Annual Review
2001/2002, Issue 28

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  • CJLACS Comes to CERLAC
  • Baptista Essay Prize 1999-2000
  • York-FLACSO Dominican Republic Linkage
  • Experiencing Guyana
  • A Cuban Theme: Baptista Essay Prizes 2000-2001
  • Visitors to CERLAC
  • Director's Message

    Director's Message

    Reflecting on the yearís events in order to start writing this, my first report as Director of CERLAC, I realize what an exciting time this has been for me. Returning to York and its vibrant community of Latin American and Caribbean scholars is a privilege. 

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    The Canadian Journal of Latin American and Caribbean Studies (CJLACS) Comes to CERLAC
    By Judith Adler Hellman, CJLACS Editor

    One of the most exciting achievements of CERLAC Director Viviana Patroni's first year was her success in bringing the Canadian Journal of Latin American and Caribbean Studies (CJLACS) /Revue canadienne des études latino-américaines et caraïbes (RCELC) to our research centre. With the kind of burst of energy and enthusiasm that is characteristic of her leadership, Viviana proposed that the effort to "internationalize York" would be greatly enhanced if we could bring this important journal to our campus and provide the institutional support that would permit the journal to flourish. With crucial input from Vice-President of Research and Innovation, Stan Shapson, and from Dean John Lennox and the Faculty of Graduate Studies who provided a Graduate Assistant for the Journal, Viviana was able to propose to CALACS that CERLAC was in an ideal position to house the Journal.  And with this kind of support both from colleagues at CERLAC and the Board of CALACS, as well as encouragement from Professor W.E. (Ted) Hewitt of the University of Western Ontario who was stepping down after four very successful years as editor of the journal, I was able to take up my new responsibility as Editor following my confirmation at the CALACS meeting in Antigua, Guatemala.  Beginning in September 2001, I could also count on the enthusiastic and exceedingly able assistance of Scott Pearce, an M.A. student in the Graduate Program in Political Science.

    Dedicated to the publication of scholarly research in all fields of Latin American and Caribbean studies, CJLACS was re-established on a biannual production schedule by Ted Hewitt, who also expanded the size of the journal and the number of subscribers.  It is emblematic of the commitment of scholars of Latin America and the Caribbean across Canada to our national journal that Ted Hewitt has agreed to stay on as Managing Editor. Professor Yvon Grenier of St Francis Xavier University­ another former Editor of CJLACS -- will continue as French Language Co-editor and Manager of Publicity, Professor Patricia Chuchryk of University of Lethbridge will stay on as Book Review Editor, and Roma Quapp will remain in her position as Production Assistant.

    While the commitment of these people provides a very positive element of continuity for the journal, some changes are already in store.  First of all, we are excited to be working with the University of Calgary as our new publisher. Moreover, readers can expect to see new cover designs and the use of the CJLACS cover to display original artwork and photography on Latin American and Caribbean themes.   We are also planning to give greater emphasis to thematic reviews of current research.  However, my greatest effort will be dedicated to expand upon the achievements of my predecessors by assuring that we are publishing the most original and highest quality research available anywhere in our field.

    Since this article was written, three new issues of CJLACS have been published under Dr. Hellmanís editorship, a fourth is in press, and a new cover design for the Journal was introduced. Details forthcoming in next CERLAC Newsletter.

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    Visitors to CERLAC

    CERLAC again welcomed many visitors and delegates from all over North and South America this past year. In addition to those mentioned in the content of CERLAC events, the following academics, researchers, and project exchange visitors met with CERLAC members to explore possibilities for collaboration and for research and exchange opportunities:

    Stephen Dunnett, Vice-Provost for International Education; and José Buscaglia, Director, Cuban and Caribbean Studies, University of Buffalo. (5 May 2000)

    Armando L. Fernández Soriano, Fundación Antonio Núñez Jiménez de La Naturaleza y el Hombre;
    Cecilia Linares Fleites, Centro Juan Marinello, Msc; Graciela Mirtha Morales Pacheco, Centro Provincial de Superación del Ministerio de Cultura de la Ciudad de la Habana; Dr. Hernán Yanes Quintero, Investigador Titular cubano, MA;  Aymara Hernandez Morales, Departamento de Sociología. Universidad de la Habana; David Díaz Carbó, Universidad de HabanaĖUrban Studies Ė a delegation of academics from Cuba. (18 May 2000)

    Roosevelt Douglas, Prime Minister of the Commonwealth of Dominica. (31 May 2000).

    Dr. Anesther Shaw, U.W.I. Summer School, Howard University, Washington, DC; and Dr. Bradley Niles, Head Tutor, U.W.I. Summer School and International Programs, University of the West Indies, Cave Hill Campus, Barbados. (5 July 2000)

    Dr. Jorge Nowalski, President, the Centre for Human Sustainable Development in Costa Rica. (24 August 2000)

    Patricia Sierra, Corporación Cactus of Colombia - an NGO defending labour rights in Colombia's cut flower industry. (September 2000)

    Maarit Laitinen, from the Department of Cultural Anthropology at the University of Helsinki, Finland. (31 January 2001)

    Miguel Angel Herrera, Director of Political Science, Javeriana National University of Colombia. (25 May 2001)

    Rene Sanchez Díaz of the Cuban Ministry of Higher Education; and Julian Gutierrez Alonso of the ISPJAE of Havana. (18 May 2001)

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    Director's Message
    By Vivana Patroni

    Reflecting on the yearís events in order to start writing this, my first report as Director of CERLAC, I realize what an exciting time this has been for me. Returning to York and its vibrant community of Latin American and Caribbean scholars is a privilege. I am sincerely grateful to all members of the CERLAC community who have eased me into my new responsibilities, welcoming me again into the common effort that makes our Centre special. In particular, I thank CERLACís always-accessible Executive Committee, and Alan Simmons who, as Acting Director for 2000-2001, provided essential advice.

    Mr. Lloyd Best, this yearís Jagan Lecturer, provoked a stimulating dialogue with those present and with the broader Caribbean community [see article in this newsletter]. Mr. Bestís long trajectory as a public figure and his insight into the roots of the regionís most pressing problems were in strong evidence as he decried the unfulfilled promise of social justice and independence in the contemporary Caribbean. This lecture series is particularly important for CERLAC because it thrives on linkages between the university and the broader community. My most sincere appreciation to the planning committee members, whose vision, hard work, and extraordinary organizational abilities made it possible to realize such an important event.

    In May, the Baptista Lecture featured Ms. Amanda Romero, a prominent Colombian human rights worker. Ms. Romero also participated in our conference on the urgent topic of Violence and Peacebuilding in Colombia. One of the yearís highlights, this event convened an important audience of academics, graduate students, policy-makers, and the general public. My most sincere appreciation to Liisa North for her invaluable role in planning and participating in the event.

    Starting this year, CERLAC is home to the Canadian Journal of Latin American and Caribbean Studies (CJLACS) [see the article in this newsletter]. A number of factors made this possible, but most important was the enlistment of Judy Hellman as Editor. I am particularly pleased with this outcome. We intend to offer Judy every support as she indubitably contributes to the advancement of research on Latin America and the Caribbean within Canada, expands the Journalís readership, and promotes it as a venue for research originating in the area.

    This was also the first year of our joint project on Rural Sustainable Development with the Catholic University of Temuco [see the article on the Temuco Project in this newsletter]. The best local impact of the project has been the formation and regular gathering of a vibrant group of graduate students working on rural community development. Thanks to Ricardo Grinspun, Liisa North, and Alejandra Roncallo for spearheading this initiative, which hopefully will serve as a template for fomenting collaborative graduate student participation in other on-going research activities.

    Luin Goldring has left her position as coordinator of the Graduate Diploma Program after three years in this role. Luin has been a very effective administrator of program. Her blueprint for its improvement bodes well for its future. I am delighted to announce that, after the Search Committee processed the responses to its call for nominations, Ricardo Grinspun accepted its offer to become the new coordinator.

    Exciting prospects are shaping up for the near future. During the summer we completed a proposal for a collaborative project with the University of Tarapaca in Northern Chile. Whether or not the application is ultimately successful, the process was extremely useful in strengthening our relationship with members of the partner institution. Patrick Taylor is leading the development of a joint programme with FLACSO- Santo Domingo. To advance this and to strengthen our ties, CERLAC fellows recently participated in a regional workshop organized by FLACSO on Governability and Democracy in the Caribbean.  With Osgoode Hall Law School, we are communicating with the Inter-American Institute of Human Rights and the Association of Jesuit Universities of Latin America to determine the role we might play in the implementation of a Human Rights Diploma. Also with Osgoode, along with the Department of Political Science and the Centre for Refugees Studies at York, we have begun exploring a possible partnership with the National University of Colombia in the planning of a Latin American doctoral program.

    That we can undertake all these activities is testament to the superb people we have at CERLAC. I would like especially to thank Marshall Beck for his exceptional work as  administrative assistant. We will miss Kim Pavanís presence in the Centre, although we have accepted that we cannot compete for her attention against her newborn Matteo. Congratulations to Kim and husband Marc for this wonderful addition to their lives. We were fortunate to enlist Benjamin Cornejo as the new co-ordinator for the URACCAN project. Benjamin brings with him extensive experience in project administration and financial management. Our warmest welcome to him.  As always, heartfelt thanks are due to the indispensable Graduate Assistants whose energy and ideas bring new life to the Centre each year. In 2000-2001, we counted on Katia Berdichevski, Mark Dickenson, Ruth Felder, Farah Mukhida, and Anabel Piñero for this vital input. Presently, we are being enriched by the efforts of Mark Bunten, Scott Pearce, Aileen Cowan, Sheila Rao, and Marisa Victor.

    In sum, this has been another important year for CERLAC. I am stimulated also by the challenge that lies ahead, to foment and support relevant and timely research and action, particularly at this critical juncture when there is such a pressing need for alternatives to trends that, in recent decades, have accentuated the regionís main shortcomings - poverty and social exclusion foremost among them. CERLAC is well positioned to contribute to the increasing visibility, here in Canada and further afield, of research and collaborative initiatives that seek to address these problems.

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