Latin American Studies Working Paper Series

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The LAS Working Paper Series is a co-operative endeavor between the Latin American Studies programs of Simon Fraser University and the University of British Columbia.

Del Lenguaje Revolucionario a la Revolución del Lenguaje

Peer reviewed: 
No, item is not peer reviewed.
Date created: 
2012-03
Abstract: 

This paper presents a thematic comparative linguistic analysis between José Martí's "Nuestra América" and Simón Bolívar's "La carta de Jamaica".

Document type: 
Lecture / Talk

Quemando el Parquet: Cabecitas Negras, Urban Legends and abjection. The Construction of Regional Identity in an Argentine Working Class Community

Author: 
Peer reviewed: 
No, item is not peer reviewed.
Date created: 
2012-03
Abstract: 

In the late 1930s a new wave of migrants left the parajes of the departments of Loreto and Atamisqui for the packing houses of Berisso driven out of their homes by an epic drought that lasted almost two years. They arrived in a working class community that was one of Argentina’s largest meat packing centers, whose two packing houses would at the height of the Second World War employ almost 20,000 workers. The social and cultural landscape of this community was one dominated by European immigrants who had been arriving since the beginning of the century from all over Europe and the old Ottoman Empire. They found work in the frigoríficos and created and nurtured a dense network of cultural associations known locally as the “colectividades”. This network would continue to dominate Berisso’s social and cultural space. It is the complex interaction between these new migrants – the santiagueños – and the established community which is addressed in this paper.

Document type: 
Lecture / Talk

Situating Truth Commissions’ Historical Narratives in Context: Chile and Peru

Author: 
Peer reviewed: 
No, item is not peer reviewed.
Date created: 
2012
Abstract: 

Why do some truth commissions produce comprehensive historical narratives,while others limit themselves to writing short context chapters? Why do some narratives try to include as many perspectives as possible, while others seem content with a relatively narrow analysis? Why do some commissions avoid making judgment on politically sensitive issues, while others eagerly join historiographical controversies? What do the exclusions reveal about a particular truth commission’s understanding of truth, justice and reconciliation?

These questions are explored through an analysis of the historical narratives of the Chilean and Peruvian truth commissions. The author compares and contrasts the historical narratives with respect to depth, breadth, narrative strategies, and exclusions and argues that the commission creation process simultaneously enables and constrains the commission through the mandate and the appointment of commissioners, which in turn shapes the forensic investigation and the historical explanation. The composition of the commissionis of special significance in making sense of the historical explanation, since thecommissioners’ professional background, ideology, values and experiences have direct influence on the content and exclusions of the narrative.

Document type: 
Book chapter

Aural Ethnography and the Notion of Membership: An Exploration of Listening Culture in Havana

Author: 
Peer reviewed: 
No, item is not peer reviewed.
Date created: 
2012-02-03
Abstract: 

Havana has a distinct aural culture. Its soundscapes are dynamic, and are spaces createdwith intention and purpose through the act of soundmaking. Locals actively engage theirsurroundings, and they demonstrate a willingness to contribute to the composition of theacoustic environment. The result is a soundscape that is rich in communicative potential,offering the individual a sense of being present within a familiar community – one thathas intimate ties to the physical terrain on which it is situated. But what is it exactly thatcreates the conditions for such a dynamic aural experience? And what is it about theHavana soundscape that sets it apart from the sounds of any other urban environment?

Many of the sonic impressions that are used to inform this analysis are living artifacts of my own memory,and have not been derived from any recent ethnographic fieldwork. In this sense, thispaper is an instance of placing the cart before the horse, and is in some ways more of aproject proposal than it is a finalized collection of thoughts. With this in mind, I will domy best to convey with the utmost clarity and brevity what it is I hope to accomplishduring my tenure as a doctoral student, and why aural ethnography, in particular as itpertains to culture in Havana, is something that is worth pursuing.

Document type: 
Lecture / Talk

“Mona, mona, mona!” Whiteness, Tropicality, and International Accompaniment in Colombia

Author: 
Peer reviewed: 
No, item is not peer reviewed.
Date created: 
2012-01-19
Abstract: 

In the context of 'international accompaniment' work, such as that done by Peace Brigades International, the author first discusses racial categories in Colombia, and then how these are regionalized, before reviewing the racist discourses of tropicality that were and are used to do this. Discussed next are historic attempts to ‘whiten’ the nation and the ‘Colombian race’. The author concludes by looking at how these racial imaginaries are today both changing and hardening through the armed conflict. Ultimately the author argues that there continues to be a strong association between race and place that accompaniers, however unintentionally or reluctantly, use to make accompaniment ‘work’ in Colombia.

Document type: 
Lecture / Talk

Ferreira Gullar’s Non-Object, or how Neoconcrete Poetry Became One with the World

Peer reviewed: 
No, item is not peer reviewed.
Date created: 
2011
Abstract: 

Ferreira Gullar (b. 1930) was fundamental to Neoconcretism, which was an avant-garde movement that took place in Rio de Janeiro from 1959 to the mid-1960s. This movement is a landmark in the history of twentieth-century Brazilian art – in fact, it transformed discourses based on mediumspecificity into early contemporary experiments, whose radicalism and innovation still surprise us. Gullar guided this movement through his poetry, art criticism and curatorial work. Besides him, artists Hércules Barsotti Aluísio Carvão, Amílcar de Castro, Willys de Castro, Lygia Clark, Hélio Oiticica, Lygia Pape, Décio Vieira and Franz Weissmann, as well as poets Reynaldo Jardim and Theon Spanúdis, among others, renewed artistic parameters, and combined traditional media (such as painting and sculpture) with poetry, theater, architecture, dance, book making and graphic design, resulting in an interdisciplinary opening in the artistic field. Gullar’s participation in Neoconcretism has not been fully analyzed yet. This is the consequence of our incipient knowledge of the experimental works, since the academic organization of the fields of literary studies and art history in Brazil does not permit the understanding of his interdisciplinary approach to poetry. Whereas Brazilian literary critics focus on his more traditional poetic production, art historians consider the criticism independently, neglecting that he remained a poet through and through.

The objective of this article, therefore, is to conduct an integrated analysis of Gullar's output, submitting his art writing to the parameters of a research that intended to overcome conventional media to materialize expression in its purest form. To achieve this objective, I examine the critical writings on the non-object, as well as his experimental poetry. The methodology is necessarily inter-disciplinary, in the sense that I intend to demonstrate the decisive interference of the latter practice in the former, although respecting the inherent particularities of each field. The analytical problems placed by his neoconcrete output, nonetheless, go beyond the relationship between these two literary discourses, since his poetry resulted from the crossing of different media, from the improbable mixing of words with modified books, objects and, even, environments – without any doubt, these experiments were the true producers of signification in his oeuvre, and are analyzed in detail.

Document type: 
Article

Latin American Development Models: A Parallel Between Brazil and Mexico

Author: 
Peer reviewed: 
No, item is not peer reviewed.
Abstract: 

Brazil and Mexico have followed quite different development strategies. This paper focuses on a parallel between their trade policies since the 80’s as a proxy to an interventionist/reformist and a liberal/oligopolistic development model. Major differences emerged with the fatigue of Import Substitution Industrialization in the late 70’s. Since the 1982 moratorium, Mexico embarked on liberal reforms leading to the NAFTA: small value added exports, little innovation and concentration on the US market. Brazil preserved interventionist policies. Extensive trade liberalization came about only in 1990. “Real Plan” closed out inflation and launched sustainable stabilization. Mercosur´s dynamism came to a halt but commodity exports to China boomed. Crucial tests came in the years 2000. Brazil sailed well, outperformed Mexico and became one of the largest emerging economies. A more gradualist opening of the economy, diversified markets and innovation may explain the distinct results. The decisive element in development differentials between the two countries was the emergence of a wide, deep rooted reformist movement in Brazil. Laid down in the mid 90’s with the Real Plan, implemented along eight years under Cardoso, its basic features were not abandoned by Lula.

Document type: 
Lecture / Talk