FIU Shows Strong Presence at LASA

Florida International University Shows Strong Presence at Latin American Studies Association XXIX International Congress

The XXIX International Congress of the Latin American Studies Association (LASA) was held in Toronto, Canada from October 6-9, 2010. LASA is the largest professional association in the world for those engaged in the study of Latin America. With over 5,500 members, 35 % of whom reside outside the US, LASA brings together experts from across the globe and from all disciplines. This year’s congress attracted nearly 4,000 participants and highlighted three major themes: “Crisis, Response and Recovery,” the “Independence Bicentennial,” and the “Centennial of the Mexican Revolution.” Among the many attendees from prestigious Latin American, Canadian, European and American universities were associated faculty and administrators of the Latin American and Caribbean Center (LACC) at Florida International University (FIU).

The University was well represented by distinguished faculty of its various departments. Dr. Bianca Premo, Associate Professor in the Department of History, chaired the panel, Hierarchies in Crisis in Bourbon Spanish America and presented the paper, An Equity against the Law’: Slave Rights, Equality, Freedom and Enlightenment in 18th-Century Spanish America. Associate Professor in the Department of History, Dr. Victor Manuel Uribe-Uran served as Chair of the panel, Gendered Violence in Times of Crisis: Public v. Private Dynamics in Ibero-American History and presented the paper, From Private to Globalized Patriarchy: Physical Aggression Against Female Spouses, and the Law in the Spanish American World, 1780s-2000s.

Also among the FIU participating scholars, was Dr. Jean M. Rahier, Director, African and African Diaspora Studies and Associate Professor, Department of Global & Socio-Cultural Studies. Dr. Rahier presented the paper, Hypersexual Black Women in the Ecuadorian Press and Other Media: An Examination of Visual Representations from the Late 1950s through the Late 2000s, as part of the panel entitled, Race, Gender, and Sexuality in Ecuador. FIU Research Assistant, Heidi Jane M. Smith, presented the paper, Evaluating and Explaining Local Economic Development Success in Latin America as part of a panel discussing inequality and poverty.

From FIU’s Department of Modern Languages, Associate Professor, Dr. Santiago Juan-Navarro, presented on the panel entitled, The Absolution of His(s)tory: The Mythologization of the Past in Cuban Cinema, where he presented his paper, Historia, mito y propaganda: La pasión, muerte y resurrección de José Martí, según Santiago Álvarez. Additionally, Dr. Juliet Pinto, Assistant Professor, School of Journalism and Broadcasting, and Dr. Paola Prado, Visiting Assistant Professor, School of Journalism and Mass Communication, co-presented the paper Environmental Conflict and New Media in South America: The Social Construction of International Environmental Disputes as part of a panel on environment and democracy in Latin America.

Two distinguished members of the Department of Politics & International Relations were also present at the conference. Dr. Barry Steven Levitt chaired the panel, Confianza, Confidence, Confiança: New Research on Trust and Institutions in Latin America and presented his paper, Institutional Trust in Peru and Beyond: Expectations, Performance, and Confidence in Legislatures. Also, Visiting Associate Professor in the Department of Politics & International Relations, Dr. Jose Miguel Cruz Alas, served on the panel, U.S. Criminal Deportation Policies and their Implications for Central America and presented his research, Maras and Violence in Central America, Gang Violence in Central America: Exclusion, Resistance, and the Struggle for Democracy.

LACC was also represented by members of its own faculty and administration, with the presence of its director, Dr. Cristina Eguizabal, who presented her research on U.S.-Central America relations as part of on the panel, Oxford Handbook on Mexican Politics II: Elections, Movements and the Media, explaining U.S. Relations with Central American Countries and also served as discussant for the panel U.S. Relations with Brazil, Mexico, and Venezuela. LACC Associate Director, Liesl Picard and Digital Library of the Caribbean Coordinator, Brooke Wooldridge presented as part of the panel, Outreach Collaborations: Expanding the Scope of Latin American Studies across the United States.