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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Mexican Cultural Institute's new exhibition features Hispanic women artists' empowerment and identity

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The Mexican Cultural Institute in New Orleans in collaboration with the New Orleans Hispanic Heritage Foundation is proud to announce the opening of the groundbreaking exhibition Hispanic Women Making Art: Creative Empowerment and Identity. The exhibition will feature artists Verónica Bapé, Belinda Flores-Shinshillas, Ana Hernandez, Josephine Sacabo, Laura Velez and Luba Zygarewicz and is curated by Marcela Correa, MFA.

The opening reception will be held on September 26 from 6:00 PM – 9:00 PM. The exhibition will be open beginning September 26 and continue through November 24, 2018. For more information, please visit the Mexican Cultural Institute website.

Cover photo is a work by Verónica Bapé from the series ABUNDANTE COSA 1 MES 1 ARTISTA.

In 2018 the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Mexico established the Mexican Cultural Institute in New Orleans. The primary objective of the Mexican Cultural Institute is to promote the image of Mexico by supporting cultural expressions in its broadest and fullest sense, including multidisciplinary forms like visual arts, music, performing arts, film, literature and gastronomy. The mission of the Cultural Institutes is to be protagonists of the cultural scene in their different host cities.


Louisiana Archaeological Society to host talk by Francisco Estrada-Belli on the use of LiDAR in Maya archaelology

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The Louisiana Archaeological Society/Delta Chapter guest speaker series will be hosting Francisco Estrada-Belli, Research Assistant Professor in the Tulane University Department of Anthropology and the Middle American Research Institute for a talk titled The Scaling Factor: How Lidar Technology is Changing our views on Maya Agriculture and Settlement.

A new quantitative analysis of LiDAR data on agricultural features and settlement carried out since 2016 by a consortium of scholars working in Guatemala has generated a series of baseline facts on how much land was available for cultivation and how much land was developed by diverting water, terracing and other geoengineering methods. These data are coupled to more accurate population estimates on a scale that had never been attained before. The results of the study, co-led by Marcello Canuto, Thomas Garrison, and myself are now being published in “Science*:https://www.sciencemag.org/. Francisco Estrada-Belli will present an overview of the results with particular attention to his area of study, the Holmul region, where we made many unexpected finds.

Parking can be found along St. Charles Avenue, Walnut Street, Calhoun Street, and Loyola Avenue.

For additional questions, please visit the Louisiana Archaeological Society’s Delta Chapter event page.

Iván Acosta book presentation: With A Cuban Song in the Heart / Con Una Canción Cubana en el Corazón

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Iván Acosta will present his memoir, With a Cuban Song in the Heart/ Con Una Canción Cubana en el Corazón, published by Un-Gyve Press, 2017. At this event, Mr. Acosta will incorporate his favorite Cuban songs in a musical and historical journey. His book features artwork from 280 album covers in his private collection and weaves a rich narrative combining real life experiences from his childhood in Santiago, Cuba along with tidbits of local lore and historical references. His favorite songs will be performed by local performers during the presentation.
This fascinating presentation, starting at 6:00PM, will be held at Tulane University in the Freeman Auditorium of the Newcomb Art Building (in Newcomb Circle) New Orleans, LA, 70118. A book signing and reception will follow on Woodward Way, right outside the Freeman Auditorium and in the Newcomb Art Museum. The book will be available for purchase for $60.00.

This event is free and open to the public. For questions email ccsi@tulane.edu.

For further reading visit: https://www.nytimes.com/2001/08/16/nyregion/public-lives-cuba-on-his-mind-the-dual-life-of-an-artist-exile.html


Collaborators of these events with the New Orleans Hispanic Heritage Foundation and Tulane’s Cuban and Caribbean Studies Institute include Beatriz Ball, the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of Louisiana, the Newcomb Art Museum, Park View Historic Hotel, and St. Mary’s Dominican High School.

K-12 Educator Workshop Celebrating 25 Years of the Américas Award with 2018 winners Ibi Zoboi and Duncan Tonatiuh

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This year marks the 25th year that the Consortium of Latin American Studies Programs and CLASP will honor the work of the many authors, illustrators, publishers, educators, and readers of the award with 2018 award winners Ibi Zoboi and Duncan Tonatiuh.

Zoboi’s book, American Street is a complex and multi-layered story anchored around relationships and questions of loyalty. She will share her experiences writing this book and provide context for teaching this book in a high school classroom.

The second 2018 award winner by Duncan Tonatiuh, Danza is a magnificent celebration of Amalia Hernández, the dancer and choreographer who founded the famed Mexican dance company, el Ballet Folklórico de México. Tonatiuh will share with educators his unique illustrative style and engage participants in an exploration of Amalia Hernández and her impact in the world of dance. This picture book is the perfect book for every library.

The workshop will explore this year’s winners, providing guidance and resources that span the 25 years of the award. This special 25th anniversary workshop will focus on diversity and the role of community.

Co-sponsored by the national Consortium of Latin American Studies Programs (CLASP), Howard University, and Teaching for Change. Organized by the Center for Latin American Studies, Vanderbilt University and the Stone Center for Latin American Studies at Tulane University.

Celebración Latina at the Audubon Zoo

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In celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month, please join us at the Audubon Zoo for the 2018 Celebración Latina family festival to explore and celebrate the rich diversity of Latin America. Celebración Latina, presented by Pan-American Life Insurance Group, will be held at the Zoo’s Capital One Stage and Field. It will offer a true taste of the Latin American culture with live music, children’s activities, and authentic Latin cuisine prepared and sold by local restaurants. Local artisans will sell hand crafts, and local social service, health, and education organizations will offer wellness, education, and social service information.

Celebración Latina is included with Zoo admission or Audubon membership. No outside food, beverages, or tents allowed. Portable chairs and blankets are welcomed.

Don’t forget to check out photos from past celebrations!

For more information, please visit the Audubon Zoo website.

Celebración Latina is sponsored in part by the Stone Center for Latin American Studies and Ron Austin & Associates.

In the Kitchen: A Day of the Dead K-12 Educator Workshop using Food

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The end of October and beginning of November marks an important time for many in Latin America. It marks the observance of Día de los Muertos, the Day of the Dead. This year Tulane University’s Stone Center for Latin American Studies and The Southern Food & Beverage Museum celebrate Día de los Muertos with food.

The annual Day of the Dead educator workshop focuses on the arts, culture, and history of the tradition. We share books and activities that can be used at the K-12 level to teach about this tradition. Join us this year as we pay particular attention to food for the ancestors from Mexico, Guatemala, Peru and New Orleans. All K-12 level educators are invited to join us for an evening of learning, crafting, and eating!

Registration is now open!
Registration ($15) includes dinner, curricular resources, a food activity you can use in your classroom, a film, and a certificate to be used to receive Continuing Education Units.

The Southern Food & Beverage Museum is a nonprofit living history organization dedicated to the discovery, understanding and celebration of the food, drink and the related culture of the South. While based in New Orleans, the Museum examines and celebrates all the cultures that have come together through the centuries to create the South’s unique culinary heritage. SoFAB also hosts special exhibits, demonstrations, lectures and tastings that showcase the food and drink of the South.

Located inside the Southern Food & Beverage Museum (and included in your admission!) is The Museum of the American Cocktail’s New Orleans Collection and La Galerie de l’Absinthe. Be sure to check our program calendar to see what we’ll be offering during your visit in the Rouses Culinary Innovation Center by Jenn-Air.

Event cover photo courtesy of Yes, more please! Cooking Blog.