Roger Thayer Stone Center For Latin American Studies

Tulane University

Foresight Methods as Transnational Interventions: Mapping a Field of Practice

November 1st, 2019
1 PM

Howard Tilton Memorial Library, Room B17

The Department of Sociology Colloquium will feature a talk by Ann Mische, Associate Professor of Sociology at the University of Notre Dame and Visiting Professor at Tulane University.

Title: “Foresight methods as transnational interventions: mapping a field of practice”
Abstract: This paper examines the use of cultural techniques for “futures thinking” in transnational debates and interventions through a comparative analysis of “public interest” scenario processes since the 1990s. Scores of public interest scenario workshops have taken place around the world in the past three decades, focusing on problems such as conflict prevention, food security, youth, migration, urbanization, civil society, democratization, and adaptation to climate change. Some are national in scope (the future of Kenya or Indonesia) while others have global, regional, or municipal focus (the future of global climate governance, democracy in Latin America or urban informality in Bangkok). Scenario approaches distinguish themselves from both positivist forecasting (what will happen) and normative visioning (what should happen). Instead, they use narrative, visual and performative techniques to create multiple storylines for what could happen, with attention to complexity, contingency, and multi-linear causality. Scenario exercises are designed to help collectivities take the “long view,” grapple with diverse perspectives, and develop robust responses to problematic and uncertain situations. My analysis focuses the use of scenario methods by reform actors in the Global South working in the intertwined areas of democracy, development, peacebuilding and climate change, as well as on their links to transnational networks of sponsors and partners. Drawing on an original database of over 230 scenario reports since 1990, I analyze the multi-sectoral networks constituted by initiation, facilitation, funding and participation in public interest scenario processes. I compare the geographic scope of the scenarios (global, regional, national, urban, community) as well as their sectoral, methodological and topical engagement. I also examine degree to which these processes are sponsored by elite actors and powerholders, or conversely, represent attempts by reformist actors to challenge powerholders in local, national or transnational political arenas.





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Latin American Writers Series: Alberto Barrera Tyszka

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Ecuadorian writer and Tulane Visiting Scholar Gabriela Alemán interviews Venezuelan writer Alberto Barrera Tyszka about his life, interests, and influences. Their discussion will be followed by an open Q&A and an informal reception. This event will be held in Spanish.

About the Latin American Writers Series

This series brings together Latin America’s most representative creative voices and the editorial entrepreneurs that publish them. By way of interviews conducted by renowned Ecuadorian writer Gabriela Alemán and presentations of various editorial missions, the guests will shed light on a literary world shaped by the contemporary issues of the continent. Moving forward, their conversations will comprise the centerpiece of a digital archive that introduces their ideas to a global audience.

Este serie reúne a los autores más representativos de la escritura continental y los editores que los publican. A través de entrevistas con la reconocida escritora ecuatoriana Gabriela Alemán y presentaciones de proyectos editoriales, los invitados explorarán los vínculos entre el mundo literario y la realidad continental. Sus conversaciones se convertirán después en el eje de un archivo digital que busca llevar estas ideas a un público global.

About the Author

Born in Caracas, Alberto Barrera Tyszka has published over a dozen works of poetry, short story, chronicle, novel, and biography. His most recent publications include the novels Patria o Muerte (2015) and Rating (2011), the poetic anthology La inquietud (2013), the collection of chronicles Un país a la semana (2013), and the short story collection Crímenes (2009). In 2005, he collaborated with Cristina Marcano to write the definitive biography of Hugo Chávez, Hugo Chávez sin uniforme: una historia personal (2005). Patria o muerte won the 2015 Premio Tusquets de Novela, and his novel La enfermedad, translated into English as The Sickness (2010), received the 2006 Herralde Award. Barrera also writes for television and has scripted soap operas for Venezuelan, Mexican, Colombian, and Argentinian networks.

Pan-American Life in New Orleans: Exhibition Opening and Reception

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Pan-American Life Insurance Group and The Latin American Library at Tulane University cordially invite you to an exhibit opening and reception to unveil the Pan-American Life Insurance Group (PALIG) Collection. The PALIG Collection, generously donated to The Latin American Library, documents the company’s 109 years connecting New Orleans with Latin America. The exhibit will feature photographs, manuscripts, and other materials from the PALIG archives as well as other holdings from the LAL that shed light on the long history of commercial and cultural ties between New Orleans and Latin America.

See the LAL Facebook page for more details and updates:

Bate papo!: Portuguese Conversation Hour

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A weekly hour of Portuguese conversation and tasty treats hosted by Prof. Megwen Loveless. All levels are welcome!

The theme for this semester will be Passion Fruit. So bring your sweet tooth to try this week’s homemade delicacy: Bala de maracujá.

Latin American Writers Series Fall 2019 Book Display

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The Latin American Library has put together a display of books written by authors participating in the Fall 2019 Latin American Writers Series: Luis Negrón, Power Paola, Alberto Barrera Tyszka, and Gabriela Weiner. All books on display are available for check out. When you visit, be sure to grab a free bookmark commemorating the series!

CANCELLED: Café con Alberto Barrera

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The Stone Center invites you to Café con Alberto Barrera. This intimate meet and greet will be an opportunity to connect with Barrera, an influential writer and thinker from Venezuela. In addition to his creative work as a poet and novelist, he has co-authored, with journalist Cristina Marcano, Hugo Chávez sin uniforme: una historia personal, the first biography written on this controversial figure. He has also penned Alta Traición and Un país a la semana, two texts that chronicle the tumultuous political landscape in the Venezuela of recent years. Barrera will be answering questions about his non-fiction work during this casual conversation with faculty and students.

Lunch with LAGO featuring a conversation with three recent PhD graduates

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Join the Latin Americanist Graduate Organization (LAGO) on Friday, 11/22 at 12pm for the latest installment of their bi-weekly lunch series. Three recent PhD graduates will be discussing their professional/academic trajectories:

Stefanie Israel de Souza, CIPR Post-doctoral Fellow (

Hannah Palmer, Program Manager for Academic Programs at the Stone Center (

Rachel Stein, Research and Instruction Librarian at the Latin American Library (

The Labyrinth will be serving mini paninis, savory spreads and dips, desserts (including tres leches cake) and fresh juices. Please come hungry!