The University of Iowa

Fall 2010

Latin American Studies Night

What: Eat, Learn, Dance!
When: Tuesday Oct. 19 from 5:30-6:30 p.m.
Where: IP Commons, 1117 UCC

Students interested in the Latin American Studies Certificate and Minor, as well as LASP faculty, are invited to attend. Refreshments will be served! Pick up information, meet fellow students and faculty, and learn about spring classes! What is Latin American Studies at Iowa? An opportunity to study the language, culture, history and politics of Central and South America, Mexico and the Caribbean. See the poster from this event

For more information, please contact Joy Hayes or Ana Merino in advance at or


“Indigenous Rights in the Citizen's Revolution in Ecuador"

What: LASP workshop with Carmen Martínez, professor at FLACSO-Ecuador and currently a visiting professor at Grinnell Colleg. Martínez will present a paper on “Post-neoliberal Multiculturalism? The Backlash Against Indigenous Rights in Ecuador’s Citizen’s Revolution.”
When: Wednesday, Oct. 27 from 12:30-1:30 p.m.
Where: The Commons, 302 Schaeffer Hall


"A Latin American Writer in the U.S.A.: Three Postcards"

What: Visit from the Bolivian writer and literary scholar Edmundo Paz Soldán, Cornell University
Monday, Nov. 1: Reading in Spanish at Prairie Lights at 5:30 p.m.
Tuesday, Nov. 2: A talk in English in the IP Commons (1117 UCC) at 4 p.m.

Soldán will speak about his experiences as a Latin American writer living in Alabama, Berkeley and Ithaca, and the complexities of articulating himself as a Latino. He will also talk about his desire for Spanish to become part of the literary language in the U.S.

See the poster from this event


“The Lettered Mountain: A Peruvian Village’s Way with Writing”

What: LASP workshop with Mercedes Niño-Murcia (UI Dept. of Spanish & Portuguese)
When: Tuesday, Nov. 9 from 3-4 p.m.
Where: TBA

Mercedes will be presenting the introduction and a chapter from a forthcoming book (Duke UP) that she co-authored with Frank Salomon: “The Lettered Mountain: A Peruvian Village’s Way with Writing.” The commentator will be Brian Gollnick.


LASP steering committee meeting

When: Wednesday, Dec. 1, from 12:30-1:30 p.m.
Where: 114 Phillips Hall


Amazon Week

Wednesday, Dec. 1
What: Film Screening and discussion with director: “Owners of the Water: Conflict and Collaboration,” directed by Laura R. Graham, David Hernández Palmar and Caimi Waiassé, (2009).
When: 7 p.m.
Where: 1505 Seamans

Part of the UI Center for Human Rights “Careers for Change” series

Owners of the Water is a unique collaboration between two indigenous filmmakers and UI anthropologist, Laura Graham, that explores an indigenous campaign to protect a river from devastating effects of uncontrolled Amazonian soy cultivation.

Thursday, Dec. 2
What: Film Screening: “Littlest Whorehouse in the Amazon,” (Pantaleon y las Visitadoras), Francisco Lombardi, Peru 2000, adaptation of Vargas-Llosa.
When: 7 p.m.
Where: 101 BCSB

Friday Dec. 3
What: Speaker: Stephan V. Beyer, author of Singing to the Plants: A Guide to Mestizo Shamanism in the Upper Amazon (University of New Mexico Press, 2010).
When: 12:30 p.m.
Where: 3rd floor, Gilmore Hall, atrium

Dr. Beyer is one of the world’s most learned and charismatic speakers on the topic of South American shamanic practices, including its history, current situation, the shamanic experience, and the cultural background of these practices and experiences. Dr. Beyer, a retired university Professor (Univ. of Wisconsin, Madison, and Graduate Theological Union, Berkeley) and successful trial lawyer in Chicago, has dedicated most of the last decade And a half to studying the culture and shamanic practices in the Iquitos region of the Amazonian basin in northeastern Perú. He will speak on various aspects of the use of ayahuasca shamanism as religious and healing practice.


"The resurgence of radical populism in Latin America"

What: A talk from Carlos de la Torre, professor at FLACSO-Ecuador and currently a visiting professor at Grinnell College
When: Wednesday, Dec. 8 from 12:30-1:30 p.m.
Where: The Commons, 302 Schaeffer Hall

Carlos de la Torre is an Ecuadorean scholar whose research covers the spectrum of Latin American politics and society. His most recent book is “Populist Seduction in Latin America” (2010). De la Torre is the recipient of numerous awards including a National Endowment for Democracy fellowship and an upcoming Guggenheim fellowship.

He will discuss the resurgence of radical populism in countries such as Venezuela, Ecuador and Bolivia, and its impact on Latin American democracy.


Spring 2010 Events

"Shifting Subjectivities: Racialization and Otherness in Modern Costa Rica

Date: Spring 2010
Time: TBA
Location: TBA
Presenter: Erica Townsend-Bell, Department of Political Science
Commentator: Laura Gotkowitz, Department of History

If you would like to attend, please contact Laura Gotkowitz at for a copy of the paper.


"The Power of Writing and Power Over Writing in an Andean Village/ El poder de la escritura y el poder sobre ella en un pueblo andino"

Date: Postponed
Time: TBA
Location: 302 Schaeffer Hall (The Commons)
Presenter: Mercedes Niño-Murcia, Spanish and Portuguese
Commentator: Brian Gollnick, Spanish and Portuguese


"The Paradoxes of Truth: Reckoning with Pinochet and the Memory Question in Chile and World Culture, 1989-2006"

Inaugural Lecture in Latin American Studies to honor Charles A. Hale Sponsored by the Latin American Studies Program and the Department of History

Date: Thursday, March 4, 2010
Time: 3:30 pm
Location: UCC 1117
Presenter: Professor Steve J. Stern, University of Wisconsin
There will also be a lunchtime meeting for graduate student (details forthcoming in the spring)

Steve J. Stern is Vice-Provost for Faculty and Staff and Alberto Flores Galindo Professor of History at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Professor Stern’s work spans the Andes,  Mexico, and Chile, from colonial times to the present. His most recent books are: Remembering Pinochet’s Chile: On the Eve of London, 1998 (2004), which received an honorable mention for the Bryce Wood Award of the Latin American Studies Association; and Battling for Hearts and Minds: Memory Struggles in Pinochet’s Chile, 1973-1988 (2006), which was awarded the 2007 Bolton-Johnson Prize of the Conference on Latin American History. The books are the first two volumes of a trilogy: The Memory Box of Pinochet’s Chile. Volume Three, Reckoning with Pinochet: The Memory Question in Democratic Chile, 1989-2006, will be published by Duke in May 2010.


"Lecture on Femicide and Drug Violence in Juarez, Mexico"

Date: Tuesday, March 30, 2010
Time: 4:00 pm - 5:00 pm
Location: 3321 Seamans Center
Presenter: Maria Socorro Tabuenca

Since 1992, Tabuenca has been a researcher at El Colegio de la Frontera, a research center that studies issues surrounding the U.S.-Mexico border.  She has also served as the dean for the research center’s northwest region since 1999. Femicide, or the mass murder of women because they are women, has been a phrase used to describe the nearly 400 murders of young women on the U.S.-Mexico border in the city of Juarez. Tabuenca has published in national and international journals mainly on Mexican-border women writers, borders’ theories, border cultural production and Chicano/a film and literature. She has also been teaching at the University of Texas at El Paso as a part-time lecturer in the Chicano studies program since 1992.

For more information please contact Santiago Vaquera-Vasquez at or (319) 335-3452.


"Colombian Author Santiago Gamboa"

Date: Tuesday, April 6, 2010
Time: 4:00 pm
Location: Shambaugh House, 430 N. Clinton St.
Presenter: Santiago Gamboa

Date: Wednesday, April 7, 2010
Time: 5:00 pm
Location: 315 Phillips Hall
Presenter: Santiago Gamboa

His session at Phillips Hall will include readings in Spanish from recent novels and a novel in progress.  The audience will have an opportunity to ask questions following the reading. The talk at Shambaugh House will be in English and will also include a time for questions. Gamboa will talk about his experience as a Latin American author living in India and how this experience influenced his work and his views. Following this talk on Tuesday will be a reception by the Latin American Studies Program (LASP). Gamboa, born in Bogotá in 1965, is a journalist, diplomat, and prizewinning author. He has lived in Madrid, Paris, and New Delhi, and worked as a correspondent and columnist. His first novel, published in 1995, forged a new path for Colombian literature.

The reception will take place after the presentation on Tuesday in Shambaugh House. This visit is sponsored by LASP and International Programs. For more information contact Roberto Ampuero at 319 335 2796 or  Important notice, the reading at Prairie Lights is in Spanish and the reading at Shambaugh House is in English. 



Date: Friday, April 9, 2010
Time: 5:00 pm
Location: Senate Chambers, Old Capitol
Host: Joan Kjaer

Please join host Joan Kjaer at 5:00 p.m. on Friday, April 9 in the Senate Chamber of the Old Capitol for the next WorldCanvass program, this time focusing on Latin America. Guests include musicians Benjamin Coelho, UI associate professor of music, and Marcelo Kuyumjian, UI graduate student in music, performing classical and popular Brazilian works for piano and bassoon. Armando Duarte, UI professor of dance, along with Charlotte Adams, Elroy Barragan, and Jennifer Kayle, all associate UI professors of dance, will discuss their choreography based on Latin themes. Loyce Arthur, UI associate professor of theatre arts, will discuss the Caribbean diaspora and Omar Valerio-Jimenez, UI assistant professor of history, will talk about the experience of Mexican immigrants in Iowa in the early part of the last century. Kjaer will also talk with Roberto Ampuero, Chilean author and UI associate professor in Spanish and Portuguese.

The program is produced before a live audience and taped for broadcast over UITV and KRUI. An audio version of WorldCanvass is available at the Public Radio Exchange (


"Screening of The Wall"

Date: Tuesday, April 13, 2010
Time: 7:00 pm to 9:00 pm
Location: 140 Schaeffer Hall
Director: Ricardo Martinez

In 2006, Congress passed The Secure Fence Act calling for construction of 700 miles of additional fence along the U.S.-Mexico border.  This law generated vigorous debate among a wide spectrum of Americans from policymakers to citizens of border towns.  “The Wall,” documents the impact of constructing this border fence, including border residents’ response to having a fence built in their communities and, often, across their properties.

Following the screening there will be time for discussion with director Ricardo Martinez. Omar Valerio-Jiménez, assistant professor of history, will moderate the discussion. Martinez is a graduate of New York University’s Tisch Film School. He splits his time touring the country discussing "The Wall" and working as a television editor.

The Latin American Studies Program is sponsoring the screening.

For more information, visit: or contact Omar Valerio-Jiménez at 319-335-2294 or


"International Crossroads Community Annual Latin Dance Festival"

Date: Friday, April 16, 2010
Time: 6:00 pm - 11:00 pm
Location: Second Floor Ballroom of the Iowa Memorial Union

The University of Iowa International Crossroads Community will hold its annual Latin dance festival from 6 to 11 p.m. Friday, April 16, in the second floor ballroom of the Iowa Memorial Union.  This event is free for University of Iowa students, four dollars for non-UI students and children, and six dollars for adults. Refreshments will be served at the event.

There will be salsa lessons from 6 to 7 p.m. and a University of Iowa Latin jazz ensemble will perform from 7 to 8 p.m., followed by a contest.  From 8:45 to 11:00 p.m. there will be a performance by Orquesta de Jazz y Salsa Alto Maiz, an 11-piece Latin jazz dance band featuring local musicians.

The event is sponsored by UI International Programs, the University of Iowa Student Government (UISG), and Coca Cola.

For more information contact Nicholas O'Brien at or 319-335-0345.


"Rafael Trujillo's Feminist: Minerva Bernardino, the Inter-American Commission of Women, and the Founding of UN Women's Human Rights Activism"

Date: Wednesday, April 21, 2010
Time: 12:15 pm
Location: 302 Schaeffer Hall (The Commons)
Presenter: Jo Butterfield, History
Commentator: Michel Gobat, History


"The Revolution on Balance: Human Rights in Cuba Today"

Date: Friday, April 23, 2010
Time: 2:00 pm - 4:00 pm
Location: 315 Phillips Hall
Presenter: Frank Calzón, Executive Director of the Center for a Free Cuba

Calzón will discuss the current stage of the Cuban Revolution and its leadership, assessing its impact on the people of Cuba. He will also speak about the Damas de Blanco (Ladies in White), an organization of Cuban mothers and grandmothers fighting for the humane treatment of political prisoners.  The Damas have recently faced severe repression that has been met with an international uproar.

The Center for a Free Cuba is an independent, nonprofit, nonpartisan human rights and pro-democracy organization.  Calzón is a political scientist and has testified before congressional committees and the United Nations in Geneva about the violation of human rights in Cuba.

This lecture is sponsored by the Iowa United Nations Association, the UI Center for Human Rights, the UI Department of History and UI International Programs.

For more information contact Adriana Méndez at or 319-335-2230.

"Symposium: Perspectives on the Constituent Assembly and the Refoundation of Bolivia"

Date: Saturday, May 1 - Sunday, May 2, 2010
Location: 2520D, University Capitol Centre
See attached symposium program

Symposium/Workshop on Bolivian constitutional reform process:
The University of Iowa will host an international symposium on Bolivia’s historic Constituent Assembly of 2006-07. The event, which is free and open to the public, will be held in Room 2520D, University Capitol Centre on May 1 and 2. 
Bolivia’s indigenous and social movements have captured worldwide attention. A constituent assembly to re-write the constitution and “refound” the nation was a key demand of those movements. The symposium will explore the relationship between the Assembly and wider efforts to overcome legacies of political exclusion.
“Perspectives on the Constituent Assembly and the Refoundation of Bolivia” is co-organized by Laura Gotkowitz (History, University of Iowa), and Rossana Barragán (History, Universidad Mayor de San Andrés). Participants include Bolivia’s Minister of Autonomies Carlos Romero; Congressional Deputy Marcela Revollo; human rights activist Loyola Guzmán; Director of Fundación Tierra Gonzalo Colque; and anthropologists Salvador Schavelzon and Pamela Calla.
The symposium is sponsored by a Major Projects Grant from UI International Programs, the CLAS Perry A. and Helen Judy Bond Fund for Interdisciplinary Interaction, the Department of History, and the Latin American Studies Program.

The bulk of the symposium will be held in Spanish. If you require translation, please contact Heidi Vekemans to reserve a headset.