“Latin American and Latino Studies of the Global South”

Friday, March 25, 2016

University of Richmond

Carole Weinstein International Center Commons (INTC Commons)

9 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.


The intersecting fields of Latin American and Latino studies are politically, culturally, racially, linguistically, economically, and historically bound to each other but are often understood as having discrete rather than complimentary points of contact that require methodological and theoretical engagement. How do these fields of study, and their varied intellectual projects, interface with each other?

This symposium seeks to address the most relevant and pressing theoretical and methodological concerns that confront Latin American studies and Latino studies in relation to their intellectual, institutional and curricular points of contact and disavowal. The symposium brings together scholars from across the country to engage a series of framing questions about the futures of Latin American and Latino Studies from a “Global South” perspective.


As a nodal point of analysis and epistemic critique, Global South studies seek to analyze the conditions under which approximately 157 of a total of 184 recognized states in the world have the lowest Human Development Index. Since most of the Global South is located in Central America, Latin America, Africa, and Asia, the symposium is an opportunity to engage in a conversation about how Latin American and Latino studies particularisms intersect with the economic, cultural, political and human capital interests that have shaped these intersectional fields of study from the vantage point of the Global South.


The general framing questions for the symposium, while not proscriptive, ultimately seek to fortify intersectional links between Latin American, Latino and American studies in order to imagine how intellectual projects can work in consort within the institutional spaces that house them, as well how these projects might alter institutional strictures. (Each session will allow for audience conversations and engagement.)

I. Continental Breakfast: INTC Commons, 9:00 – 9:45 a.m.

II. Opening Remarks: Lázaro Lima, Associate Provost for Faculty, Professor of Latino Studies, Department of Latin American, Latino and Iberian Studies, Program in American Studies, University of Richmond, 9:45 – 10:00 a.m.

III. Session 1: “Latino Studies of the Global South: Democracy, Demography, and Equity,” 10:00 am – 12 noon

Moderator: John Riofrio, Associate Professor of Latino Studies and Latin American Studies, College of William and Mary

Anna Brickhouse, Professor of English, Director of American Studies, University of Virginia

Cat Ramírez, Associate Professor of Latin American and Latino Studies, Director, Chicano Studies Research Center, University of California, Santa Cruz

Kirsten Silva Gruesz, Professor of Literature, University of California, Santa Cruz

Co-respondents : Kimberly Robinson, Professor of Law, University of Richmond School of Law and Lázaro Lima, University of Richmond

Session 1 Framing Questions:

How does your work intersect with the fields of Latino studies and/or  Latin American studies?

What are the generative points contact (or incommensurability) between these fields as you understand it in your own work?

How does the field of American studies intersect with Latin American and/or Latino studies projects?

IV. Symposium Speakers Lunch: Jepson Alumni Center, 12 noon – 2 p.m. 

V. Session 2: “Latin American and Latino Studies Futures: Institutions and Transdisciplinarity,” 2:30 – 4:30 p.m.

Moderator: Manuella Meyer, Assistant Professor of History, University of Richmond

Eric Hershberg, Director, Center for Latin American and Latino Studies, Professor of Latin American Studies, American University

Mary Finley-Brook, Associate Professor of Geography and the Environment, Department of Geography and the Environment, University of Richmond

Ernesto Semán, Assistant Professor of Latin American Studies, Jepson School of Leadership Studies, University of Richmond

Respondent:  Manuella Meyer, Assistant Professor of History, University of Richmond

Session 2 Framing Questions:

How do cultural industries intersect with your work in Latin American and/or Latino studies?

How has the institutionalization of Latin American and/or Latino studies emerged in your institution?

What are the limits and possibilities of institutionalization as you see it for the futures of Latin American and/or Latino studies in relation to democratic practice?

VII. Concluding Remarks: Audience Members