks
6:30 – 7:00 PM
What do we really know about the Ancient Maya? – Marcello Canuto, Middle American Research Institute, Tulane University
Friday (Audubon Aquarium)
9:00 – 9:50 AM
Introduction to the Geography/Environment of the Maya – Kristine Grzenda, Audubon Aquarium of the Americas
10:00- 10:50 AM
Historical Perspectives on the Maya – Valerie Feathers, Louisiana State University
11:00- 11:50 AM
Introduction to Maya Sea Traders – Heather McKillop, Louisiana State University
12:00 – 1:00 PM
Conclusion and Evaluation
4:00 – 5:00 PM
Tour of the NOMA Mesoamerican Collection
6:00 – 7:15 PM (NOMA)
Keynote – Karl Taube, University of California Riverside