Roger Thayer Stone Center For Latin American Studies

Tulane University

2006-2007 News Archive

June 1st, 2007

Photo: 2007 Richard Greenleaf Chair, Arturo Arias, enjoys the Stone Center end of the year picnic (Story below)

Maya Language Goes Multimedia

In Guatemala this past July 2007, the six-week summer intensive Kaqchikel Maya program organized by Judith Maxwell, professor of anthropology, and sponsored by the Stone Center for Latin American Studies at Tulane teamed up with the Innovative Learning Center to produce the first of four instructional CD-ROMs to teach introductory Kaqchikel Maya language. This year’s group of students attending the intensive institute received the CD-ROM to accompany their experience with the language and culture of the Maya. Check out the full story here.

Richard Greenleaf Chair in Latin American Studies, Spring 2007 – Arturo Arias
by Hilary Smith

The Stone Center for Latin American Studies and Tulane University are honored to have Arturo Arias join their faculty during the Spring 2007 semester. Arias holds the Richard E. Greenleaf Distinguished Chair in Latin American Studies and is currently teaching two courses in the Department of Spanish and Portuguese, “Revolution and Dissidence” and “Mayan Literature and Literature about Maya”.

Arias is the Director of Latin American Studies at the University of Redlands in California. He co-wrote the screenplay for the film El Norte (1984) noting his collaboration on this project as one of his most important and influential achievements because the film is one of the first cultural productions that helped make Mayas visible in the Western world. He is the author of six novels: Después de las Bombas (1979), Itzam Na (1981), Jaguar en Llamas (1989), Los caminos de Paxil (1991), Cascabel (1998), and Sopa de Caracol (2002). He was honored with the Casa de las Américas Prize for Itzam Na and the Anna Seghers Award for Jaguar en Llamas. Arias is a specialist on ethnic issues and subaltern identity, both of which are central themes appearing in his fiction and his academic studies. He has published two books of literary criticism La identidad de la palabra (1998) and Gestos Ceremoniales (1998) which deal with 20th Century Guatemalan fiction and contemporary Central American fiction, respectively. His academic work is also highlighted by his publication of the critical edition of Miguel Ángel Asturias’ Mulata de Tal as well as an edited volume, The Rigoberta Menchú Controversy, dealing with the recent polemic about Rigoberta Menchú‘s testimonial, Me llamo Rigoberta Menchú y así me nació la conciencia. Commenting on the book, Arias noted, “The book played a crucial role in stemming the conservative Eurocentric white-supremacist tide that attempted to sully the trajectory of the 1992 Nobel Peace Prize laureate, which represented the most important development in the history of indigenous peoples in the Americas since the 16th century. The book made a major contribution to stopping the hemorrhage and prevented Ms. Menchú‘s trajectory from being derailed.” Arias also served as the President of the Latin American Studies Association from 2001-2003.

Arias arrived at Tulane through a connection with Maureen Shea, Associate Professor of Spanish in the Department of Spanish and Portuguese. Laughing, Shea remembers the scene from the conference in Puerto Rico: “We were all out having fun on the dance floor at LASA and I looked over at him and asked, ‘Arturo, do you want to come to Tulane for a semester?’” Arias remembers his response, explaining, “Being Central American, thinking of Katrina, and of the need to manifest one’s solidarity with all places that suffer any kind of setback at any given time, I immediately said yes.” Also speaking of his desire to accept the position at Tulane, Arias stated, “I felt it was my duty to do so, just as people came from all over the world to Central America both in the wake of the earthquakes of the 1970s, and of the civil wars, during the 1980s and 1990s. When you come from a place where selfless people have gone to offer their help at risk of their own lives and welfare, and you have any sort of ethical principles, you always feel that it is your duty to do likewise when tragedy strikes elsewhere.”

Shea commented on the attraction of having Arias spend a semester at Tulane noting that he is one of very few prominent and widely respected critics and theorists of Central America who is himself Central American. A specialist on Guatemala in particular, Arias is involved in cultural and social issues and intellectual debates surrounding the region as a whole. Because of the departure of Central-Americanist Nicasio Urbina, Shea was excited by the prospect of being joined again by another academic who could draw more attention to and emphasize the study of Central American literature, bringing it back as a prominent focus in the department. Of Arias, Shea noted, “Arturo is unique because of his excellent ability to forge a coherent view of not only Guatemala but also Central America as a whole. He has a broad vision of Central American literature in general—of where it has been and where it is going.”

Since arriving in New Orleans, Arias has had positive experiences both at Tulane and in the community: “I loved Mardi Gras, of course, and I have felt very much at home at Tulane. The Spanish and Portuguese department is a wonderful, tightly-knit, friendly department where people work hard and party hard just like I do myself. I am convinced that it is one of the best departments in the country, and it is very young. If it stays together, it will leave a long wake in the future. The Stone Center is equally magnificent. The personnel are all warm, friendly, helpful, and they are always available and smiling, willing to make things easier in every possible way. It could not be any better. And then, you go out on weekends like we did with some colleagues from the Spanish Department to places like Tipitina’s to listen to musicians like Ivan Neville, and you can’t help but think you are on top of the world.”

Gibson attends Arts and Humanities Conference
by Hilary Smith

On January 12-15, 2007 Latin American Studies M.A. candidate Annie Gibson attended the 5th Annual Hawaii International Conference of the Arts and Humanities in Honolulu. The goal of the conference is to provide an opportunity for academicians and professionals from various arts and humanities related fields from all over the world to come together and learn from each other. Gibson’s paper, entitled “Capoeira: Ritualized Resistance in a World Upside Down,” focused on implications of ritual in capoeira. Gibson commented, “I spoke specifically about how capoeira songs are used to pass down oral history, assert an alternate religious world view, and provide an outlet for active resistance for a group who was often left voiceless. The paper highlights of lyrics, rhythm, and the interplay between music and movement can be an expression of an alternate social world.”

LAGO Hosts Election Roundtable
by Hilary Smith

Friday, February 9th the Latin American Graduate Organization hosted a roundtable discussion on recent Latin American elections in Mexico, Central America, Brazil, Ecuador and Peru. Guest panelists were Ludovico Feoli, Political Science Ph.D. candidate; James Huck, Assistant Director of the Stone Center for Latin American Studies; Mauro Porto, Assistant Professor of Communication; Donna Lee Van Cott, Associate Professor of Political Science; and Justin Wolfe, Assistant Professor of History. Held in the Stone Center’s Greenleaf Conference Room, the discussion addressed election context, neo-populism, local politics, the role of the media, regional integration, and election fairness.

Tulane Students Attend ILASSA
by Hilary Smith

On February 1-3, 2007 thirteen Tulane graduate and undergraduate students traveled to Austin, Texas to attend the 27th annual student conference on Latin America hosted by The University of Texas at Austin’s Institute of Latin American Studies Student Association. Held at the university’s Thompson Conference Center, the conference is the oldest student-run academic conference on Latin America in the world.

Brazilian social activist, Anderson Sá, delivered the conference’s opening address. A former drug trafficker turned social revolutionary in Rio de Janeiro’s most feared slum, Sá was the subject of the recent critically acclaimed documentary, Favela Rising. The film chronicles the rise of Sá‘s AfroReggae music movement and shows how the music and culture of Brazil’s underclass transform into a catalyst for grassroots social change.

The conference closed with an address by Oscar Olivera who has, for the past decade, been among the most respected leaders and voices of Bolivia’s dynamic social movements. A former shoe-factory worker, Olivera has been at the center of many popular struggles to resist the privatization of natural resources, to ensure that all Bolivians have access to basic needs, and to deepen democracy by developing mechanisms for local autonomy. In 2000, Olivera emerged as the leader of the people of Cochabamba’s successful resistance to the privatization of the city’s water supply.

Nearly 100 undergraduate and graduate students from the U.S., as well as Canada, Bolivia, Mexico, Brazil, Argentina, Colombia, Puerto Rico, and Europe presented their research. Student research varied in academic discipline and subject, but included such topics as remittances and the economics of immigration, national identity, social movements, and indigenous rights. Discussion moderated by UT faculty and doctoral candidates follows each student presentation.

Tulane student participants and research topics are listed below:

  • Christina Abreo, “Guatemala’s Bilingual Intercultural Education System and Indigenous Political Participation”
  • Sarah Bailey, “Democratic Devotion: The Role of Printing in the Rise of the Cult of Guadalupe”
  • Marcelle Beaulieu, “Rowdy Cowboys and Masked Indigenas: Citizenship and Autonomy in Contemporary Social Movements”
  • Derek Burdette, “Changing Context, Changing Meaning: A Study of Processional Sculpture in the Corpus Christi Celebrations of Cuzco”
  • Adam Frick, “‘Nova Orleans’ ? Retention Factors for Brazilian Undocumented Immigrants in post-Katrina New Orleans”
  • Rajeev Gundur, “Forging a New Identity: The Reconstruction of the Mexican Worker Family in the Context of Transnational Communities”
  • Rodrigo Massi, “The Gendered City: Modernism, Masculinity, and the Military in San Salvador, 1920-1980”
  • Aaron Miller, “An Examination of the Impact of Information Communication Technologies on Social Movements in Latin America”
  • Lauren Nussbaum, “Housing in Havana: A Socialist Paradox”
  • Amanda Parker, “Free from the Shadow: Re-Identification of Cultural Expression in Argentina in the Face of Redemocratization”
  • Jennifer Siegler, “Woven Imagery: Significance of Aztec Textile Designs”
  • Danielle Thal, “The Persistent Problem of Indigenous Guatemalans’ Access to Health Care”
  • Cara Zacks, “The Spanish Moctezumas: Challenging Traditional Representations of the Moctezuma Family in New Spain”

Latin American Graduate Organization Sponsors Soccer Tournament
by Hilary Smith

On Sunday, November 19, LAGO, the Latin American Graduate Organization, at Tulane University sponsored its first annual soccer tournament at the university’s Uptown Campus. Seven teams participated in the tournament, several comprised of ESL students taught by members of the Stone Center for Latin American Studies. There was also a team comprised of LAGO members as well as a team of Tulane undergraduates. The double elimination tournament took place at the UC quad on campus and began at 10 am with the final match being played around 4 o’clock. The tournament brought together a diverse mix of the New Orleans public—Tulane graduate and undergraduate students as well as members of the Mexican and Brazilian communities present in the city. The final match of the tournament pitted the skilled team of Tulane undergraduates against an experienced Brazilian team. Ultimately, the Brazilians triumphed and were awarded first place at the trophy ceremony lead by LAGO coordinators Marcelle Beaulieu and Annie Gibson. The tournament was a resounding success which fittingly ended with eager questions anticipating the next soccer competition at Tulane.

Latin American Studies PhD Graduates Discuss Academic Careers
by Hilary Smith

On Friday, December 8, the Stone Center for Latin American Studies held a round table discussion on academic career possibilities for graduates pursuing a Ph.D. in Latin American Studies. Four recent Tulane LAS Ph.D. recipients discussed their personal experiences, strategies and ultimate success on the academic job market with an interdisciplinary doctorate. The event was aimed at students currently pursuing an interdisciplinary doctorate and those weighing the possibilities of an advanced degree in Latin American Studies. The guest participants were Dr. David Carey, Associate Professor of History at the University of Southern Maine, Dr. Ted Henken, Assistant Professor of Sociology and Black and Hispanic Studies at Baruch College, City University of New York, Dr. Amy Hite, Assistant Professor and Chair of the Department of Sociology, Xavier University, New Orleans and Dr. Sallie Hughes, Assistant Professor of Communication, University of Miami.

Research Workshop
by Hilary Smith

On Saturday, November 4, Dr. Laura Murphy, Clinical Assistant Professor in the Department of International Health and Development, lead a research workshop for graduate students. Students from Public Health as well as the Stone Center for Latin American Studies participated in the workshop which was designed to help students learn methods to conduct research best suited to their thesis and dissertation topics. The purpose of the workshop was to enable students to better navigate choices among course offerings at different departments and levels, plan and design their own research and fieldwork and effectively seek out funding and resources needed to pursue research. The workshop addressed the ways to gain useful knowledge about people and their behaviors, their cultural, economic and social systems and actions, as well as investigating the ways in which to obtain the data needed for thesis and dissertation work. This intensive weekend workshop provided an overview and introduction to major research approaches and relevant methods used for undertaking research in the social sciences. The short workshop was specifically targeted to Latin American Studies graduate students from social science disciplines. As well as being introduced to research methods, students prepared a short draft of their research ideas and received personalized constructive criticism designed to specifically address each participant’s intended research project. Lauren Nussbaum, an M.A. candidate in Latin American Studies, commented on the workshop, “I found it to be a very positive experience. Both the professors leading the workshop and the other student participants were very helpful in listening to our project proposals and providing constructive criticism. It was a very supportive and cooperative experience.” A second research workshop is planned for the spring semester.

TUCLA Conference
by Hilary Smith

The Fourth Annual Tulane Undergraduate Conference on Latin America (TUCLA) took place at the Stone Center for Latin American Studies on Saturday, December 2. The conference, designed to provide undergraduates the opportunity to present papers in the style and atmosphere of an academic conference, is an interdisciplinary symposium for seniors in the Latin American Studies program. During the conference, students presented individual research projects done as part of their core seminar class. Twenty two students participated in the conference which was split into three sessions. Each session was made up of two panels geared toward key concepts focused on in the Latin American Studies curriculum. The undergraduate presentations in each panel were followed by discussion lead by a faculty guest speaker. The first panel, Encounter, centered on struggles over race, gender, and nation in Latin American art and society. The panel on Exchange dealt with the culture and economics of displacement. The third panel, Creativity, was designed to deal with issues of art and politics while the following panel, Identity, dealt with issues of culture, tradition and development. The final two topics covered were Nation and Welfare which addressed nationalism in politics and society and health policy in Latin America. Faculty discussants included Amy George-Hirons of the Department of Spanish and Portuguese, Pamela Rogers of the Department of Sociology, Vicki Mayer of the Communications Department, Javier León of the Music Department, Justin Wolfe of the Department of History, and Mary Clark of the Political Science Department. Edie Wolfe, Assistant Director of Undergraduate Programs at the Stone Center, was extremely pleased with this year’s conference, noting, “I was very impressed with our students’ performance. They took the conference very seriously and gave really interesting and polished presentations.” She also commented on the maturity and thoughtfulness with which the students responded to the faculty discussants who also participated in the conference.

Student participants and research topics are listed below:

  • Adam Adkin, “The Paradox of Transnational Indigenous Identities in Argentina”
  • Kristen Ardani, “Endangered Potatoes: Conserving Chile’s Cultural Legacy and Ensuring the Food Supply Culture”
  • Yasmin Bahora, “The Limitations of Socialist Democracy in Chile: Salvador Allende and Social Medicine”
  • Michelle Berkowitz, “The Cuban Jewish Experience: A Rare Case”
  • Eric Boggs, “Curanderismo’s Survival within the Modern U.S. Health Care System”
  • Lindsey Boss, “Colombia-Venezuela: How Personal Relationships Change Public Policy”
  • Molly Grossman, “The Battle over Morality: Church and State versus Progressive Healthcare in Post-Authoritarian Argentina”
  • Rajeev Gundur, “Politics of the Mexican Transnational Communities: The Evolution of Government Attitudes”
  • Anjela Jenkins, “Manipulating Motherhood: The Enduring Legacy of Revolutionary Gender Role Revisionism in Post-Sandanista Nicaragua”
  • Lauren Kurczewski, “Salvadoran Dependence on Remittances from the United States”
  • Emily Rose McRae, “For Love or Money: Modeling Motivations of Hispanic Migration to New Orleans”
  • Megan Montgomery, “Carnival! The Symbolic Construction of National Identity in Brazil”
  • Amanda Parker, “Free from the Shadow: Cultural Expression in the Face of Redemocratization, What Went Wrong in Argentina?”
  • Emily Ratner, “Reworking the Revolutionary: The Changing Relevance of the Image of Che Guevara”
  • Lindsey Realmuto, “Economic Development at the Expense of Cultural Exploitation and Destruction: A Case Study of Tourism in Peru”
  • Mary Roche, “Critical Masses: The Artistic Use of Mass Media in Response to Repression in Brazil (1964-1974)”
  • Sonia Schwartz, “The Effects of the Truth Commission in El Salvador”
  • Erica Suskin, “Educational Goals and Realities in Revolutionary Cuba”
  • Danielle Thal, “The Persistent Problem of Indigenous Guatemalan’s Access to Health Care”
  • Samantha Vance, “Effects of Displacement of Return on Social and Economic Exclusion in El Salvador: Transnational Criminality and the Intensification of Violence in the Post-War Period”
  • Alyson Vivattanapa, “The Effects of Ecotourism and Globalization on Garifuna Identity in Belize”
  • Sarah Walsh, “The Role of Afro-Argentines and Race in Rosista Argentina”

Stone Center Graduate Students Present at Harvard Conference
by Hilary Smith

On October 13-14, 2006 Tulane M.A. candidates Adam Frick, Ryan Mast, and Aurora Villegas-Muriel traveled to Cambridge, Massachusetts to present research at a graduate student conference at Harvard University. The conference, Embracing Diversity: Latino Immigration and the Transformation of American Society, was held at the Center for Government and International Studies. Villegas-Muriel presented her paper, “Rebuilding New Orleans: Hurricane Katrina, Latinos, and Reconstruction,” at the panel on Education and Public Policy. Frick and Mast presented their paper, “Rebuilding a City, Rebuilding a Citizenry: Charting Immigration Growth and Patterns in Post-Katrina New Orleans’s Brazilian Demographic,” at the panel on Reception of Latino Immigrants. The interdisciplinary conference included papers based in Sociology, Cultural Anthropology, Latin American Studies, Government, Ethnic Studies and Public Policy and also included panels on Latino Workers in Low-Wage Labor Markets, Health and Inequality, Diversity and Latino Heterogeneity, and Latino Immigrant Social Networks. After the conference, Frick noted, “The paper was a rousing success, largely due to academic enthusiasm for the presentation of fresh and innovative research material. Brazilian immigrants are under-represented in academic literature, and several academics present at the conference applauded our attention to a group which is rapidly growing in number and relevance in the United States.”

Richard Greenleaf Chair in Latin American Studies, Spring 2007—Bebe Baird
by Hilary Smith

The Stone Center for Latin American Studies and Tulane University are pleased to have Bebe Baird rejoin the Tulane family as the Richard E. Greenleaf Chair in Latin American Studies and as a Visiting Professor of Latin American Art History. During the Spring semester, Baird is teaching a course in the Art History Department entitled, “Constructing Colonialism.”

Baird received her M.A. in Art History from Tulane in 1970 and her Ph.D. from the University of New Mexico in 1979. She is currently a professor in the Department of Art History at the University of Illinois at Chicago. She served for a year as the Acting Director of the Latin American Studies Program and spent six years serving as the Dean of the College of Architecture and the Arts. She has also taught at the University of Southern Colorado, the University of New Mexico, and the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. A specialist in Pre-Columbian through Colonial Latin American Art History, she is the author of The Drawings of Sahagún’s Primeros Memoriales: Structure and Style (1993) and has published numerous journal articles, including “The Reordering of Space in Sixteenth-Century Mexico: Some Implications of the Grid”, “The Latin American City”, and “Stars and War at Cacaxtla.” Baird also co-curated an exhibit shown between September 2006 and January 2007 entitled, “The Aztecs and the Making of Colonial Mexico” at the Newberry Library in Chicago.

Supported and encouraged by her own institution, The University of Illinois at Chicago, Baird decided to accept the visiting professorship at Tulane, noting, “Tulane has an outstanding reputation for excellence in Latin American Studies and the prospect of participating in Tulane’s community of Latin Americanist scholars and using the superb resources of Tulane’s Latin American Library in teaching and in my research presented a tremendous opportunity that I could not resist.” In addition to her fond memories of and positive experiences at Tulane as a graduate student, Baird also mentioned the personal attraction of returning to New Orleans: “My sister is an art gallery owner in the French Quarter and I was also eager to have a chance to spend more time with her. As a native of Baton Rouge, I also wanted to come “home,” catch beads at Mardi Gras, eat crawfish, and be engulfed in flowers and greenery instead of snow.”

Speaking of her experiences in New Orleans this semester, Baird explains, “I enjoy the warmth of the people, the natural beauty of the area, and its history. New
Orleanians have suffered through a terrible disaster, and it is so good to see people rebuilding and communities coming together. But I also see the frustration that results from a lack of urgency in setting things right again and the lack of significant government support. New Orleanians have a wonderful coping skill in their humor, and it’s really come out full force.”

Spring 2007 Events

On October 21st the Contemporary Arts Council of New Orleans will host a Jazz concert by world-renowned musician Paquito D’Rivera. The concert will be held at the Freeport-McMoRan Theater with performances at 7:00 and 9:00 pm. Tickets cost $20 for CAC members/students and $25 for general admission.

A native of Havana, Cuba, D’Rivera is a four-time Grammy Award winning saxophonist and composer who is known for his specialty in Latin jazz. He has lived in the United States since 1981 and has toured and performed throughout Europe and the Americas.

On October 22nd The Stone Center for Latin American Studies will co-sponsor Fiesta Latina. This event, presented by the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Foundation, will be held from 11am—8pm at the CAC and has free admission.

The Festival will showcase local Latin American performers and artists, and will have booths dedicated to craft and folk arts. Local musicians that will perform include Fredy Omar con su Banda, Fuerza Latino, Grupo Paraíso, Julio y César, Ritmo Caribeño, Vivaz, Otra, Patrice Fisher and ARPA, Ovidio Giron and the Little Forggies.

Please join us at the CAC for food, dancing, and lots of Latin American fun!

Inaugurations on Tulane’s Campus
by Hilary Smith

The Stone Center for Latin American Studies of Tulane University recently inaugurated three newly-renovated facilities on its uptown campus. The inauguration and celebration took place on Wednesday, November 1 and began at the Doris Z. Stone Laboratory for Biological and Forensic Anthropology. The renovations made possibly by the generous grant from the Zemurray Foundation allowed for the remodeling of office and laboratory spaces for professors and graduate students. Led by Dr. Tom Reese, Director of the Stone Center, the celebration continued to the Cuban and Caribbean Studies Institute where grant money was utilized to refurbish the Institute and create new spaces for visiting professors and guest lecturers. Tulane faculty, staff and students, along with representatives of the Zemurray Foundation, ended the inauguration at Jones Hall viewing the remodeled spaces of the Greenleaf Conference Room, Visiting Faculty and Teaching Assistant offices, the George Norton Graduate Student lounge, and the fountain of the Jones Hall Patio. The inauguration was followed by a reception on the patio.

Tulane affiliates attend conference at LSU
by Hilary Smith

On March 16-17, 2007, three members of the Tulane community presented research at the fourth annual conference on the “Black Diaspora in the South and the Caribbean” held at the Lod Cook Conference Center at Louisiana State University. The conference was highlighted by keynote addresses from Charles Joyner of Coastal Carolina University, Francis Abiola Irele of Harvard University, and Ifeoma Nwankwo and Jane J. Landers of Vanderbilt University.

Rosanne Adderley, an Associate Professor in the Department of History who specializes in the history of the African Diaspora and the Atlantic Slave Trade, presented her paper, “African Slave Dealer Turned African Rebel? Power, Identity and Slave Trade Politics in a 19th Century Caribbean Mutiny” during the conference’s panel entitled, “‘Exceptional’ African Actors in the 18th and 19th Century Atlantic World.

During the same panel, Randy Sparks, a Professor in the Department of History specializing in Southern History and American Religious History, presented his paper, “Defining Slavery: The Enslavement and Redemption of African Kidnap Victims in the 18th Century Atlantic Slave Trade.”

Annie Gibson, an M.A. candidate at the Stone Center for Latin American Studies who recently defended her thesis on Brazilian Capoeira, also presented at the conference. Her paper entitled “Rumba, Rhumba, and The Peanut Vendor” was included in the conference’s panel on the performance of black culture.

Alumni Update: Nomi Weiss-Laxer and Blaz Gutierrez
by Hilary Smith

Nomi Weiss-Laxer is a 2004 graduate of the M.A. program in Latin American Studies at the Stone Center. Nomi focused her master’s research on comparative Political Science and international public health in South America. Nomi is currently working on a Masters of Public Health at Brown University and is also interning at the Rhode Island Hospital. As part of her work with the hospital, Nomi participated in an interview for Latino Public Radio on injury prevention entitled, “Como mantener a sus niños seguros en el coche y el parque” [How to keep your children safe in the car and in the park]. Listen to Nomi’s radio spot and click on the orange box labeled POD below the picture of Rhode Island Hospital.

Blaz Gutierrez earned a Bachelor of Music degree in Cello Performance from the University of Redlands before completing a Masters in Latin American Studies at Tulane’s Stone Center for Latin American Studies. Blaz focused his master’s research at Tulane on the Guatemalan truth commission. He has also interned with Creative Associates International, a civil society advocacy group in San Salvador; with Nobel Laureate Rigoberta Menchú in Mexico City; and most recently is serving as a program assistant with the International Center for Transitional Justice in New York City. During his work with the ICTJ, Blaz helped coordinate several conferences on truth commissions around the world, including those in Uganda and Colombia. His latest publication is a conference report entitled, “Lessons in Truth Seeking: International Experiences Informing United States Initiatives.” View the report.

New Student Cohort Arrives at Tulane
by Hilary Smith

On August 28th The Stone Center for Latin American Studies at Tulane University welcomed nine new students to their program. During orientation, students met with representatives from departments associated with Latin American studies including History, Political Science, Spanish and Portuguese, Art History, Anthropology and Public Health. They also had the opportunity to meet many of the Latin Americanist faculty with whom they will be working during their graduate program at a welcoming reception that evening.

This year’s class of M.A. and Ph.D. candidates comes to Tulane with diverse backgrounds and experiences in Latin America and will pursue a wide range of interdisciplinary study as they complete their graduate research at the Stone Center.

Christina Abreo rejoins the Tulane community after having completed her M.A. in Latin American Studies at the Stone Center in 2004. Her Master’s thesis dealt with cultural preservation of the Maya in Mexico. Christina will now pursue a Ph.D. focusing her research on the bilingual education system in Guatemala.

Adam Beebe graduated from the University of Chicago in 2003 and has studied in Brazil and lived and worked in Mexico. Adam plans to focus his Master’s research at Tulane on Brazilian music and notions of modernity.

M. A. candidate Rachel Crouch is a 2006 graduate of Illinois College and has studied in Mexico and Argentina. She joins the Stone Center with plans to focus her research on Mexican migration and development.

After spending two years working with the Peace Corps in the Dominican Republic, Eric Mackintosh joins the Latin American Studies program with plans to research international politics and economy and Haitian cultural studies. Eric will compliment this M.A. project with a study of Haitian Creole.

Lisa Mosier is a 2005 graduate of the SMArchS Aga Khan Program for Islamic Architecture at MIT. She joins the Stone Center with plans to focus her Master’s research on exhibitions of Latin American art and architecture of the 20th century.

Lauren Nussbaum graduated from Barnard College in 2005. She studied in Bolivia, Cuba, and Venezuela and completed language programs in Costa Rica, the Dominican Republic, and Mexico. She spent the last year working for an NGO in La Paz, Bolivia and plans to focus her Master’s research on reproduction and women’s health in Bolivia.

M.A. candidate Jordan Shannon joins the Stone Center with plans to focus her research on social movements in Venezuela. She has studied in Mexico and spent two years teaching in the Dominican Republic. Jordan is a 2002 graduate of Cornell University.

Hilary Smith is a 2005 graduate of Wofford College who has studied in Perú, Argentina, and Brazil. She spent the last year teaching Spanish in Asheville, North Carolina and joins the Stone Center with plans to focus her Master’s research on literature and history in post-dictatorial and post-revolutionary Latin America.

After spending the past two years working and living in Ecuador, M.A. candidate David Weaver comes to the Stone Center with plans to focus his research on political and social culture in Ecuador. David, a 2002 graduate of Calvin College, has studied in Mexico and taught Spanish for two years in Denver, Colorado.