Over the years CERLAC has managed and
participated in a number of research, institutional, development, and
other types of projects. What follows are lists of such projects, which
CERLAC has managed or in which CERLAC has had significant participation.
We also include selected individual research projects where CERLAC has
provided substantive institutional support.
Please click the items below to see
women's struggles for justice, healing and redress:
A study of
gender and reparation in post-war Guatemala
This IDRC-supported undertaking,
led by CERLAC Fellow Professor Alison
Crosby, represents year two of a three-year project; year
one is detailed here. The project is examining
forms of reparation for women survivors of human rights violations
during the 36-year long armed conflict in Guatemala, as a potential
contribution to their broader struggles as political actors for justice,
healing and redress.
The project aims to move the conversation forward by
providing the first comprehensive analysis of the (ongoing) implementation
of the state-sponsored National Reparations Program (PNR) in Guatemala
in terms of its gendered nature and impact, and the extent to which
it can be seen as a contribution or in fact an obstacle to women’s
broader struggles for redress.
It is a transnational feminist participatory action
research project, bringing together researchers from York University,
Boston College, and the National Union of Guatemalan Women (UNAMG)
in Guatemala. Through the participants' collective membership of the
Women in Conflict Zones Network, the project is also making links
with research on gender and transitional justice currently being undertaken
in other parts of the world.
In addition to addressing theoretical and empirical
gaps in the field through the publication of a book and journal articles
on gender and reparation, this project is intended to influence debates
on reparation in Guatemala, Latin America and internationally, and
in so doing have an impact on the subsequent development of more refined
and responsive reparations programs and policies that adequately address
women survivors’ demands for justice and redress.
the Canada-Latin America Connection (Phase II)
This IDRC-supported project promotes and further
develops an internet-based model that supports on-going North-South
and South-South knowledge partnerships based on management of information
and learning activities, implemented through ICT-based pedagogical
approaches, resources and practices.
The initiative is coordinated by
Centro Boliviano para Estudios Multidisciplinarios (CEBEM)
with strong Canadian involvement, including
CERLAC's. The project convenes Canadian and Latin American universities,
research centres and non-governmental organizations in an experiment
that seeks to combine information and communication technologies with
online pedagogy to stimulate information sharing, mutual learning
and collaborative knowledge creation across the North-South and academic-practitioner
Phase I was implemented
from January 2007 to the end of August 2008. The main purpose of the
project was to develop and test a methodology for the promotion of
Canadian-Latin-American knowledge partnerships based on a combination
of information, communication, and online training activities. The
project was experimental in nature. The overall objective was “to
design, test and demonstrate a model framework of processes, resources,
and tools that enable ongoing collaborative N-S and S-S learning in
support of individuals, communities of practice and knowledge networks,
integrating pedagogical approaches, practices, resources, and tools
based on ICTs”. This objective and most of the specific objectives
were met in the course of the project.
This second phase builds
on the strength of the achievements of the first phase, and on the
interest and commitment of several new partner institutions in both
Canada and Latin America.
Of the various planned
outputs of Phase II, CERLAC is assisting with the realization of two:
of a set of inter-related databases containing information on selected
institutions, experts, training programs, virtual libraries, development
projects and newsletters pertaining to the major thematic areas
in both Canada and Latin America; and
the development of a new online non-credit professional
development courses produced by Canadian and Latin American project
partners experimenting with different modes of collaboration. (See
an update on this component of the project here.)
full project website (in Spanish only) here.
The Extractive Industries Research
Group (EIRG) brings together faculty and graduate students at York
University into a multidisciplinary collaborative research group on
mining and other extractive industries.
Since forming in the spring of 2007,
the group has provided research and organizational support for academic
and civil society initiatives concerning the social, political, and
environmental impact of these industries around the world. Recent
projects include a national conference on mining held in Ecuador to
coincide with that country's process of constitutional reform, and
a proposal for a York-based conference on mining in Latin America.
Current members include professors
and doctoral students from CERLAC and the departments of Political
Science, Environmental Studies, and Osgoode Hall Law School, who meet
approximately once a month to work on related projects, discuss the
members' current research, and share resources. Researchers interested
in getting involved with EIRG are encouraged to contact firstname.lastname@example.org
for more information.
The Michael Baptista Essay Prize
was established by the friends of Michael Baptista and the Royal Bank
of Canada. This $500 Prize is awarded annually to both a graduate
and an undergraduate student at York University in recognition of
an outstanding scholarly essay of relevance to the area of Latin American
and Caribbean Studies, from the humanities, social science, business
or legal perspective.
Presented on a biannual basis, The
Michael Baptista Lecture is given by a prominent speaker from
Latin America and the Caribbean, addressing issues critical to the
regions and their place in the world.
The Michael Baptista Essay Prize and Lecture are
named in honour of Michael Baptista in recognition of the areas central
to his spirit and success: the importance of his Guyanese / Caribbean
roots, his dedication to and outstanding achievement at the Royal
Bank of Canada, and his continued and unqualified drive and love of
For more general information on this
program, see CERLAC's 1997
Newsletter and the article in the May, 1996 edition of the York
For more informaton please see
BAPTISTA ESSAY PRIZE
the 2013 prizes:
July 31 2013.
limited to York University students.
The Michael Baptista Essay
Prizes recognize annually, at both the graduate and undergraduate
level, an outstanding scholarly essay of relevance to the area of
Latin American and Caribbean studies from a humanities, social science,
business or legal perspective. These prizes offer an opportunity for
York University faculty to recognize outstanding student work in the
area of Latin American and Caribbean studies at York University.
If you are a York faculty
member who graded an exceptionally accomplished piece of student work
(at the graduate or the undergraduate level) of relevance to these
regions this past academic year, we encourage you to nominate the
essay in question.
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 2012-2013 academic year, or from
a 2012 summer course. Major Research Papers at the graduate level
may also be nominated. Submissions should be no longer than 35 pages
(excluding bibliography). Deadline extensions are available in instances
where significant re-writing is required to shorten the work to within
Submit the nominated paper
and accompanying form to CERLAC no later than July 31. Both can
be submitted electronically via email to: email@example.com.
Hard copies are not required, but can be sent to: CERLAC, 8th Floor,
York Research Tower.
Only faculty members can nominate a paper. Students may not self-nominate.
Nonetheless, we encourage students who have received top grades and
high praise 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. A student may have only one essay entered into the competition in any given year (if more than one is nominated, the student will be asked to choose which is to be entered into the competition). Faculty members may nominate no more than one paper per level of study (max. two overall) in any given year. For the purposes of this award, an "undergraduate student" is a student enrolled in an undergraduate program who has received no prior post-secondary degree.
The papers submitted will
be reviewed by two to three faculty readers with research interests
in Latin America and the Caribbean. Both the prizewinners and the
nominating faculty members will be advised of the decision by the
end of October of the year of nomination.
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.
in 2009, the Telelatino Network "Mundo Canuck" Essay
Prize is awarded annually to two York undergraduate students to recognize
exceptional writing on the experiences of Hispanic people in Canada.
Two prizes are granted each year, one of $800 and the other of $450.
The Prize, administered by CERLAC, was established by a donation made
to York University by Telelatino (TLN),
a Canadian television channel that broadcasts programs of interest
to the Hispanic and Italian communities.
provide critical reflection on the experiences of Hispanic people
in Canada, highlighting their past, present and future contributions
to Canadian society and/or addressing the challenges they have successfully
overcome as members of a minority group in the Canadian context. Essays
may be based on work done for a course. Length: 2,000-2,500 words
maximum. They may be written in Spanish or English, and are judged
by the following criteria: critical insight, originality, relevance,
clarity ofpresentation, coherence of argument and persuasiveness.
The essay’s author must
be an undergraduate student registered in an academic degree program
at York University (any Faculty or College, including Glendon). Eligible
students must be Canadian citizens, Ontario residents and demonstrate
For each year’s competition,
competitors are asked to submit an electronic copy of their essays
A panel of York University professors associated with CERLAC and the
Latin American and Caribbean Studies (LACS) Program at York act as
judges for the contest. Prize-winning essays are announced by TLN
and by CERLAC and published on-line on their websites. The winners
are also announced on TLN (which may also interview and profile each
John Buttrick used his economics training to equalize the playing field. His experience of the 1929 depression and his Conscientious Objection to war forged his lifelong activism on the issues of education, unemployment, racism, poverty and peace.
Philosophically a self-declared logical positivist, John insisted on empirical analysis for investigation of social problems, large and small. The desire for rigorous examination of fact and myth seldom stopped him from working with and supporting those in search of social change. His researches for activist groups were trusted, carried weight, made a difference.
Professor Mia Bay, a close family friend, and a graduate student at the time, described him in this way: "...his endless humane curiosity about the world...it made his company an intellectual feast...his wonderful quiet kindness and wisdom...smart and cynical, decent and good-hearted all the same time...".
This is why I hoped a bursary created in his name at York would be a useful celebration of his life work.
- Ann Buttrick November 14, 2010
The John Buttrick Memorial Bursary is awarded annually to an international student majoring in African and Caribbean Studies demonstrating financial need. Ann G. Buttrick established the award in memory of her late husband, former CERLAC Fellow John Buttrick.
If a suitable candidate cannot be identified, the Bursary will be awarded to undergraduate students pursuing academic interests in African or Caribbean studies.
The annual award consists of $1,000.
The Bursary is approved by the Office of Student Financial Services in accordance with guidelines established by the Senate of York University.
About John Buttrick:
On July 16, 2007, at the age of 88, John Buttrick – CERLAC Fellow and Professor Emeritus of Economics at York University – passed away on Gabriola Island in British Columbia. As a former conscientious objector during World War II and an equally strong objector to the Vietnam War, John and his wife Ann came to York University in 1970, leaving behind the University of Minnesota, where he had served as Chair and Professor for several years. John taught at York from 1970 to 1990, where he was a Coordinator of the CERLAC Diploma Program and Director of the Graduate Programme in Economics during its formative years.
In his work, he combined a strong analytical interest with political economics and development theory. His ethical concern for the improvement of the welfare of the poor led him to policy studies in Canada, Latin America, and the Caribbean. In Canada, his research focused on such social issues as inner-city educational inequities and the out-migration of skilled workers, much of which he carried out as a long-term consultant to the Ontario Economic Council. After his retirement from York, John and Ann moved to Jamaica, where they lived for several years. There, John taught at the University of the West Indies and later the University of Technology Jamaica, while advising the Ministries of Planning, Education, Health, and Finance and the Statistical Institute of Jamaica. He also wrote an unpublished elementary economics textbook for Jamaican students.
Not long before his passing, he and Ann returned to Canada and took up residence on Gabriola Island, a well-known retirement community for intellectuals and artists. There, as long-term members of the Canadian Science for Peace, they actively continued to work in the peace movement with particular focus on the protection and treatment of political refugees, including deserters from the US mili- tary service in Iraq. We lament very much the passing of such a dear friend and colleague, and we send our deepest condolences to his family.
Project Coordination: York International,
CERLAC, and a standing committee of members of the Caribbean community
Dr. Cheddi Jagan is already recognized globally
as a politician and a visionary of world stature; what we are seeking
to do by establishing these lectures is also to honour his memory as
a distinguished son of the Caribbean soil and one of our enduring heroes.
Yet it is not so much the man, as his large transformative vision, that
we seek to commemorate. In his words 'Human rights must embrace civil
and political, as well as economic and cultural rights. Human needs
and human security must be the objective of development."
The Jagan Lectures will preserve Cheddi Jagan's
legacy by inviting annually a leading thinker and practitioner, drawn
from a wide array of countries and disciplines, to deliver a lecture
in accordance with his/her own vision and practice.
The lecture will be given annually during the month
of March to commemmorate Dr. Jagan's birthday, which is March 22.
CERLAC, the Business and Society Program
and other concerned faculty and students are currently working together
to promote the availability of Fair Trade Coffee and other goods at
York and to encourage members of the wider community to purchase such
goods. We have compiled information about where Fair Trade Coffee can
be purchased on campus and in the community and compiled fact sheets
and links to relevant web-pages.
What is Fair
Fair Trade certified coffee is grown
by democratically-run producer cooperatives and guarantees that coffee
farmers have received a ‘living wage’ (minimum US$1.26/lb regardless
of fluctuations in market prices). Also, producers are given access
to much needed credit at fair rates and are engaged in longer term purchasing
agreements which provide farmers with greater security.
What is Organic Coffee?
Organic coffees aim to address the
negative environmental effects of modernized agriculture. Organically
certified coffees are grown without the use of pesticides, herbicides
or chemical fertilizers.
RELAC (Red de Estudios
sobre Latinoamericanos en Canadá
The Latin Americans in Canada Research Network
LAC-RN (RELAC) is a network of people who share an interest in enhancing
or contributing to Latin American communities in Canada.
In November 2002, a group of professors and students
from York, Toronto and Ryerson Universities organized a meeting with members
of the Latin American community to identify shared research concerns between
academia and the community. It was a pleasant surprise to learn about
the large number of existing studies on Latin Americans in Canada. RELAC
was formed as a result of this meeting.
RELAC's members decided that the most appropriate
mechanism for sharing existing knowledge about Latin Americans in Canada
was to organize a website that could be accessed by anyone that was interested.
The first stage of the project consisted in collecting RELAC members'
studies and additional research conducted in different parts of Canada.
In the future, RELAC hopes to identify research topics
and educational activities of interest to participants/members and to
promote collaboration between university- and community-based researchers
Currently RELAC has approximately 50 members. This
includes individuals who work or participate in community service organisations,
Latin American grassroots organisations, lobby groups, community groups
and members of the academic community.
RELAC is an open network that seeks to expand. If
you are interested in joining, please send your information to our email
Coordinators: Judith Adler Hellman,
Political Science, York University, and Richard Roman, Sociology, University
of Toronto (1981-)
CERLAC fellows and graduate students meet periodically
with colleagues from other Canadian institutions to discuss their research
on Mexico. Participants in the group come from the fields of Anthropology,
Economics, History, Political Science and Sociology and work with various
interdisciplinary approaches. Group members have published in Canada and
abroad on a wide range of issues touching on Mexico. In the early years,
Frans Schryer and Judith Adler Hellman served as coordinators. In recent
years, Judith Adler Hellman and Richard Roman have coordinated the Group.