Semester Calendar

Panel Discussion

Nicaragua is in the middle of its worst political crisis in decades. Hundreds of people have died and the economy has been paralyzed by nationwide protests of the current government. The Solidarity Caravan is a group of Nicaraguan activists touring the United States to educate about the current situation and inspire support for the people of Nicaragua. They will speak on the continuing peaceful civic resistance to the human rights violations occurring throughout Nicaragua.


Wednesday, September 5, 2018, 12:00 pm
180 Doe Library

Susan Meiselas

From war and human rights to cultural identity and domestic violence, Susan Meiselas’s award-winning photographic work covers a wide range of subjects and countries. A member of the internationally renowned photographic cooperative, Magnum Photos, Meiselas raises provocative questions about documentary practice, and the relationship between photographer and subject. Her current retrospective exhibition at SFMOMA, Mediations, spans her career and features vivid images of the revolutions in Central America in the 1980s.

In conversation with Professors Natalia Brizuela and Leigh Raiford, Meiselas will discuss her photographic practice, intersectional feminism in photographic image-making, and the continued importance of photojournalism in a changing technological and geopolitical landscape.

Monday, September 10, 2018, 12:00 - 1:30 pm
Geballe Room, 220 Stephens Hall

Alison Post

Argentina’s economic travails are making headlines again. One of the main contributors to the country’s current challenges is a consumer subsidy program for electricity, gas, mass transit, and other infrastructure services, which disproportionately benefits middle class voters over poorer citizens. This lecture will examine the program’s origins following the 2001 crisis, why expenditures on consumer subsidies have grown dramatically over time, and how they continue to constrain the government’s ability to tackle the country’s economic problems. 

Alison Post is an associate professor of Political Science and Global Metropolitan Studies at UC Berkeley and a co-director of the Global Metropolitan Studies Program.  Her research lies at the intersection of comparative urban politics and comparative political economy.


Thursday, September 13, 2018, 4:00 pm
223 Moses Hall

Lillian Hoddeson and Peter Garrett

Stanford R. Ovshinsky (1922–2012) was described as, “the Edison of our age” by The Economist. Even this comparison fails to capture the full range of his achievements. As an independent, self-educated scientist and inventor, Ovshinsky made fundamental discoveries in material science and created innovative new products, many of which contributed to advances in solar energy and climate sustainability throughout Latin America and the world. Lillian Hoddeson and Peter Garrett's new book, The Man Who Saw Tomorrow, is the first full-length biography of a visionary whose energy and information innovations continue to fuel our economy. 


Thursday, September 20, 2018, 4:00 pm
330 Blum Hall

Lucia Cavallero

A partir de la acción impulsada por el colectivo NiUnaMenos llamada #DesendeudadasNosQueremos, que tuvo lugar frente al Banco Central de la República Argentina en junio de 2017, Lucía Cavallero discutirá cómo el movimiento feminista conceptualiza la cuestión de la deuda en las economías domésticas y su vínculo con la autonomía de las mujeres. Ella presentará la redefinición de la conflictividad poniendo de relieve el componente financiero y su vínculo con las violencias. Para llegar a este punto, Cavallero mostrará cómo la deuda ha sido politizada por el movimiento de derechos humanos y, en particular, el paro feminista.

Please note: This event will be in Spanish.


Thursday, September 27, 2018, 12:00 - 1:30 pm
CLAS Conference Room, 2334 Bowditch Street

Sergio Fajardo

Sergio Fajardo offers a unique perspective on the extraordinary happenings in Colombia. He followed an untraditional path in public life: from mathematician to presidential candidate. Fajardo will share his experiences as a public servant, his thoughts on the recent election, and an analysis of Colombia today.

Sergio Fajardo ran for president of Colombia in 2018 and received 24% of the vote. He served as governor of Antioquia (2012-2015) and as mayor of Medellin (2004-2007). Fajardo holds a Ph.D. in Mathematics from the University of Wisconsin, Madison.


Tuesday, October 2, 2018, 5:00 pm
Banatao Auditorium, Sutardja Dai Hall

Cine Latino

Directed by Lucrecia Martel (Argentina, 2018)

Zama, an officer of the Spanish Crown born in colonial South America, hopes for a letter from the King granting him a transfer from the town where he is stagnating to a better place.  As he waits, he is forced to submissively accept every task entrusted to him by a succession of Governors. Years go by and the letter from the King never arrives. When Zama realizes everything is lost, he joins a party of soldiers to pursue a dangerous bandit. 115 minutes. Spanish with English subtitles. 

“Beautiful, hypnotic, mysterious and elliptical...”
– Manohla Dargis, The New York Times

Wednesday, October 3, 2018, 7:00 pm
160 Kroeber Hall

Panel Discussion

Mass protests erupted in Mexico in the summer of 1968. Student activists were joined by workers, farmers, and other groups in taking to the streets and demanding changes to the ruling government’s authoritarian practices. The government’s violent repression of those protests culminated in the Tlatelolco Massacre of October 2 in Mexico City. Fifty years later, Susana Draper and Bruno Bosteels discuss that fateful season.

Co-sponsored by the Center for Latin American Studies and the Department of Spanish & Portuguese.


Friday, October 5, 2018, 12:00 - 2:00 pm
370 Dwinelle Hall

Alvaro Jarrín

Beauty is considered a basic health right in Brazil, and plastic surgery is offered to working-class patients in public hospitals in exchange for their role as experimental subjects. This talk will trace the biopolitical concern with beauty to Brazilian eugenics, and will explore how racialized ideas of beauty allowed plastic surgeons to gain the backing of the government. For patients, beauty is linked to a sense of citizenship and national belonging, and becomes a form of capital that maps onto and intensifies race, class and gender hierarchies in Brazilian society. By examining the interplay between biopolitics and affect, one can understand how beauty becomes a visceral reaction to oneself and others.


Tuesday, October 9, 2018, 4:00 pm
Wildavsky Conference Room, ISSI, 2538 Channing Way

Daniel Rodríguez

By 2050, Latin America will be the world’s most urbanized region. This transition has meant that lifestyle diseases are becoming the leading cause of death in many areas. Professor Rodríguez will present on his research that attempts to characterize built environments, show trends in life expectancy across the region, and draw connections between the two.

Daniel Rodríguez is Chancellor’s Professor in the Department of City and Regional Planning and Associate Director of the Institute for Transportation Studies at UC Berkeley.  His research focuses on the reciprocal relationship between the built environment and transportation, and its effects on health and the environment. Since 2017, he has been among the 25 most cited planning scholars in North America. 


Wednesday, October 10, 2018, 4:00 pm
CLAS Conference Room, 2334 Bowditch Street

Cine Latino

Directed by Sebastián Lelio (Chile, 2017)

Winner of the 2017 Oscar for Best Foreign Film

Marina, a young transgender actress and singer in Chile, and Orlando, an older man who owns a printing company, are in love and planning for the future. After Orlando suddenly falls ill and dies, Marina is forced to confront his family and society, and to fight to show them who she is: a complex, strong, forthright, and fantastic woman. 100 minutes. Spanish with English subtitles. 

Wednesday, October 10, 2018, 7:00 pm
160 Kroeber Hall

Diamela Eltit

Diamela Eltit, una de las escritoras más atrevidas de América Latina, comenzó su carrera en Chile, su país natal, durante la dctadura de Pinochet. Desde entonces, sus publicaciones han sido aclamadas internacionalmente por organizaciones como la Ford Foundation y la Guggenheim Foundation. Eltit fue invitado como escritora residente en las universidades de Brown, Columbia, UC Berkeley y Stanford. Actualmente es la Profesora Distinguida Global de Escritura Creativa en español en NYU. 

This event will be held in Spanish. Simultaneous English translation will be provided.
Thursday, October 11, 2018, 5:30 pm
Geballe Room, 220 Stephens Hall

Giorgio Jackson

Giorgio Jackson is a transformative political figure in Chile. As a student at the Catholic University in Santiago, Jackson was a key leader of the Chilean student protests in 2011. That mobilization of university and high school students fought for increased state support for public universities, more equitable access to education, and free public education for all students. The movement put as many as a million demonstrators on the streets of Santiago and coordinated demonstrations throughout Chile, reaching out to trade unionists, environmental groups, and other social movements. 

As a 25 year old, Jackson founded the Democratic Revolution political party in 2012, and was elected to Congress representing Santiago in 2013. He was re-elected in 2017 with the highest plurality of any member of Congress. Polls show him to be the most popular political leader in the country.


Thursday, October 11, 2018, 6:00 pm
Room 250, Goldman School of Public Policy

Public Assembly

The second round of elections in Brazil is on October 28, 2018. In the wake of rampant acts of violence against racial, gender, sexual, and religious minorities and proliferating fake news intended to catalyze hatred of the other, it has never been more important in recent history to gather as a community and reflect on the dangers facing Brazilian democracy than at this very moment. All members of the community, including Bay Area residents, visitors, and UC Berkeley affiliates, are invited to an open forum to express their thoughts and discuss the current political crisis. 

Co-sponsored by Center for Latin American Studies and the Department of Spanish and Portuguese.

Monday, October 22, 2018, 6:00 pm
Spanish and Portuguese Library, 5125 Dwinelle Hall

Duanel Díaz

Cuba is a land of strange contrasts: vintage American cars among dilapidated buildings with walls covered in revolutionary slogans. Duanel Díaz argues that what distinguishes contemporary Havana from other decayed places such as Detroit and New Orleans is precisely this striking coexistence between the revolution and the ruins. Any effort to understand Cuba’s post-communist present takes us back to the heyday of the revolution.

Duanel Díaz Infante is an assistant professor of Spanish at Virginia Commonwealth University. 


Thursday, November 1, 2018, 12:30 – 2:00 pm
83 Dwinelle Hall

Myrna Santiago

Professor Myrna Santiago argues that the crisis in Nicaragua is not only a conflict over the fate of the Ortega-Murillo presidency, but also over the memory of the Sandinista Revolution and the country's political history. Nicaraguans’ perspectives on the presidential couple depends, at heart, on how they interpret the history and legacy of the Sandinista Revolution.  In the process, various political actors are wittingly and unwittingly re-enacting that very history--and no one knows how the story will end. 


Thursday, November 1, 2018, 4:00 pm
CLAS Conference Room, 2334 Bowditch Street

Cine Latino

Directed by Daffodil Altan and Andrés Cediel (USA, 2018)

This new documentary by FRONTLINE and the Investigative Reporting Program at UC Berkeley , tells the story of a group of teenagers from Guatemala who are forced to work against their will at an Ohio egg farm. The film exposes the criminal network that exploits the minors, the company that profits off of them, and the U.S. government’s role in delivering the children into the hands of their traffickers. 54 minutes. English and Spanish with subtitles.

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

Wednesday, November 7, 2018, 7:00 pm
160 Kroeber Hall

Alexis Esquivel

Renowned Cuban painter and performance artist Alexis Esquivel discusses his work in the genre of history painting, at the intersection of art, politics, and race.

In Spanish with simultaneous translation available.

Co-sponsored by the Center for Latin American Studies and the Department of History.


Thursday, November 8, 2018, 11:00 am – 12:30 pm
2 LeConte Hall

Nathaniel Wolfson

By examining the co-evolution of Brazilian literature and cybernetic systems, information aesthetics, and industrial design during the democratic period between two dictatorships, Wolfson interrogates several post-war avant-garde case studies that articulated new understandings of the role of poetry and graphic arts in society. In this talk, he focuses on the experiences of Brazilian students at the Ulm School of Design in the 1960s and the corresponding transnational debates concerning form and semantics in literature and design. 

Nathaniel Wolfson is Assistant Professor of Spanish and Portuguese at UC Berkeley. His research concerns a range of topics, including avant-garde poetry and aesthetics, media studies,  literature, and philosophy.


Thursday, November 8, 2018, 4:00 pm
CLAS Conference Room, 2334 Bowditch Street

Mariana Mora

Over the past two decades, Zapatista Indigenous community members have asserted their autonomy through everyday practices in their struggle for lekil kuxlejal, a dignified collective life connected to a specific territory. Mariana Mora spent more than ten years researching in Chiapas, working with Tseltal and Tojolabal community members to design and evaluate her fieldwork. The result of that collaboration is a work of activist anthropology, revealing how kuxlejal (or life) politics unsettle key racialized effects of the Mexican neoliberal state.

Mariana Mora is Associate Professor/Researcher at the Center for Research and Advanced Studies in Social Anthropology (CIESAS) in Mexico City. Her research focuses on struggles against continuing colonization as a part of state formation in Latin America, including in Indigenous regions in Mexico.

Wednesday, November 14, 2018, 6:00 – 8:00 pm
Ethnic Studies Library, 30 Stephens Hall

Cine Latino

Directed by Kléber Medonça (Brazil, 2012)

A palpable sense of unease hangs over a single city block in the coastal town of Recife, Brazil. Home to prosperous families and the servants who work for them, the area is ruled by an aging patriarch and his sons. When a private security firm is reluctantly brought in to protect the residents from a recent spate of petty crime, it unleashes the fears, anxieties, and resentments of a divided society haunted by its troubled past. 131 minutes. Portuguese with English subtitles. 

“One of the strongest feature debuts of the last decade.”
– Robert Abele, The Los Angeles Times

Wednesday, November 14, 2018, 7:00 pm
160 Kroeber Hall

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. He is author of Mortal Doubt: Transnational Gangs and Social Order in Guatemala City.

Friday, November 16, 2018, POSTPONED
CLAS Conference Room, 2334 Bowditch Street

Film Screening and Director's Talk

Directed by Rick Tejada Flores (USA, 2018)

Filmmaker Rick Tejada Flores unravels secrets of his family’s past in Bolivia, discovering his grandfather’s hidden role as President during one of the bloodiest wars in Latin America. From downtown La Paz to the remote mountain town of Llojeta, Tejada Flores explores how his family, as part of the white ruling class, perpetuated disparities in rural indigenous communities. He finds both a family and a nation struggling to come to terms with their history. 56 minutes. English and Spanish with English subtitles.

Tuesday, November 20, 2018, POSTPONED
160 Kroeber Hall

Carolina Botelho

A vitória presidencial do candidato de ultra-direita Jair Bolsonaro no Brasil surpreendeu analistas de todo o mundo. O candidato fez uma campanha contrária aos movimentos sociais e às conquistas de direitos civis e sociais. No entanto, o eleitor brasileiro já dava sinais de uma mudança de perfil de político a ser escolhido. Carolina Botelho mostrará como a percepção do eleitor brasileiro sobre política, economia e sociedade foi se construindo nos últimos anos até a eleição presidencial.

Carolina Botelho é visiting fellow no Centro de Estudos Latino Americanos da Universidade de Berkeley. Foi pesquisadora de ciência política na Fundação Getulio Vargass e assessora técnica em órgãos governamentais estaduais e federais. Ela possui doutorado em Ciência Política pela Universidade do Estado do Rio de Janeiro.

PLEASE NOTE: This event will be in Portuguese.


Wednesday, November 28, 2018, 12:00 pm
CLAS Conference Room, 2334 Bowditch Street

Informational Meeting

Foreign Language and Area Studies (FLAS) Fellowships provide funding to graduate students to encourage the study of critical and less commonly taught foreign languages in combination with area studies or international aspects of professional studies. Fellowships are funded by the U.S. Department of Education to promote the training of students who intend to make their careers in higher education, government service, or other employment where knowledge of foreign languages and cultures is essential.

CLAS is offering FLAS awards to graduate students studying Spanish, Portuguese, Nahuatl, or other Latin American languages. Fellowships are offered for both academic year and summer programs.

Thursday, November 29, 2018, 11:00 am
309 Sproul Hall

Nabil Bonduki

Brazilian Fulbright Visiting Scholar Nabil Bonduki shares his experiences with housing policy and urban planning, in academia and in the government of São Paulo. He will speak on affordable housing policies and the City of São Paulo’s Master Plans (2002 and 2014).

Nabil Bonduki is a Professor of Architecture and Urban Planning at the University of São Paulo (Brazil), and was elected to the City Council from 2001-2004 and 2013-2016. He is the author and rapporteur of two Master Plans for São Paulo, in 2002 and in 2014.


Thursday, December 6, 2018, 12:00 - 2:00 pm
CLAS Conference Room, 2334 Bowditch Street

Film screening and discussion

Directed by Alfonso Cuarón (Mexico and U.S., 2018)

Considered by many as Alfonso Cuarón's masterpiece, Roma portrays a turbulent year in the life of a middle-class family in 1970s Mexico City, in the context of a social hierarchy where class and race are perversely intertwined. This highly acclaimed film is Mexico’s submission for the 2019 Academy Award for Best Foreign-Language Film. 135 minutes. Spanish with English subtitles.

Co-sponsored by the Center for Latin American Studies and The Mexican Association of Students at Berkeley (MEXASB).

Friday, December 14, 2018, 7:00 – 10:00 pm
250 Goldman School of Public Policy