Charles Adams Hale (1930-2008)

The Charles A. Hale Lecture in Latin American Studies at the University of Iowa is sponsored by the Latin American Studies Program (LASP), International Programs, the Department of History, and the Department of Spanish and Portuguese. The Charles A. Hale Lecture brings distinguished scholars from a range of disciplines to the University of Iowa to share their knowledge and research. The lecture nurtures teaching and scholarship in the field of Latin American Studies and builds connections among faculty, students, and community members interested in Latin America and U.S. Latinos.

Past Charles A. Hale Lectures

Popular cosmopolitanism Cinema, Genres, and Mediation in Mid-Century Mexico with filmstrip
Ignacio (Nacho) Sánchez Prado (Washington University in St. Louis) - September 23, 2021

The study of film in so-called semi-peripheral countries, strong enough to develop national industries, but not fully able to compete with the dominance of Hollywood and Western European cinemas, is often caught in an impasse. Cinema from Latin America and other regions of the Global South is often cajoled into the emphasis of their cultural specificity, or as sites of resistance or radical politics. This approach is oftentimes reductionist, a projection of critical voluntarism unable to understand these industries in their complexity. Based on a book in progress, this talk puts forward an idea of “popular cosmopolitanism” to understand the intersections of mid-Century Mexican cinema into the aesthetics and politics of emerging world cinema maps, as represented by three genres: literary adaptations, noir and thrillers and horror. Through films featuring the comedian Cantinflas and the wrestler El Santo, noirs that engage critically with the U.S. tradition and the Mexploitation horror traditions, this talk proposes a model to read film products that are usually overlooked by critics and distributors alike, given that they do not fit either stereotypical ideas of Mexicanness nor the expectation of resistance and radical politics

Blending Puerto Rico into Latin American History
Francisco A. Scarano (University of Wisconsin-Madison) - September 24, 2019

For much of the twentieth century, Latin American historiography marginalized Puerto Rico as an American possession not adequately encompassed by Latin American studies. Specialists regarded Puerto Rico as somehow “not part of” Latin America, although it belonged to the Spanish empire longer than any other country in the region. This exclusion reflected core tensions in the field of Latin American history and of Latin Americanism in general, as they were elaborated and institutionalized in the United States in the first decades of the 20th century. Scarano's talk will discussed the origins of this tension and its eventual--if perhaps only partial--resolution. It also discussed how, without much fanfare, Puerto Rico has provided important points of comparison for Latin American history, anthropology, and literature. 

History's Autobiography
Maurico Tenorio-Trillo (University of Chicago) - September 18, 2018

The meaning of “Latin America,” as an idea, has always existed in relation to a complex set of historical phenomena – racial, linguistic, political, economic. Tenorio-Trillo’s presentation locates the emergence of this concept in a way that illuminates just how freighted it is and why it has endured.

Pardos, Mulattos, and the Purchase of Whiteness in the Spanish Indies
Ann Twinam (University of Texas at Austin) - October 12, 2017

The colonization of Spanish America resulted in the mixing of Natives, Europeans, and Africans and the creation of a casta system that discriminated against them. Yet members of mixed races could free themselves from such burdensome restrictions through the purchase of a gracias al sacar—a royal exemption that provided the privileges of Whiteness. This presentation asks a key question: what historic variables made it possible for pardos and mulattos—unlike their counterparts in Anglo-America—to move from slavery to freedom, to mix with Natives and Whites and to be transformed into vassals worthy of such royal favor?

Linked In, Left Out, Uplifted, Downloaded: The Ecology of Language in a Globalizing World
Mary Louise Pratt (New York University) – October 29, 2015

The Iberian Pre- and Post-Colonial Roots of the Latin American Television Regional Market: The Case of Brazil
Joseph D. Straubhaar (University of Texas at Austin) – October 16, 2014

Public Festivals and Performative Feasts: Aztecs and Allegory in Baroque Mexico
Rolena Adorno (Yale University) – October 3, 2013

Race, Gender, and Brazilian Regional Conflict: the War of São Paulo, 1932
Barbara Weinstein (New York University) – April 26, 2012

Nota Roja: Justice in the Golden Age of Mexican Police News
Pablo Piccato (Columbia University) – May 5, 2011

The Paradoxes of Truth: Reckoning with Pinochet and the Memory Question in Chile and World Culture, 1989-2006
Steve Stern (University of Wisconsin-Madison) – March 4, 2010

In Memoriam

Professor Charles A. Hale (1930-2008)
Charles A. Hale

Professor Charles A. Hale (1930-2008), a specialist in Latin American history, was a faculty member at The University of Iowa from 1966 to 1997. During his 30-year teaching career, he served as Assistant Chair of the Department of History from 1970-1973 and Chair of the department from 1977-1980. A founding member of the Latin American Studies Program (LASP), he directed the program for two terms, from 1982-1984 and 1989-1991, and co-directed the program from 1994-1996. Professor Hale was an authority on Latin American liberalism and intellectual history. His three books were Mexican Liberalism in the Age of Mora, 1821–53 (Yale University Press, 1968), Transformation of Liberalism in Late 19th-Century Mexico (Princeton University Press, 1989), and Emilio Rabasa and the Survival of Porfirian Liberalism (Stanford University Press, 2008). His work garnered some of the highest honors for historical scholarship in the United States and Mexico. He was inducted into the Mexican Order of the Aztec Eagle in 1983 and the Mexican Academy of History in 1985. His first book was awarded the Sahagún Prize from Mexico’s National Institute for Anthropology and History, and his second received the Bolton Prize from the U.S.-based Conference on Latin American History. On March 3-4, 2006, the Department of History and the Latin American Studies Program, in conjunction with International Program, held a Latin American History Symposium: “Liberalism and Its Legacies” to celebrate the work of Professor Charles A. Hale.

Other tributes to Charles A. Hale