Roger Thayer Stone Center For Latin American Studies

Tulane University

Key Issues for the Latin American Region in 2012

By Ludovico Feoli

At a recent informal workshop, Olivier Dabene, director of political science at Science Po, shared some interesting thoughts about potentially defining issues for Latin American politics in 2012. The following are some reflections that borrow freely from the workshop’s discussion.

The broad sweep of social movements in Chile which coincided with the arrival of the country’s first post-transition government of the right, suggests an important question: what should be expected as the left looses other elections across the region? Social protests have been relatively muted in countries where the left has held power, or at least the government has been seen as representing the interest of the social sectors. Notable examples are Brazil and perhaps also Venezuela. The greater inclusion and subsequent politization of different groups in the past few years has increased the power of movements. As the Bolivian case exemplifies, these movements can and have used their power effectively against unpopular policies, even those promoted by governments they helped rise to power. Would transitions to governments on the right, were they to happen, lead to an increase in political instability?

A closely related question is what should be considered tolerable levels of instability. A rise in the level of contentious political tactics, such as protests and public manifestations, is not something to bemoan, assuming it remains within tolerable bounds. As pointed out by workshop participants, we must broaden our understanding of democracy to include alternatives that privilege active participation in the public sphere over intermediation by representatives. Low levels of trust in traditional political parties and politicians make this an imperative if we are to understand the events in the region adequately. Our evaluations of democracy should be informed by substantive aims. and judgments about procedural failings should be tempered by the ultimate impact on the common good. The key test for leftist regimes will be their respect for the democratic process. Would they cede power if the electoral tide turns against them? Would they call on the military barracks to settle differences if polarization comes to a head? The year 2012 will bring important presidential elections that may bring these issues to the fore, particularly in Venezuela.

In the realm of international relations, Brazil has been the rising regional power, led by its aspiration for a leading role on the broader international stage. The Brazilian model of socially grounded and pragmatic economic development has had greater appeal than the more radical alternatives to its left or right. Would a return to power of the PRI lead Mexico to exercise a more assertive challenge to Brazilian regional leadership. If so, what would be the consequences? How will this affect the main regional integration options—UNASUR and the newly created CELAC?

Latin America is enjoying favorable economic circumstances, largely due to a China-driven resource boom. While a reversion of this boom does not seem imminent, it would be informative to consider the sustainability of generous social policies in the event of an economic deterioration. Some countries in the region, like Argentina or Venezuela, already face inflationary strains. How would an inability to sustain popular policies impinge upon leftist governments? The advances of the region in the reduction of poverty and inequality have been notable. But if the global economy forced a reversion of these gains, what would be the political implications? A particularly ominous prospect would be the unraveling of the Euro zone and the advent of a broader European sovereign debt crisis. While European leaders recently have given assurances that they will not allow this to happen, the likely outcome still remains highly uncertain. At the very least a European recession seems highly likely, and this might also have broader consequences for our region.

In sum, changing electoral and economic contexts may alter the current balance of political and economic affairs in the region during 2012. Intensification of social mobilizations, balancing maneuvers by regional powers, and new challenges for the sustainability of social policies should all be on our radar.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

  • Ludovico Feoli

    Permanent Researcher and CEO, CIAPA, Executive Director - Center for Inter-American Policy and Research at Tulane University

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LAGO Symposium on Community-Engaged Scholarship

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The Latin Americanist Graduate Organization (LAGO) is pleased to announce its Symposium on Community-Engaged Scholarship. This full-day event will include a series of presentations featuring graduate students, faculty, and local leaders working at the intersection of academia and community. All are welcome to attend one or more of three talks. Breakfast and lunch will be provided.


SYMPOSIUM SCHEDULE

9 – 9:30 AM | Breakfast

9:30 – 11 AM | “The Role of the Arts in Community Engagement and Activism”
Moderator: Megan Flattley (Stone Center PhD Candidate)
Panelists: Dr. Jeffery U. Darensbourg (Tribal Councilperson and enrolled member of the Atakapa-Ishak Nation of Southwest Louisiana and Southeast Texas), Gabrielle Garcia Steib (Media Artist and Writer), Dr. Edith Wolfe (Stone Center Assistant Director for Undergraduate Programs)

11 – 11:30 AM | Break/Networking

11:30 – 1 PM | “Co-Creating Digital Testimonios with Latinx Youth: A Community-Engaged Approach to Scholarship and Action”
Presenters: Jennifer Miller Scarnato (City, Culture & Community PhD Candidate) and Rebeca Sauly Santa María Granados (Youth Member of Puentes)
Discussion Moderator: Dr. James D. Huck, Jr. (Stone Center Assistant Director for Graduate Programs and Puentes Board Member)

1 – 2 PM | Lunch

2 – 3:30 PM | “Guiding Principles and Strategies: The Social Sciences and Community Engagement”
Moderator: Carolina Timoteo de Oliveira (Stone Center PhD Candidate)
Panelists: Dr. Claudia Chávez-Arguelles (Tulane Anthropology Faculty), Ruth Idakula (Critical Race Theory & Anti-Racist Praxis educator and facilitator), and Linett Luna Tovar (Stone Center Masters Program Alumna)

3:30 – 4:30 | Networking/Wrap-up

The LAGO Symposium on Community-Engaged Scholarship is co-sponsored by the Stone Center for Latin American Studies and the Tulane Mellon Graduate Program in Community-Engaged Scholarship.

Latin American Writers Series: Damián Cabrera

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Join us for an interview with Damián Cabrera about his life, interests, and influences. The discussion will be followed by an open Q&A. 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 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 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

Damián Cabrera was born in Asunción Paraguay and grew up in Alto Paraná along the Brazilian border. His publications, which explore the realities of the Triple Frontier, include one collection of short stories, sh… horas de contar… (2006) and the novels Xiru (2012)—winner of the Roque Gaona Prize—and Xe (2019). Cabrera has served as editor of the journals El Tereré (2006-2012) and Ku’Ótro (2008) and is an active member of artistic organizations such as Semenario Espacio/Crítico and Ediciones de la Ura. He also teaches film at the Universidad Columbia de Paraguay and art and design at the Universidad Nacional de Paraguay.

The 2020 Dr. H. Barry and Lucy V. Holt Lecture in Ethnohistory: "City of Blood, City of Flowers: Why the Aztecs Enchant Us"

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The Stone Center for Latin American Studies, the Tulane Department of History, and the Middle American Research Institute invite you to the 2020 Dr. H. Barry and Lucy V. Holt Lecture in Ethnohistory: “City of Blood, City of Flowers: Why the Aztecs Enchant Us” presented by Dr. Davíd Carrasco.

Davíd Carrasco is the Neil L. Rudenstine Professor of the Study of Latin America at Harvard University. A historian of religions with a particular interest in Mesoamerican cities and the Mexican-American borderlands, Carrasco’s wide-ranging work has explored the challenges of postcolonial ethnography and theory as well as the practices and symbolic nature of ritual violence in comparative perspective. In conjunction with Mexican archaeologists, he has carried out research in excavations and archives associated with the sites of Teotihuacan and Mexico-Tenochtitlan resulting in books such as Religions of Mesoamerica, City of Sacrifice, To Change Place, and Quetzalcoatl and the Irony of Empire. Carrasco’s work has also traced the religious dimensions of the Latino experience, exploring themes such as mestizaje, the myth of Aztlan, transculturation, and La Virgen de Guadalupe. Most recently, Carrasco oversaw production of a documentary about his longtime friend and Nobel Prize-winning author Toni Morrison. He edited and contributed to the companion volume Goodness & the Literary Imagination. Carrasco is a recipient of the Mexican Order of the Aztec Eagle, the highest honor the Mexican government gives to a foreign national.

The lecture is being held in conjunction with the Tulane Maya Symposium and will be followed by light refreshments before the keynote address by Dorie Reents-Budet. Both the Holt Lecture and keynote address are free and open to the public.

Teaching the Maya through Food: K-12 Teacher Workshop

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Friday, March 6, 2020
4:00 pm – 6:00 pm

REGISTER HERE FOR $5 ONLY

In collaboration with the Annual Tulane Maya Symposium, this workshop focuses on foods of the Maya. Participants will explore the foods of the Maya focusing on the role of food over time. Join us as we hear from Maya Master Teacher, Ellen Cohen, Anthropologist and researcher of chocolate, Professor Kathryn Sampeck and Kaqchikel language scholar from Guatemala, Ixnal Cuma Chávez who will discuss the importance of the tortilla and tamal in contemporary Maya traditions.

REGISTER HERE.

Workshop Objectives:

  • Provide a general introduction to the geography of the Maya
  • Introduce new perspectives to teaching the Maya through culinary traditions
  • Share hands-on lessons and activities that inspire learners to better understand ancient and contemporary Maya

Sponsored by Tulane University’s AfterCLASS, the Middle American Research Institute, the Stone Center for Latin American Studies, and S.S. NOLA.

For more information, please call 504.862.3143 or email crcrts@tulane.edu.

Latin American Writers Series: Andrea Palet

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Join us for an interview with Andrea Palet about her life, interests, and influences. The discussion will be followed by an open Q&A. 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 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 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

Andrea Palet is an editor, columnist, and educator from Chile. With almost three decades of experience in the publishing field, she has edited magazines and books in both Europe and South America. In 2014, she became the founding editorial director of Editorial Laurel in Santiago, Chile. Under her leadership, the house has released the works of more than 20 novelists, essayists, and chroniclers. Palet also oversees the Master of Editing program at the Universidad de Diego Portales. A collection of her columns, Leo y olvido, was released in 2018 by Ediciones Bastante.

Latin American Writers Series: Rodrigo Fuentes

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Join us for an interview with Rodrigo Fuentes about his life, interests, and influences. The discussion will be followed by an open Q&A. 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 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 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

Rodrigo Fuentes is a Guatemalan-born writer of short stories. He received the II Premio Centroamericano Carátula in 2014, and his collection Trucha Panza arriba was a finalist for the 2018 Premio Gabriel García Márquez . His works have been published in Guatemala, Bolivia, Colombia, Chile, El Salvador, as well as in translation in France and Scotland. Fuentes is also the co-founder and editor of the magazine Suelta and of the digital publishing house and literary journal Traviesa. He currently teaches in the Department of Spanish at College of the Holy Cross.