Roger Thayer Stone Center For Latin American Studies

Tulane University

History

Tulane University is a liberal arts institution founded in 1834. Its academic mission has been identified historically with its region. The latter includes the Mississippi River and Gulf-Caribbean basins as well as the Atlantic and Pacific Worlds linked at the isthmus in Panama. Tulane’s programs have evolved as partnerships with these regional neighbors linked by history and shared inheritances.

Tulane has a long-standing special strength in the study of Central America and Mexico. This concentration originated in a turn-of-the-century gift of a large Mesoamerican library, which became the foundation for the Latin American Library’s holdings of resource materials on Guatemala, Honduras, Belize, El Salvador, Costa Rica, Nicaragua, and Mexico, which are internationally distinguished.

In the early part of the century, one of Tulane’s first internationally prestigious program was the Middle American Research Institute, which was founded in 1924 to conduct “advanced research into the archaeology, history, tropical botany, and natural resources and products of countries facing New Orleans across the waters of the south.” Tulane’s identity and destiny were to become one with this early exemplar of its institutional leaders’ commitments to create knowledge and provide service to a region whose boundaries transcended the geopolitical frontiers of the United States. Archaeology, anthropology, history, political science, literature, biology, and earth sciences formed the core disciplines in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, while the Schools of Law, Business, Engineering, Medicine, and Public Health developed truly Pan-American programs in the early twentieth century.

Although Tulane expanded its scope to all of Latin America after World War II, the Mesoamerican strength remains and the Stone Center acts as a sort of brokerage for relations between Mesoamerica and the United States. A steady stream of Mexicans and Central Americans come to Tulane for training, as Fulbright Professors and to use our library. Specialists on the region can be found in most departments and the university has produced several hundred dissertations and theses on Mesoamerican subjects. Every summer there are well over 100 Tulane faculty and students at work in the region, whether in archaeological excavations, Maya intensive language program in Guatemala, or dozens of National Resource Center-financed individual research projects.

Our program is today comprehensive with faculty in almost every region and discipline essential to understanding Latin America. The Mississippi-Gulf-Caribbean region is the epicenter of cultural and historical converging and radiating flows of a vast cultural and geographic network embracing Europe, Africa, the Pacific Rim, and North and South America. Today, Tulane University has active programs in African and African Diaspora Studies, the Atlantic World, Comparative Southern Studies, and Cuban, Brazilian, and Francophone Caribbean Studies. The Payson Institute for Applied Development and Technology Transfer offers courses on its New Orleans and Washington D.C. campuses and operates a federally-funded third world disaster center. Our Schools of Law, Business and Public Health and Tropical Medicine operate field programs in every region of Latin America.

Nationally, few institutions of Tulane’s size compare in the number of faculty, graduate students, undergraduate majors, library holdings, and support for research dedicated to the support of Latin American studies across the university. When viewed in relationship to the percentage of the relatively small available pool of institutional resources e.g. faculty, students, library holdings, and budget, Tulane’s commitment to Latin American Studies is comparable or superior to institutions such as Stanford and Duke, among private universities, and to the University of Texas and the University of California at Los Angeles, among large public universities, whose faculties and student bodies are three to five times larger.

Tulane is also a top producer of graduate degrees that focus on Latin America. Since the mid-l960s, over 300 students have graduated with an interdisciplinary M.A. degrees in Latin American Studies and have gone on to positions in the public and private sectors, and for additional training in the disciplines and professions. Almost forty have graduated with the interdisciplinary Ph.D. in Latin American Studies since the late l970s. Virtually every one of these graduates is working or has worked in the field. A few placements include University of New Mexico, University of Texas, Smith College, Middlebury College, Banco de Bilbao, Harvard University, U.S. Agency for International Development, and some seven Mexican universities.

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Congreso de Jornaleros: Experiences and Perspectives from Immigrant Workers in New Orleans

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The Congress of Day Laborers, an organization of immigrant workers and families founded by the day laborers who helped rebuild New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina, is a leadership pipeline for hundreds of members into public life and social movement participation. A panel of immigrant leaders from Congreso will share how they have formed alliances across the community and influenced elected officials, as well as how students can help build a more tolerant society.

For more information please email Kate Rose (Vice President, BridgeTulane) at krose4@tulane.edu.

This event is sponsored by BridgeTulane, the Payson Graduate Program, the Stone Center for Latin American Studies, the Department of Anthropology and the New Orleans Workers’ Center for Racial Justice.

Newcomb Art Museum to host Archivist Panel for installation EMPIRE

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On Wednesday, April 25, join the Newcomb Art Museum for an incredible panel, moderated by Rebecca Snedeker, with the archivists of the various collections across Tulane as they discuss their responsibilities as cultural curators and the role od archives on campus.

In celebration of the New Orleans Tri-centennial, Newcomb Art Museum has on display an exhibit entitled EMPIRE, an immersive art installation by Los Angeles-based artists Fallen Fruit, from April 13, 2018 to July 7, 2018 on Tulane University’s uptown campus.

In EMPIRE, Fallen Fruit intentionally includes historical records, ephemeral artifacts, artworks and objects culled from various archives across Tulane’s campus and recontextualizes them in the museum. The archives include those from the Amistad Research Center, Hogan Jazz Archive, the Latin American Library, Louisiana Research Collection, Tulane Law Library, Tulane University Archives, Middle American Research Institute, Newcomb Art Museum, Newcomb College Institute, Royal D. Suttkus Fish Collection/Tulane University Biodiversity Research Institute and Southeastern Architectural Archive.

This panel is free and open to the public.

Featuring

Kara Olidge, Executive Director
Amistad Research Assistant

Alaina Hébert, Associate Curator of Graphics
Hogan Jazz Archive

Leon Miller, Head of the Louisiana Research Collection

Caroline Parris, Collections Manager
Middle American Research Institute

Sierra Polisar, Art Collections Manager & Registrar
Newcomb Art Museum

Chloe Raud, Head of Newcomb Archives and Vorhoff library Special Collections
Newcomb Art Institute

Justin Mann, Collections Manager
Royal D. Suttkus Fish Collection
Tulane University Biodiversity Research Institute

Kevin Williams, Archivist
Southeastern Architectural Archive

Ann Case, University Archivist
Howard-Tilton Memorial Library Tulane University Archives

Learn more about the installation by visiting the Newcomb Art Museum’s website. The exhibition has also been featured in the Tulane Hullabaloo and Tulane New Wave.

Chantalle Verna to Present Research on U.S. and Haitian Relationships in Post-Occupation Haiti

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Join us at the Stone Center for Latin American Studies in welcoming Dr. Chantalle Verna for a talk on her book Haiti and the Uses of America: Post- U.S. Occupation Promises on April 26, 2018, at 6:00 PM.

In her book, Dr. Verna makes evident that there have been key moments of cooperation that contributed to nation-building in both countries. Dr. Verna emphasizes the importance of examining the post-occupation period: the decades that followed the U.S. military occupation of Haiti (1915-34) and considering how Haiti’s public officials and privileged citizens rationalized nurturing ties with the United States at the very moment when the two nations began negotiating the reinstatement of Haitian sovereignty in 1930. Their efforts, Dr. Verna shows, helped favorable ideas about the United States, once held by a small segment of Haitian society, circulate more widely. In this way, Haitians contributed to and capitalized upon the spread of internationalism in the Americas and the larger world.

Dr. Verna received her Ph.D. from Michigan State University and is currently a professor in the History Department in Florida International University’s School of International and Public Affairs. Dr. Verna focuses on the culture of foreign relations, specifically concerning Haiti and the United States during the mid-twentieth century.

Co-sponsored by: Department of History, Graduate Studies Student Association, Newcomb College Institute and XUTULAC (the Xavier and Tulane Latin American & Caribbean Studies Partnership).

Fridays at Newcomb to host Sabia McCoy-Torres for talk on the anthropology of dance

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Join us in welcoming Sabia McCoy-Torres who will present on her research in a talk titled, Shifting the Lens from Harm to Pleasure: What We Learn from Women in Dancehall. Sabia McCoy-Torres is an Assistant Professor of Anthropology and Africana Studies at Tulane University. She has a Ph.D. in social and cultural anthropology from Cornell University. Her research focuses on the English and Spanish speaking African Diaspora, race, gender, sexuality, transnationalism, and popular music and performance. Geographically, her work is based primarily in the United States and Coast Rica. Dr. McCoy-Torres’s work has been published in Transforming Anthropology and Black Music Research Journal.

The lecture includes a free lunch and is open to the public.

Bate Papo! Practice your Portuguese and enjoy some Brazilian treats: caipirão

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Bate Papo! Celebrate the end of the semester with a caipirão happy hour at the local watering hole. We’ll meet outside and quench our thirst while cramming for an exam or two or simply procrastinating. This event is sponsored by TULASO and the Stone Center for Latin American Studies. Admission is free. All levels welcome. For more information, please contact Megwen at mloveles@tulane.edu.

Decoding the Purity of an Icon

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Join us for paintings and installations by Mexican artist Belinda Flores-Shinshillas in collaboration with the New Orleans Hispanic Heritage Foundation and the Stone Center for Latin American Studies this March.

The Webster’s dictionary defines purity as “being free from or unmixed with any other matter.” Decoding the Purity of an Icon is a series of 10 oil female portrait paintings on canvas and 2 installations thought by Flores-Shinshillas to convey the message of recording an individual’s appearance and personality, using the tradition of iconography for veneration of purity and spirituality beyond the representation of the feminine subject. These works of art have been approached in a contemporary manner, making these portraits much more than pure representation.