Semester Calendar

Denise Dresser

Denise Dresser is a political analyst, columnist, and academic who writes for Reforma and Proceso, and teaches at the Instituto Tecnológico Autónomo de México (ITAM). Dresser is the author of numerous publications on Mexican politics and U.S.-Mexico relations, and has received the Legion of Honor medal for her work on democracy, justice, gender equality and human rights. 


Tuesday, September 3, 2019, 5:00 pm
Maude Fife Room, 315 Wheeler Hall

Panel Discussion

A Moral and Political Issue of Our Time

Experts on Central America and migration will participate in a panel about the context, current situation, and future of migration between Central America and the United States, and its impact on the U.S. border. 

The panel includes:Denise Dresser, Rosemary JoyceBeatriz Manz, Karen MusaloElizabeth Oglesby, and Paula Worby.


Wednesday, September 4, 2019, 5:00 pm
Maude Fife Room, 315 Wheeler Hall

Liza Grandia

There is an abundant literature on the tropical “d’s”—deforestation, degradation, and destruction—with very little attention to the “r’s”— recovery, regeneration, and reforestation. With state-governed parks ravaged by wildfires, poachers, and narco-traffickers, and their own communities splintered by land grabs and other political challenges, an indigenous peasant movement in northern Guatemala is building a more inclusive vision of conservation, from the grassroots. On land that Q’eqchi’ communities call xeel (“leftovers”), village elders and leaders have reconstituted communal governance through the declaration of “autonomous indigenous communities.” In this talk, Grandia will describe the Q’eqchi’ vision to reclaim sacred lands and reforest them with spiritually-important species for climate resiliency.

Liza Grandia is a cultural anthropologist and Associate Professor of Native American Studies at UC Davis.


Tuesday, September 10, 2019, 4:00 pm
CLAS Conference Room, 2334 Bowditch Street

Gabriel Giorgi

Recent reconfigurations of political subjectivities in South America gave impulse to the new rise of the right, in which hate infuses the public sphere. These changes are inseparable from transformations in technologies, circuits, and publics of writing. Recent art installations in Argentina and Brazil explore the intersections between online writing, hate, and “wars of subjectivity. This talk will examine the tentative mapping of these reconfigurations, their new scenarios, and the reimagination of “democracy” they impose. 

Gabriel Giorgi is a professor in the Department of Spanish and Portuguese Languages and Literatures at New York University, where he focuses on Latin American Modern and Contemporary Literature and Culture. He has published books and articles on topics that range from HIV/AIDS in Argentinian literature to territoriality under neoliberalism. 

Thursday, September 19, 2019, 5:00 pm
126 Dwinelle Annex

Cine Latino

Directed by Bruno Murtinho (Brazil, 2018)

Amazônia Groove is framed by a trip up the Amazon River into remote parts of northeastern Brazil. Trees and water glide by along with stories and songs, and director Bruno Murtinho introduces a group of accomplished musicians, each of whom tells a tale of land, water, and life. From traditional bolero music to modern "technobrega," artists perform and discuss the power of music in Brazil and around the world. 85 minutes. Portuguese with English subtitles.

Wednesday, October 2, 2019, 7:00 pm
Room 102, Moffitt Library

Cine Latino

Directed by Jenny Murray (United States, 2018)

¡Las Sandinistas! reveals the untold stories of Nicaraguan women warriors and social revolutionaries who shattered barriers during Nicaragua’s 1979 Sandinista Revolution and the ensuing U.S.-backed Contra War. Today, as the current Sandinista government is erasing these women's stories of heroism, social reform, and military accomplishments from history books, these same women are fighting to reclaim history – and are once again leading inspiring popular movements for equality and democracy. 96 minutes. Spanish with English subtitles.

All Cine Latino screenings are free to the public. No registration or tickets are required.

Wednesday, October 9, 2019, 7:00 pm
160 Kroeber Hall

Harley Shaiken

March 1932 was not a good time to come to Detroit. Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo arrived in the city in the midst of a plummeting economy and social upheaval. The artists painted during grim economic times, yet Rivera’s dream of a popular international art has found an enthusiastic new audience, and Kahlo has become iconic throughout the world. In this talk, Harley Shaiken will explore the ways in which art transcends borders.

Harley Shaiken is Class of 1930 Professor of Letters and Science and Director of the Center for Latin American Studies at the University of California, Berkeley.

Monday, October 14, 2019, Date and Time TBA
CLAS Conference Room, 2334 Bowditch Street

Cine Latino

Directed by Lila Avilés (Mexico/U.S. 2018)

Eve, a young chambermaid, works long hours at a luxurious Mexico City hotel. A young single mother who travels far to get to her place of work, Eve has aspirations for the future and hopes that her diligence will get her a coveted spot as the cleaner on an executive floor. She confronts the monotony of long workdays with budding friendships and quiet examinations of forgotten belongings. 102 minutes. Spanish with English subtitles.

Wednesday, October 23, 2019, 7:00 pm
160 Kroeber Hall

Cine Latino

Directed by Oscar Catacora (Peru, 2017)

Wiñaypacha is the first film shot entirely in Aymara, an indigenous language spoken by Aymara people in Peru and Bolivia. Incorporating and expressing the intricacies of Aymara language and cosmology, Wiñaypacha depicts the story of an elderly couple named Willka and Phaxsi (Sun and Moon). Amidst the backdrop of the captivating and rugged Andes mountains, they wait for their son who has left for the city. 86 minutes. Aymara with English subtitles. 

Wednesday, October 30, 2019, 7:00 pm
160 Kroeber Hall

Jacob Blanc

A Conversation with the Author

In the 1970s and 1980s, Brazilian communities facing displacement by the Itaipu Dam — which is now largest producer of hydroelectric power in the world — stood up against the military officials overseeing the dam's construction. In the context of an emerging national fight for democracy, they elevated their struggle for land into a referendum on the dictatorship itself. Jacob Blanc will discuss his new book, which traces the protest movements of Brazilians living in the shadow of the Itaipu dam, challenges the primacy of urban-focused narratives, and unearths the rural experiences of dictatorship and democracy in Brazil.

Jacob Blanc is a Lecturer in Latin American History at the University of Edinburgh.

Tuesday, November 12, 2019, 4:00 pm
CLAS Conference Room, 2334 Bowditch Street

Anthony W. Fontes

Maras (transnational gangs) like the MS-13 stand at the center of ever-growing politics of fear. Based on years of fieldwork in Central America, Anthony W. Fontes illuminates how the maras became the region’s public enemy #1. However, the problem goes beyond gangs. By providing cover for a host of other actors taking advantage of extreme violence, maras help create a sense of order in the midst of chaos. Fontes will explore how these gangs have become so crucial for making and mooring collective terror in Central American cities, while tracing the ties that bind violence to those residing in far safer environs.

Anthony W. Fontes is Assistant Professor in the School of International Service at American University, and received his Ph.D. in Geography from UC Berkeley.

Thursday, November 21, 2019, 4:00 pm
CLAS Conference Room, 2334 Bowditch Street