PAST NEWS

   
 

 

 

 

 

 

New CERLAC online resource: Mining

 

CERLAC has compiled links to organizations and companies in the Americas working on mining-related issues. We hope the site will be a useful resource for activists and scholars interested in these issues.

 

Visit the site here.

 

We also invite you to join our bilingual (Spanish-English) mining listserv by sending an email to cerlac2@yorku.ca requesting subscription to MINING-AMERICAS.

 

 

 

York signs agreement with Organization of American States

 

York University has signed an agreement with the Organization of American States (OAS) to join its Consortium of Universities. This means that graduate students from member states who have been awarded OAS scholarships will be able to hold them at York.

"In a very tangible way it unites graduate education and internationalization in a part of the world where York has historically been heavily involved, creating unique opportunities for students and researchers," said Douglas Peers, dean of York's Faculty of Graduate Studies.

York has a long history of significant engagement with Latin America and the Caribbean and is known as a Canadian leader in the field. The Latin American & Caribbean Studies Program (LACS) was created in 1972 and the Centre for Research on Latin America & the Caribbean (CERLAC), which now has links with more than 50 institutions in 20 countries in the region, was established in 1978.

 

Read the full article.

 

 

 

 

Andrea Davis is CERLAC's new Deputy Director

 

CERLAC is pleased to introduce Professor Andrea Davis as our new Deputy Director, with a mandate to coordinate our Graduate Diploma Program in Latin American and Caribbean Studies, oversee the associated Brown Bag Seminar Series, facilitate student and community outreach and participation, and promote Caribbean-related research and initiatives.

 

An associate professor in York’s Division of Humanities, Andrea’s research strengths are in Caribbean, African American and black Canadian literatures, and issues of gender, race and ethnicity as they impact the Caribbean and Caribbean diasporas. She brings to CERLAC extensive administrative experience and energy. She was the coordinator of the Latin American and Caribbean Studies Program from 2001 to 2006. She has also worked with the Center for the Studies of Black Cultures in Canada and currently serves as member of the executive committee of the Harriet Tubman Institute for Research on Global Migrations of African Peoples.

 

Known for her passion for teaching and her engaging classroom style, in 2007 she was recognized as one of the “Top 30” lecturers in the province in TVOntario’s 2007 Best Lecturer Competition.  

 

At CERLAC, she is especially dedicated to promoting Caribbean-related research and initiatives and plans to organize a major conference in fall 2009 that will map out the field of Caribbean Studies across disciplines (political science, environmental studies, tourism, education, sociology, history and literature) to identify strengths and gaps. This conference will bring together researchers in the Caribbean and North America.

 

CERLAC Director, Eduardo Canel, has this to say of Andrea’s new position: “Andrea’s significant contributions to CERLAC, her excellent intellectual leadership abilities, and her extensive experience working with students make her uniquely qualified for this position. On behalf of the CERLAC Executive Committee I am proud and delighted to welcome her as our Deputy Director and wish her the best in her new role.”

 

Andrea Davis is enthusiastic about her new role: “I am extremely happy to be working with Eduardo as CERLAC continues its growth and expansion. I am excited by the possibilities and dedicated to enhancing CERLAC's long commitment to research in Latin America and the Caribbean.”

 

See Andrea’s profile in our Handbook of Researchers:

 

 

 

Call for Nominations: Michael Baptista Essay Prizes 2008

 

Deadline: August 31, 2008. Nominations limited to York University students only.

 

These prizes offer an opportunity for York University faculty to recognize outstanding student work, at the undergraduate or graduate level, in the area of Latin American and Caribbean studies at York University.

 

The Michael Baptista Essay Prizes recognize annually, at both the graduate and undergraduate levels, an outstanding scholarly essay of relevance to the area of Latin American and Caribbean Studies from a humanities, social science, business or legal perspective.

 

The prize includes a monetary component of $500 per awardee. Winning essays will be considered for publication by CERLAC (the Centre for Research on Latin America and the Caribbean at York University).

 

The essays may be from a full or half course during the 2007-2008 academic year, or a summer 2007 course. Major Research Papers at the graduate level may also be nominated. Submissions should be no longer than 35 pages, including all references, tables, figures and notes. All submissions must be in English. Deadline extensions are available in instances where significant re-writing is required to shorten the work to within that limit.

 

The papers submitted will be reviewed by two to three Faculty readers with research interests in Latin America and the Caribbean. Both the Prize winners and the nominating Faculty members will be advised of the decision by the end of October, 2008.

 

TO NOMINATE:

Request a Nomination Form from CERLAC: <cerlac@yorku.ca>

 

Submit the nominated paper and accompanying form to CERLAC, 240 York Lanes, no later than August 31, 2008. Please include an electronic copy of the paper via email <cerlac@yorku.ca>.

 

PLEASE NOTE: ONLY FACULTY MEMBERS CAN NOMINATE A PAPER. Students may not self-nominate. Nonetheless, we encourage students who have received outstanding grades on their papers to bring the existence of this prize to the attention of their instructors, so that they might nominate the paper if they so choose.  Each faculty member may nominate only one graduate-level paper and one undergraduate-level paper.

 

If you have any questions please do not hesitate to contact CERLAC at 416.736.5237 or cerlac@yorku.ca.

 

These Prizes are funded by the friends of Michael Baptista and the Royal Bank of Canada, where he was a Senior Vice-President until his untimely death. 

Read more about the essay prize.

 

 

 

 

 

CERLAC laments the passing of Fellow Dr. Frederick Case

 

Dr. Fredrick Case, who was a loved and loving father, teacher, volunteer, human rights activist, the staunch supporter of African and Caribbean people, principal, and friend died unexpectedly on Saturday, May 10, 2008, at the age of 68. His passionate heart ceased beating while still in love with life and eager to serve his fellow human beings with all his strength.  

 

Frederick Ivor Case was a Fellow of CERLAC and co-investigator in the Caribbean Religions Project.  He played a number of supportive roles relating to Caribbean scholarship at CERLAC, which he always carried out with great thoughtfulness, care and wisdom. He also served as external examiner for a number of CERLAC and York doctoral candidates. Despite the breadth of his interests, he was deeply committed to the Caribbean and to Caribbean scholarship.  Greatly esteemed as a colleague and mentor, he was an inspiration for many people working in the Caribbean and related areas.

 

Prof. Case came to Canada from UK and France. He joined New College in 1968. He was the first member of the college staff to become chair of the Department of French, a position he held from 1985 to 1990. Later he was principal of New College, the first college fellow to hold that office. He also served as coordinator for graduate studies in the French Department from 1982 to 1984 and as associate chair for graduate studies from 1984 to 1985. Driven by his commitment to make university accessible to people in low-income brackets, Prof. Case took personal initiatives in introducing students from inner city primary and secondary schools to the University of Toronto. Despite his busy schedule, he did research on various community, justice, humanitarian and human rights subjects continuously.

 

His thesis on Émile Zola was published by the University of Toronto Press in 1974. He then focused his studies on African and Caribbean literatures, with a special interest in race, religion, and ethnicity. In this area he has published a study entitled Racism and National Consciousness and a volume on the Guadeloupean and Martiniquian novel. He is also the author of more than fifty articles and has presented numerous papers and lectures. He extensively traveled across the globe from Guiana to Madagascar to Nigeria and Tajikistan with the sole purpose of serving most vulnerable people in the South. He inspired his graduate and undergraduate students by his example and shared his community experiences with them on an ongoing basis. He helped many to revise their stereotyped and narrow images of African and Caribbean people. He served as an indefatigable champion of bilingualism and multiculturalism in Canada.

 

Prof. Case was involved with the Canadian Centre for Victims of Torture (CCVT) for several years. He has played a vital role in the life of CCVT as a Board member, a member of Education Committee and an omnipresent member of the Editorial Board of the CCVT bi-annual journal, the First Light. His policy making contributions as well as his participation in various national and international consultations on behalf of the CCVT will always be fresh in our memories. He has represented CCVT in human rights consultations with the government of Canada at the Department of Foreign Affairs and with the International NGOs in Nigeria.

 

Dr. Case lived a meaningful life combining love with wisdom, happiness with vision and generosity with responsibility. His braveness, courage, fortitude and compassion made him an upright mountain in every storm of life.  He extended his teaching hand to youth and sided with the vulnerable. He is alive in all tender hearts as a brilliant teacher and a friend of the oppressed.

 

With text by Mulugeta Abai, Executive Director of the Canadian Centre for Victims of Torture

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Call for Papers

Rethinking Extractive Industry: Regulation, Dispossession and Emerging Claims

 

The Centre for Research on Latin America and the Caribbean (CERLAC), together with the Extractive Industries Research Group (EIRG), both located at York University, are hosting a conference entitled "Rethinking Extractive Industry: Regulation, Dispossession and Emerging Claims." Taking place from March 5 to 7, 2009, as part of the University's 50th anniversary and CERLAC's 30th anniversary celebrations, the conference will bring together cutting-edge research on the socio-ecological, spatial, and political-economic dimensions of industrial extraction. Through critical theoretical reflection and policy-relevant analysis, three tracks aim to advance our understanding of the social regulation of extractive industries in its broadest sense.

 

Full call for papers in English.

Convocatoria completa en español.

 

 

 

 

Eduardo Canel begins full three-year term as CERLAC Director

 

CERLAC is delighted to announce that Eduardo Canel will be the new director of CERLAC for a full three-year term that will commence in July, 2008. He has been the Interim Director since July 2007.

 

A York alumnus and recipient of CERLAC’s Graduate Diploma in Latin America and Caribbean Studies, Eduardo has been involved in CERLAC’s activities since its establishment. As a graduate student, he worked on the Centre’s projects and delivered seminars here, and now, as an accomplished scholar and a very popular professor in York’s International Development Studies (IDS) and Latin American and Caribbean Studies (LACS) programs, he has maintained close ties to CERLAC as a member of the Executive Committee.

 

Originally from Uruguay, Eduardo’s research has focused on social movements and processes of change in Latin American societies. Social movements in Latin America were the subject of Eduardo’s well-known and internationally recognized earlier work. His current work focuses on the operation of neighbourhood councils in Montevideo, Uruguay, and their efforts to democratize city politics and create a new, more community-based model of governance. He is currently completing a manuscript for a book tentatively titled Cities of Citizens? Experiments in Urban Democracy in Latin America.

 

No stranger to directing programs at the university, Eduardo served as Coordinator of the undergraduate LACS program from 1995-2001, and from 2006-2007 he was the Coordinator of the undergraduate IDS program.  From 2007-2008 Eduardo was the Interim Director of CERLAC.

 

CERLAC is very fortunate to have such an accomplished scholar, committed colleague and long-time friend lead the Centre over the next three years.

 

Welcome Eduardo!

 

For more information about Eduardo Canel, see the profile on him in the 2005 CERLAC Review.

 

 

 

 

 

CERLAC Honorary Fellow Miguel Murmis awarded Honorary Doctorate

 

CERLAC is proud to report that Miguel Murmis, CERLAC Honorary Fellow, is being awarded the title of Doctor Honoris Causa by the Universidad Nacional de Quilmes in Argentina. The event is to take place along with a set of conferences about his work on the rural question in Argentina in recognition of the importance of his contributions to the understanding of rural social and economic structures.
 

Dr. Murmis played a key role in the establishment and development of CERLAC, and is very highly and warmly regarded by all those who have worked with him. We send him our very best wishes on the occasion of this well deserved award.

 

 

 

 

2007 Baptista Essay Prizes Awarded

 

CERLAC is pleased to announce the winners of the 2007 Michael Baptista Essay Prize for outstanding scholarly papers on topics of relevance to the area of Latin American and Caribbean Studies. 

 

 Kate Sheese (Individualized Studies) won at the undergraduate level, and Talia Wooldridge (Ethnomusicology) took the graduate-level prize.

 

The essays were nominated by York professors and evaluated by selection committees of CERLAC Fellows.

 

Kate Sheese’s outstanding paper, Contesting Victimhood: Indigenous Women and Violence in Chiapas, Mexico, was chosen unanimously by the reviewers, who praised it as “thoroughly researched” and “astoundingly good.” In their words, Kate “grasps important subtleties” and presents a “sophisticated argument about how representations of violence against women in indigenous communities in Chiapas as a problem of indigenous culture legitimates Mexican state violence against those communities.”

Kate Sheese and Mrs. Baptista

(photo by Benjamin Cornejo)

 

Talia Wooldridge’s paper, Cuban Raperas: A Feminist Revolution within the Revolution, examines present-day female rap in Cuba and contextualizes this musical style within the framework of Fidel Castro’s ideologies on the one hand, and the ongoing prevalence of patriarchy and machismo on the other. Reviewers praised the paper as “ambitious,” “provocative,” “innovative” and worthy of publication. Professor Louise Wrazen nominated this prize-winning essay, commenting that “Talia effectively demonstrates the power of music as an expressive form to act as a vehicle for social change.”

 

An awards luncheon was held in February 2008.  Congratulations Kate and Talia!

 

More about the Baptista prize

 

 

 

 

 

 

Online: Funding Opportunities for Graduate Study or Research in Latin America and the Caribbean

 

The information presented during the "Funding Opportunities for Graduate Study or Research in Latin America and the Caribbean" information session in November 2007 is now available on the CERLAC website.  To access the information click here.

 

 

 

 

 

Online: Franklin W. Knight's presentation on Slavery and Abolition

 

Franklin W. Knight's Nov. 13 presentation at York, "The Context of Atlantic Slavery and the Abolition of the British Slave Trade," is now available on the CERLAC website. The PowerPoint presentation he prepared has also been posted online. A CERLAC Bulletin on this important event will be published shortly.

 

To view the full lecture:

mms://windows.stream.yorku.ca/faculty/cerlac/cerlac.wmv
 

To download the PowerPoint presentation:

http://www.yorku.ca/cerlac/knightlecture.ppt

 

 

 

 

Online: "The struggles of Colombia's Indigenous and Afro-Colombian Peoples"

CERLAC is pleased to announce the publication of a CERLAC Colloquia Paper on the 2006 conference entitled “Ethnicity, Violence and Exclusion: The Struggles of Colombia’s Indigenous and Afro-Colombian Peoples.

The conference, held March 15-16, 2007, was organized by Rights and Democracy, the Latin American Human Rights and Education Research Network (RedLEIDH), and the Centre for Research on Latin America and the Caribbean (CERLAC).

The report was transcribed, adapted from written submissions, translated and annotated, with a summary, by Marshall Beck.

Download the full report as a CERLAC Colloquia Paper.
 

 

 

 

Call for Submissions: Latino/a youth in Toronto public high schools

 

Why do 40% of Latino/a youth not complete high school in Toronto public schools? What can be done about it?

 

According to a recent study coordinated by Rob Brown of the Toronto District School Board (TDSB), approximately 20% of students who start grade 9 do not complete high school four years later. Among students who speak Spanish, the non-completion rate is 40%. This means that Spanish-speaking students are twice as likely to abandon high school. We believe that this issue is of crucial importance to the Latin American-Canadian community in Toronto. For this reason, we are inviting students, parents, teachers, educators and all concerned to share their views on the following questions:
 

1) Why are Latina/o students twice as likely to leave school than their peers?
2) What can be done -and/or is being done- to address this situation?
 

If you would like to share your views please write a short text of approximately 600 to 1,000 words about one of the two questions and submit it by email before Friday, February 1, 2008. If you wish to address the two questions, please feel free to send two documents, one for each question. A jury of community members will read all submissions. Selected contributions will be included in a publication to be released in 2008. Contributions can be submitted in Spanish, English or Portuguese, and can be submitted by an individual or by a group.
 

This call is open to all people who are willing to participate, without any restrictions such as age, nationality, birthplace, migratory status, place of residence or any other condition.
 

In the body of the message please include the title of the contribution, the name of the author or authors, and your e-mail, telephone and mailing address for contact purposes. Only the organizing committee will have access to this information.
 

Please submit your contributions to Daniela Mantilla at lared@oise.utoronto.ca
 

Partner Organizations
Asociacion Salvadoreña Canadiense
Association of Hispanic Canadian Teachers (AHCT)
Association of Spanish Speaking Seniors
Canadian Hispanic Congress
Casa Maiz
Casa Salvador Allende
Centre for Research on Latin America and the Caribbean (CERLAC)
Correo Canadiense
Diario El Popular
Escuela Pioneros de la Paz
Guatemala Community Network
Grupo Mujer
Factor Hispano
Latin American Research, Education and Development (LARED)
Latin American Studies at the University of Toronto
Red de Estudios sobre Latinoamericanos en Canadá (RELAC)
Transformative Learning Centre, OISE/UT
 

Email: lared@oise.utoronto.ca
Website:
http://home.oise.utoronto.ca/~lared/
 

 

 

 

 

 

2007 Jagan Lecture with Walton Look Lai published on CERLAC website

 

CERLAC is pleased to announce that the 2007 Jagan Lecture with Walton Look Lai, titled “They Came in Ships: Imperialism, Migration and Asian Diasporas in the 19th Century,” has been published as part of the CERLAC Colloquia Papers Series.

 

In this lecture, Dr. Look Lai develops a comparative overview of the pattern of East and South Asian labour migrations in the 19th century as both groups were steadily integrated into the expanding Atlantic world economy. He explores their respective push factors and destinations, the various mechanisms under which their labour was engaged, the relative issues of freedom/unfreedom attached to their engagement, the patterns of reception and treatment in their various host countries, and finally, their comparative mobility and assimilation options and choices in their host countries.

 

Read more about the lecture series.

 

Download the full text of this lecture as a CERLAC Colloquia Paper.

 

 

 

 

 

2005 Jagan Lecture with Carolyn Cooper published on CERLAC website

 

CERLAC is pleased to announce that the 2005 Jagan Lecture with Carolyn Cooper, titled “Sweet and Sour Sauce: Sexual Politics in Jamaican Dancehall Culture,” has been published as part of the CERLAC Colloquia Papers Series.

 

In this lecture, Dr. Cooper explores sexual politics in Jamaican dancehall culture, arguing transgressively for the freedom of women to claim a self-pleasuring sexual identity that may even be explicitly homoerotic.  She analyzes particular contemporary music and movements of Jamaican women in dancehalls, and explores the credentialising of sexual orientation in Jamaican culture.

 

Read more about the lecture series.

 

See the full lecture online in Real Player.

 

Download the full text of this lecture as a CERLAC Colloquia Paper.

 

 

 

 

 

Viviana Patroni completes tenure as CERLAC Director

 

On June 30, 2007, Viviana Patroni completed two consecutive terms as Director of CERLAC and formally stepped down from this position. After six years of her tireless and sincere dedication to CERLAC activities, Viviana leaves behind a strong and inclusive organization with important initiatives that were developed and strengthened under her leadership.

 

She has organized a number of very successful international conferences, on topics such as migration issues, mining activities and community rights, human rights in Colombia, and social (in)justice in Latin America. In addition to maintaining a remarkably active and diverse lineup of events every year, she has helped to establish the Jagan and Baptista Lecture Series as key events for the university and the broader community.

 

During Viviana’s directorship, CERLAC has established new institutional linkages with universities and organizations throughout the region through student exchange programs, collaborative research projects, joint workshops and conferences, and hosting a number of visiting scholars at the Centre over the years.

 

Institutional linkages have been especially strengthened and extended since 2005 through CERLAC’s Latin American Human Rights Education and Research Network (RedLEIDH). Project Co-Directors Shin Imai (Osgoode Hall Law School) and Viviana received $3 million in Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA)-funding for this major six-year project based at CERLAC. The RedLEIDH network of Latin American universities and leading civil society organizations will advance an ambitious agenda of human rights education, applied research and capacity-building in the region.

 

Here at York, Viviana has been particularly responsive to the needs and interests of both students and faculty, and has provided institutional support to a variety of exciting new initiatives, including Fair Trade at York, the University Consortium on the Global South (UCGS), the Gender and Politics Study Group, the York/CERLAC Brazilian Studies Seminar Series, the Caribbean Graduate Students’ Network, and the Mining Group.  Viviana’s tenure is also noteworthy for having cultivated meaningful and fruitful opportunities for engaging with the broader community outside the university and with a range of community organizations throughout the region. All this reflects Viviana’s conviction that “there are critical tools we can contribute to the work that our colleagues in the region carry out in our collective struggles for a more just society.”

 

Beyond CERLAC, her project work in Latin America, and her own research on labour movements and neoliberal restructuring in Argentina, it is a wonder that Viviana has found the time for her continuing involvement in the International Development Studies Program and her participation in the collaborative team that developed York's newest MA Program in Development Studies. She also supervises the work of a number of graduate students.

 

CERLAC has grown and benefited from Viviana’s leadership in innumerable ways, and we are most appreciative of her tireless commitment and her strong and broad vision.  We will dearly miss having her as Director, though we are fortunate that she will continue to be closely involved in our initiatives, most notably as she continues to co-direct RedLEIDH.

 

Viviana, we wish you the very best and our most sincere and heartfelt thanks.

 

 

 

 

 

CERLAC welcomes new Director: Eduardo Canel

 

CERLAC is delighted to announce that Eduardo Canel has accepted the position of Interim Director at CERLAC.

 

A York alumnus and recipient of CERLAC’s Graduate Diploma in Latin America and Caribbean Studies, Eduardo has been involved in CERLAC’s activities since its establishment. As a graduate student, he worked on the Centre’s projects and delivered seminars here, and now, as an accomplished scholar and a very popular professor in York’s International Development Studies (IDS) and Latin American and Caribbean Studies (LACS) programs, he has maintained close ties to CERLAC as a member of the Executive Committee.

 

Originally from Uruguay, Eduardo’s research has focused on social movements and processes of change in Latin American societies. Social movements in Latin America were the subject of Eduardo’s well-known and internationally recognized earlier work. His current work focuses on the operation of neighbourhood councils in Montevideo, Uruguay, and their efforts to democratize city politics and create a new, more community-based model of governance. He is currently completing a manuscript for a book tentatively titled Building Local Democracy in Latin America: Municipal Decentralization and Working Class Communities in Montevideo.

 

No stranger to directing programs at the university, Eduardo served as Coordinator of the undergraduate LACS program from 1995-2001, and from 2006-2007 he was the Coordinator of the undergraduate IDS program.

 

CERLAC is very fortunate to have such an accomplished scholar, committed colleague and long-time friend lead the Centre over the next year.

 

Welcome Eduardo!

 

For more information about Eduardo Canel, see the profile on him in the 2005 CERLAC Review.
 

 

 

 

 

 

Update on CERLAC's RedLEIDH Project

 

The Latin American Human Rights Research and Education Network (RedLEIDH) - a CIDA-funded project coordinated jointly by CERLAC and Osgoode Hall Law School - was officially launched in September 2006 during a ceremony held at the Inter-American Institute for Human Rights in Costa Rica.

 

Among the various activities undertaken as part of the project since then have been the development of new Masters programs in human rights, to be offered in 2007 in universities in Colombia, Argentina, and Mexico; the awarding of scholarships to human rights practitioners throughout Latin America who are undertaking a specialized human rights diploma program; the development of prototypes for a new virtual library and portal on human rights; and a series of public engagement activities in Canada, including the September 2006 visit of Argentine human rights leader Nora Cortiñas, and a conference in March 2007 focusing on the rights of Colombia's Indigenous and Afro-Colombian peoples. 

 

More detailed information about the RedLEIDH and its work will be profiled in the next CERLAC Review, coming out this spring.  News about the creation of RedLEIDH is available here.

 

Bill Fairbairn, the coordinator of RedLEIDH, can be contacted at redleidh@yorku.ca, 416.736.2100 ext. 22027.

 

 

 

 

 

Thank you John Carlaw, welcome back Shana

 

CERLAC would like to thank John Carlaw for his excellent work here over the past year.  John was the Administrative Assistant, responsible for coordinating all of the Centre's activities, while Shana Yael Shubs was on maternity leave.  John was a pleasure to work with and provided invaluable support to CERLAC Fellows and graduate students.  He is now beginning the PhD program in Political Science here at York University, and we wish him the best in his studies and look forward to his continued involvement with the Centre.

 

CERLAC welcomes Shana Yael Shubs back to her position and congratulates her and her partner, Fernando, on the birth of their son, Teo.

 

Thank you John, and welcome back Shana!

 

 

 

 

2006 Baptista Essay Prizes Awarded

 

CERLAC is pleased to announce the winners of the 2006 Michael Baptista Essay Prize for outstanding scholarly papers on topics of relevance to the area of Latin American and Caribbean Studies.  Jillian Ollivierre (Anthropology and Latin American and Caribbean Studies) won at the undergraduate level, and Jasmin Hristov (Sociology) took the graduate-level prize. At the graduate level, honourable mention goes to Marcelo Vieta’s (Social and Political Thought) paper, “The Worker-Recovered Enterprises Movement in Argentina,” which was also felt to be of a particularly high quality.

 

The essays were nominated by York professors and evaluated by selection committees of CERLAC Fellows.

 

Jasmin Hristov’s paper, “Visibilizing and Humanizing Indigenous Peasant Movements: The Case of the CRIC in Colombia” analyzes the relationship between social class and ethnicity/race as manifested in the formations, struggles, and visions of one contemporary Latin American indigenous rural movement (the Indigenous Regional Council of Cauca, Colombia, or CRIC) and its relationship with the Colombian state. The reviewers of Jasmin’s paper commented that “the organization and presentation of the main argument is outstanding--it is rare to read a paper, at graduate level or even in professional journals, that is so meticulously structured.” They further noted that her work “demonstrated a superb grasp of a range of theoretical perspectives, reinvigorates and adds new life to Marxist-Leninist influenced modes of social analysis” and considers “the ways in which class and race operate as structuring and organizing principles in new social movements in which indigenous peoples are (problematically) located.”

 

At the undergraduate level, Jillian Ollivierre’s essay “Sex on the Beach: Hypersexuality, ‘Making Do,’ and Sexual Health in the Anglophone Caribbean” was chosen unanimously by the reviewers, who commented that  “her paper is outstanding, in fact, not only in its attempt to interrogate an aspect of sex work that has received little critical attention, but in its ability to disturb questions of gender and sexuality by introducing "race" and class as agents of global power and power(lessness).”

 

Congratulations Jasmin, Jillian and Marcelo!

More about the Baptista prize

 

 

 

CERLAC Signs Open Letter to the Government of Colombia

 

CERLAC recently joined 39 other organizations and 61 Canadian MPs in signing the following open letter to the government of Colombia:

 

Indigenous peoples organizations, civil society groups and Parliamentarians in Canada wish to express our indignation over the declarations of paramilitary leader Salvatore Mancuso (as reported in the Colombian press) regarding his role in the disappearance and assassination of Kimy Pernia Domicó, who he accused of working with FARC rebels. We repudiate this accusation, one that is all too common in Colombia, where the perpetrators of human rights abuses brand those engaged in the legitimate defense of human rights as subversives in order to justify committing crimes against them.

 

Full text available in Spanish and English.

The letter was also published online on the National Indigenous Organization of Colombia (ONIC's) website, available here.

 

 

CERLAC Fellow Andrea Davis one of TVO's "Top 30" Lecturers

 

Producers of TV Ontario's "Big Ideas" have selected York University Humanities Professor and CERLAC Fellow Andrea Davis as one of the ‘top 30’ lecturers in the province. Andrea was chosen from 155 eligible candidates nominated by students and alumni of 19 Ontario colleges and universities. 

Dr. Andrea Davis has been teaching courses on cultures of the Americas at York since 2003 and is a former coordinator of the Latin American & Caribbean Studies Program (LACS)., She is also an affiliated faculty member with the Centre for the Study of Black Cultures in Canada. Her research interests are Caribbean, African-American and African-Canadian literatures; history and theatre; Latin American literature; postcolonial and diaspora studies; and black cultural and feminist studies. 

 

"As a researcher and educator, teaching has always been one of my passions," writes the Jamaican-born Davis, who earned an MA and PhD in English from York. "The research I do has little meaning if it cannot engage meaningful dialogues about who we are and who we hope to become. As an African-Jamaican woman living within a marginalized context of black cultures in Canada, my research has long ceased to be a mere academic exercise. It is also intensely personal and has demanded an interrogation of gender and race in which I am implicated out of necessity."

 

The top 10 finalists selected by an independent three-person jury will be asked by TVO to deliver special lectures to be aired on "Big Ideas" this coming fall. Viewers will get the chance to vote online or by telephone for their favourite lecturer following each broadcast. A winner will be named early in 2007.

 

Congratulations Andrea!

 

For more information and a list of other York nominees, please visit http://www.yorku.ca/mediar/archive/Release.asp?Release=1155 or TVO's "Big Ideas" website at http://www.tvo.org/TVOsites/WebObjects/TvoMicrosite.woa?bestlecturer_professors

 

 

CERLAC Endorses Statement on Canada and Corporate Social Responsibility Abroad

 

CERLAC, along with dozens of other respected Canadian civil society organizations have endorsed the following statement on Canada and Corporate Social Responsibility Abroad. CERLAC's decision to endorse this statement has come out of its organization and participation in research and several events examining the behaviour of extractive industries in Latin America, including a 2002 Conference on this topic which led to a report and an edited volume.

 

MOVING BEYOND VOLUNTARISM:

CANADA AND CORPORATE SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY ABROAD  

 

The problem 

 

Canadian mining, oil and gas companies have been implicated in well-documented cases of human rights violations and environmental disasters abroad.  These violations by Canadian companies include toxic dumping, the destruction of protected areas, forcible displacement of indigenous peoples, and threats and intimidation of local communities. 

This is not a case of a few bad apples: Canadian extractive companies have been implicated in human rights abuses and environmental disasters in more than thirty countries.

The Government offers both political assistance and financial support to Canadian extractive companies that operate abroad. Yet the Government has no regulatory mechanisms to ensure that these companies observe international human rights and environmental standards – standards that have been adopted by Canada.  

The voluntary approach to corporate accountability championed by the Canadian Government is problematic for several reasons.  Most voluntary codes lack independent monitoring and verification systems, complaints tools and enforcement mechanisms.  Moreover, the voluntary approach excludes binding mechanisms to hold companies accountable when there is evidence of environmental and/or human rights violations associated with their overseas activities.

 

The solution

 

The Government should:

  • Require Canadian companies operating internationally to meet clearly defined corporate accountability, international human rights and environmental standards, as a precondition for both financial and political assistance.

  • Develop legislation to hold Canadian companies and their directors accountable in Canada when found complicit in human rights abuses and environmental destruction abroad.

  • Develop effective Canadian-based monitoring, verification and compliance mechanisms to ensure that Canadian companies operating internationally meet clearly defined corporate accountability, international human rights and environmental standards.

  • Promote the inclusion of human rights standards in World Bank policies and condition provate sector lending on compliance with international human rights.

This statement was originally organized by The Canadian Network on Corporate Social Accountability (CNCA), a network of non-governmental organizations, churches, trade unions and other civil society organizations concerned with the detrimental human rights and environmental impacts of Canadian extractive industries. For positions and other information , visit  http://www. halifaxinitiative.org/index.php/Issues_CNCA .

 

The following organizations have endorsed the statement on Canada and corporate social responsibility abroad as of September 27, 2006:  

         

      Members of CNCA                                                                                  

      Non-members

  • Africa Files

  • Canadian Physicians for the Environment

  • Canadian Auto Workers Local 2301

  • Canadian Friends of Burma (CFOB)

  • Canadian Friends Service Committee

  • Canadian Pugwash Group- Executive Committee

  • Centre for Social Justice

  • CERLAC (Centre for Research on Latin America and the Caribbean, York U)

  • Christian Peacemakers Teams Colombia Team

  • Comité Chileno por los Derechos Human0s-Mtl

  • Comité syndicale nationale de retraite Bâtirente

  • Colombia Section Solidarity Committee

  • Greenpeace Canada

  • Grupo de Trabajo No a Pascua Lama

  • Guatemala Community Network, Toronto

  • Le Project Accompagnement Québec-Guatemala

  • Liu Institute for Global Issues

  • Maquila Solidarity Network (MSN)

  • Oxfam Canada

  • Oxfam Québec

  • Primate’s World Relief and Development Fund (PWRDF)

  • Scarboro Missions

  • Social Justice Committee

  • The COUNCIL of Canadians

  • United Steelworkers Local 2020, Sudbury Ontario

  • United Steelworkers Local 6500, Sudbury Ontario

  • University of Guelph Central Student Association

For an updated list of organizations that have endorsed the statement, please visit  http://www.halifaxinitiative.org/index.php/CNCA_Endorsements.

 

 

 

Latest CERLAC publication - Community Rights and Corporate Responsibility

 

COMMUNITY RIGHTS AND CORPORATE RESPONSIBILITY:

Canadian Mining and Oil Companies in Latin America

 

Edited by Liisa North, Timothy David Clark, and Viviana Patroni

2006

 

Click here for more information and for ordering

CANADIAN MINING ACTIVITY in Latin America has exploded over the past decade and a half. Investors have responded to neo-liberal policies of deregulation, privatization, state-downsizing, and export promotion encouraged by leading capitalist nations and international financial institutions such as the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank. The result, predictably, has been sharp conflicts between the communities affected by mining and their advocates on one side, and the transnational mining companies supported by the local state and the Canadian government on the other.

 

This collection, the most comprehensive in the English-language to date, investigates these conflicts in Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, Mexico, and Nicaragua. Contributors address the related sustainable development, community, corporate, legal, and social issues. A valuable contribution to Latin American development studies, this collection will be of interest to students and specialists in the field, journalists, NGOs, and policymakers.

This volume brings together a number of papers and testimonials originally presented at a CERLAC conference on "Canadian Mining Companies in Latin America: Community Rights and Corporate Responsibility," co-sponsored by MiningWatch Canada.

 

 

 

 

 

CERLAC welcomes John Carlaw 

 

CERLAC is very pleased to welcome John Carlaw. He will be working as the Administrative Assistant and LACYORK moderator until next February, while Shana Yael Shubs is on maternity leave. John brings a great deal of experience to this position and has already worked closely with CERLAC on a number of projects, events and other activities.

 

John is also currently completing his MA in Political Science at York University, focusing on democratization in Guatemala.

 

John welcomes your comments and feedback and looks forward to working  with the CERLAC community. He can be reached at carlaw@yorku.ca

 

Congratulations Shana and welcome John!

 

 

 

Carolyn Cooper Delivers the 2005 Jagan Lecture

 

On October 22, 2005, Carolyn Cooper delivered the 2005 Jagan Lecture, entitled: "Sweet & Sour Sauce: Sexual Politics in Jamaican Dancehall Culture."  The event also featured a dub poetry performance by Afua Cooper.

 

Read more about the event and the lecture series.

 

See the full lecture program on-line, in streaming video here.  (You must have Real Player to view this video.)

 

The full text of this lecture has been published as a CERLAC Colloquia Paper.

 

 

 

 

2005 Baptista Essay Prizes Awarded

 

CERLAC is pleased to announce the winners of the 2005 Michael Baptista Essay Prize for outstanding scholarly papers on topics of relevance to the area of Latin American and Caribbean Studies.  Fabiola Rios (Women’s Studies) won at the undergraduate level and Gena Chang-Campbell (Social and Political Thought) took the graduate-level prize.

 

The essays were nominated by York professors and evaluated by a selection of CERLAC Fellows.

Fabiola Rios’ essay “Filling the Gap: The Colonial Project and the Goddess” was chosen unanimously by the reviewers, who commented that the “essay is outstanding in all aspects” and “could easily be published in a professional disciplinary journal.”  Professor Becky Lee who nominated the paper had similar praise for Rios’ work, which she notes, “identifies a significant gap, or oversight, in feminist scholarship: the failure to consider data from the Americas in the debates regarding the pre-patriarchal hypothesis.”  Overall, the reviewers agree, this deserving essay is “outstanding, innovative and demonstrates a very high level of academic maturity.”

 

Gena Chang-Campbell’s essay “‘Y/O’ Mestizaje as Foil and Fetish of Postcolonial Consciousness” critically analyses the ways in which mestizaje functions as creative possibility and restrictive limit, as both an inclusive and an exclusive identity, as radical nationalist ideology and justification for racial domination. The reviewers were impressed by the “creativity and flair” of Chang-Campbell’s work, noting that she “has clearly applied intelligence, creativity in approaching this topic and editorial skill in writing it.”  Professor Patrick Taylor nominated this prize-winning essay, commenting that “one of the strikingly original aspects of the paper is the very creative passion with which this solidly academic paper is written.”

 

More about the Baptista prize

 

 

 

 

CERLAC Fellows sign the Cuernavaca Declaration on Migration and Development

 

"Migrants are not just anonymous producers of dollars"

The Cuernavaca Declaration, signed by experts participating in a conference on "Problems and Challenges of Migration and Development in the Americas" in Mexico, calls into question the "development agenda set out by migrant exporting governments [that] identifies migrants and their remittances as strategic resources that can or should solve the economic and social woes of their nations."

 

The conference, held in Cuernavaca, Mexico, was co-sponsored by the Centre for Research on Latin America and the Caribbean (CERLAC) of York University, the International Migration and Development Network, and the Regional Centre for Multidisciplinary Research of the National Autonomous University of Mexico. The conference brought together academics and other experts, government functionaries and migrant organization leaders to engage in critical discussions about the impact of international migration on the dynamics of development in labour sending and receiving countries of our continent. CERLAC Fellows and York University faculty members Luin Goldring, Alan Simmons and Judith Adler Hellman participated in the conference.

 

The Declaration, with a strong critique of neoliberal economic policy and an important reminder of the need to respect and protect the full range of migrant rights, notes that, "international migration has been silently incorporated into government strategies, generating an economic model that distorts the concept of development, basing it on the export of workers and capture of remittances." It calls instead for radical change and the development of a "model that can reduce growing North-South asymmetries and address the root causes of migration, so that people have more options available within their home country, including the option not to emigrate."

 

The Cuernavaca Declaration has been published in English by CERLAC. See here for full program information and the Declaration in Spanish.

 

For more information, please contact Luin Goldring or CERLAC, 416.736.5237.

 

 

 

 

 

CERLAC Fellow Liisa North wins 2005 Pío Jaramillo Alvarado Award

 

CERLAC extends heartfelt congratulations to Fellow Liisa North, a most deserving recipient of this prized honour.

 

The international and interinstitutional jury has granted the 2005 Pío Jaramillo Alvarado Award to Doctor Liisa North, Professor Emeritus of York University, Canada, for her significant contributions to knowledge of Latin American societies, and especially Ecuadorian society. Professor North has carried out important research on Ecuadorian history and Ecuador's social and political realities over the last thirty years, and is an intellectual who has demonstrated a commitment to human rights.

El jurado internacional e interinstitucional conformado para otorgar el premio Pío Jaramillo Alvarado en Ciencias Sociales, resolvió concedérselo en el año 2005 a la doctora Liisa North, profesora emérita de la Universidad de York, Canadá, por su aporte científico al conocimiento de las sociedades latinoamericanas, y particularmente de la ecuatoriana. La profesora North ha generado investigaciones fundamentales sobre temas históricos, sociales y políticos de la realidad del país a lo largo de los últimos treinta años, y ha sido una intelectual caracterizada por su compromiso con los Derechos Humanos.

 

Congratulations Liisa!

 

 

Call for Contributions: Building Bridges / Tendiendo Puentes

 

RUPTURES, CONTINUITIES AND RE-LEARNING: THE CIVIC AND POLITICAL PARTICIPATION OF LATIN AMERICAN-CANADIANS

 

Categories:

Essay - Life Story - Short Story - Opinion column - Journalistic article – Poetry - Theatre or Radio-theatre Script - Photography

 

Deadline: 16 May 2005

 

For complete information (coming soon in English): http://home.oise.utoronto.ca/~lared/convocatoria.html

lared@oise.utoronto.ca

 

 

 

 

2004 Baptista Essay Prizes Awarded

 

Pictured here are Sharon Baptista and Kathryn Grimbly. Photo by Benjamin Cornejo.

The Centre for Research on Latin America & the Caribbean (CERLAC) is pleased to announce the winners of the 2004 Michael Baptista Essay Prize for outstanding scholarly papers on topics of relevance to the area of Latin American & Caribbean studies. Kathryn Grimbly, a fourth-year student in humanities, won at the undergraduate level and Jennifer Costanza, graduate student in political science, took the graduate-level prize.     

Full Story

 

More about the Baptista prize

 

 

 

J. Michael Dash Delivers the 2004 Jagan-Baptista Lecture

 

On March 20, 2004, J. Michael Dash delivered the 2004 Jagan-Baptista Lecture, entitled: "The Disappearing Island: Haiti, History and the Hemisphere." The event was opened by York President Lorna Marsden and also featured a drumming performance by Muhtadi, a rendition of his well-known song "Haiti" by Trinidadian soca-calypso giant David Rudder, and a poetry reading by Prof. Bernard Delpeche of Acadia University.

 

Read more about the event and the lecture series.

 

View photos from the event, and/or see the full lecture program on-line, in streaming video by pasting this address into the location bar of your media player: mms://video.yorku.ca/itc/jagan/jagan2004.wmv.

 

Download the full text of this lecture as a CERLAC Colloquia Paper.

 

 

 

 

CERLAC: lead York partner in a major project on human rights education in Latin America

 

The Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) has awarded $3 million to the RedLEIDH project at York University to advance an ambitious agenda of human rights education in Latin America. The Latin American Human Rights Education and Research Network brings together York University’s Centre for Research on Latin America & the Caribbean (CERLAC) and Osgoode Hall Law School in a new network of Latin American universities and civil society organizations to promote human rights education, applied research and capacity-building in the region. Full story

 

 

 

 
 

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