Roger Thayer Stone Center For Latin American Studies

Tulane University

UNO Empire and Solidarity in the Americas Conference

October 16th, 2009 - October 17th, 2009

Location
University of New Orleans

The 2009 Empire and Solidarity in the Americas Conference explores the past and present of consumer-based activism within the Americas. Since at least the 1940s, activists have developed strategies that attempt to engage with global markets in order to address a range of social justice issues. This political move by activists to privilege the market – and partially bypass the state – as an arena for generating change has become particularly salient under neoliberalism and warrants ongoing investigation and reflection. In different ways, the fair trade movement, as well as campaigns targeting particular products, corporations, or industries, have attempted to engage consumers in campaigns to reduce poverty and inequality, challenge labor and human rights abuses, improve environmental practices, support worker organizing, and stimulate popular organizations in Latin America, as well as educate northern consumers and challenge the global system of ‘€œfree‘€ trade. Can an inherently exploitative/unequal process – the northern consumption of southern commodities – also be a meaningful arena for international solidarity? How has the decision (or threat) to consume or not consume particular products in the United States been utilized as a form of solidarity with working people in Latin America? How have campaigns been used to pressure companies or industries to respect human and worker rights? What are the limitations, contradictions, successes/failures, and futures of consumption as an arena for solidarity between the North and South?

Open to the Public. Papers will be distributed prior to the conference. For more information, please contact Steve Striffler.

Invited Participants
  • Sandy Brown, doctoral candidate in Geography, University of California-Berkeley, is currently conducting research on Ecuador‘€™s Fair Trade banana industry.
  • Aviva Chomsky, Professor of History and Coordinator of Latin American Studies, Salem State College, and author of Linked Labor Histories: New England, Colombia, and the Making of a Global Working Class.
  • Dana Frank, Professor of History and Director of the Center for Labor Studies, University of California, Santa Cruz, and author of Bananeras: Women Transforming the Banana Unions of Latin America.
  • Henry Frundt, Professor of Sociology, Ramapo College, and author of Fair Bananas!: Farmers, Workers, and Consumers Strive to Change an Industry.
  • Lesley Gill, Professor and Chair, Department of Anthropology, Vanderbilt University, and author of The School of the Americas: Military Training and Political Violence in the Americas.
  • Daniel Jaffee, Assistant Professor of Sociology, Washington State University, and author of Brewing Justice: Fair Trade Coffee, Sustainability and Survival.
  • Gay Seidman, Professor of Sociology, University of Wisconsin-Madison, and author of Beyond the Boycott: Labor Rights, Human Rights and Transnational Activism.
  • Walter Stern, graduate student in history, Tulane University, is conducting research on the United Fruit Company.
  • Steve Striffler, Professor of Latin American Studies and Anthropology, The University of New Orleans, and author of Chicken: The Dangerous Transformation of America‘€™s Favorite Food.

Conference Poster
Conference Schedule

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Upcoming Events

Kaqchikel Language Table

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Join Kaqchikel learners and speakers at all levels to practice your language skills at this bi-monthly conversation table. Participants in the Oct. 28 session will get the chance to read the short story “Ri töp chuqa’ ri kär”/“The Crab and the Fish” alongside its author, Mtra. Magda Sotz (aka Ixkamey).

Link to join: https://tulane.zoom.us/j/93988469399?pwd=bkk3eDIzOEhQVjVEV1ZxTHFDTnJvQT09

This event is co-sponsored by the Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies at the University of Kansas.

Kaqchikel Language Table

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Join Kaqchikel learners and speakers at all levels to practice your language skills at this bi-monthly conversation table. Nov. 12 is game day with Mtro. Edy Rene Guaján (aka Lajuj B’atz’)! Come prepared to play along and laugh.

Link to join: https://tulane.zoom.us/j/93988469399?pwd=bkk3eDIzOEhQVjVEV1ZxTHFDTnJvQT09

This event is co-sponsored by the Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies at the University of Kansas.

Kaqchikel Language Table

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Join Kaqchikel learners and speakers at all levels to practice your language skills at this bi-monthly conversation table. It’s the holiday season on Dec. 2. Join Mtro. Marco Antonio Guaján (aka Mokchewan) to compare your favorite holiday celebrations.

Link to join: https://tulane.zoom.us/j/93988469399?pwd=bkk3eDIzOEhQVjVEV1ZxTHFDTnJvQT09

This event is co-sponsored by the Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies at the University of Kansas.