Welcome Back Reception

The Center for Latin American Studies would like to invite you to celebrate the beginning of another exciting year. Please join us for an informal reception.

Thursday, September 4, 4:00 – 6:00 pm
CLAS Conference Room, 2334 Bowditch Street

Bay Area Latin America Forum

Daniel Kammen
“Green Growth?”

The next U.S. president will be confronted with the need to right the listing economy while combating global climate change. Dan Kammen discusses the opportunities available to the next president, both at home and internationally, as well as the constraints he will face, identifying key areas for policy change.

Daniel Kammen is a professor in the Energy and Resources Group, the Goldman School of Public Policy and the Department of Nuclear Engineering at UC Berkeley. He is also the director of the university’s Renewable and Appropriate Energy Laboratory.

Download Professor Kammen's Powerpoint presentation (2 mb .pdf)
Read "Energy Shock," Professor Kammen's article for the Berkeley Review

Tuesday, September 9, 12:00 – 1:15 pm
554 Barrows Hall

Photos of the event

Bay Area Latin America Forum

Jonathan Fox
“Mexico's Right-to-Know Reforms: Testing the Transition”

Mexico’s laws and official political discourse now emphasize transparency. Citizens’ “right to know” is assumed to encourage more accountable governance. In practice, however, what difference have these reforms made so far, and how do we know? This presentation will include a conceptual discussion of the relationship between transparency and accountability, a national overview of the reform process, and a field report on a grassroots civil society campaign to exercise information rights in the state of Guerrero.

Jonathan Fox is professor of Latin American and Latino Studies at the University of California, Santa Cruz. His most recent books include Accountability Politics: Power and Voice in Rural Mexico (Oxford University Press, 2007) and, as co-editor, Mexico's Right-to-Know Reforms: Civil Society Perspectives (Fundar & Woodrow Wilson Center, 2007). The latter book is fully online in English and Spanish at www.fundar.org.mx.

Monday, September 22, 12:00 – 1:15 pm
554 Barrows Hall

Photos of the event
Article on the event from the Berkeley Review of Latin American Studies

Nancy Scheper-Hughes
"Lacan in a Cage: Institutional Psychiatry and the Ghosts of Montes de Oca, Argentina’s National Mental Asylum for the Profoundly Mentally Disabled"

Nancy Scheper-Hughes is a professor in the Department of Anthropology at UC Berkeley. She is best known for her award-winning books Saints, Scholars and Schizophrenics: Mental Illness in Rural Ireland and Death without Weeping: The Violence of Everyday Life in Brazil.

Co-sponsored by the Department of Anthropology.

Download "A 'Petite Dirty War' on the Mentally Ill in Argentina," Elizabeth Farfán's article on Scheper-Hughes' work. (5 mb .pdf)

Monday September 22, 4:00 – 6:00 pm
160 Kroeber Hall

Article on the event

John Zarobell
"The Hybrid Sources of Frida Kahlo"

Frida Kahlo is an artist who has long been known for her fascinating biography and larger than life personality which she recorded in a series of riveting self-portraits, currently on view at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. John Zarobell will discuss the Mexican and European sources of Kahlo’s painting in order analyze the extraordinary power of her imagery.

John Zarobell is Coordinating Curator of “Frida Kahlo” at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art.

Exhibit website

Wednesday, September 24, 4:00 – 5:30 pm
554 Barrows Hall

Photos of the event
Article on the event from the Berkeley Review of Latin American Studies

Kenton T. Wilkinson
“Porous Border: Spanish-Language Television in the Mexico–U.S. Mediascape”

This talk will examine the historical development of a vibrant Mexico–U.S. mediascape that matured during the zenith of broadcast television and has grown more complex under the forces of free trade, media conglomeration and convergence.

Kenton T. Wilkinson is Regents Professor and director of the Institute for Hispanic and International Communication in the College of Mass Communications at Texas Tech University. The co-editor of Mass Media and Free Trade: NAFTA and the Cultural Industries (Texas, 1996), Wilkinson’s most recent publications examine the relationship between media opening and democratization in Mexico and the need to include more diverse perspectives in international communication research. He is currently working on a book about the historical development of Spanish-language television in the United States.

Thursday, September 25, 4:00 pm
CLAS Conference Room, 2334 Bowditch Street

Bay Area Latin America Forum

Jean-Paul Faguet
“Decentralization and Access to Social Services in Colombia”

Jean-Paul Faguet will explore the empirical effects of decentralization on access to public services in Colombia. In general, decentralization has led to a shift in investment from infrastructure to primary social services, leading to improvements in enrollment rates at public schools and in poor people’s access to public health services. Notably, it was the behavior of smaller, poorer, more rural municipalities that drove these changes. This contradicts common claims that local government is more corrupt, institutionally weak and prone to interest-group capture than central government.

Jean-Paul Faguet is a visiting scholar at the Center for Latin American Studies and an associate professor of Political Economy of Development at the London School of Economics, where he is also program director for Development Management.

Photos of the event

Monday, September 29, 12:00 – 1:15 pm
554 Barrows Hall

Article by Professor Faguet

Cine Latino

Panel Discussion on Film
Children of the Amazon

In the 1960s, the Brazilian government began work on the BR- 364, the highway that would open up the Amazon. Farmers, loggers and cattle ranchers descended on the tropical forest with devastating consequences for indigenous people and for the rubber-tappers who eked out a living from the trees. The Amazon quickly became Brazil’s “Wild West,” and violence became commonplace among the factions competing for a livelihood. The panelists will examine how the road changed the forest and local communities and discuss efforts to protect land and traditions.

Denise Zmekhol is a film director and producer.
Elenira Mendes is the daughter of late rainforest preservation activist Chico Mendes.
Chief AlmirSurui is a village chief who has worked to protect Surui lands and culture.

Wednesday, October 1, 7:00 pm
160 Kroeber Hall

Photos of the event

David Bacon
“Illegal People: How Globalization Creates Migration and Criminalizes Immigrants”

Globalization uproots people in Latin America and Asia, driving them to immigrate. At the same time, U.S. immigration policy makes the labor of these displaced people a crime in the United States. In his new book, Illegal People: How Globalization Creates Migration and Criminalizes Immigrants, David Bacon examines the plight of migrants through interviews and on-the-spot reporting from both impoverished communities abroad and American immigrant workplaces and neighborhoods.

David Bacon is an award-winning labor journalist, photographer, immigrant-rights activist and former labor organizer.

Co-sponsored by the UC Berkeley Labor Center, the Black Alliance for Just Immigration, the East Bay Alliance for a Sustainable Economy, the Oakland Institute and the Worker Immigrant Rights Coalition.

Wednesday, October 1, 7:30 pm
Berkeley YWCA, 2600 Bancroft Way

“Bogotá: Lecciones de un Renacer”

Centered on a keynote address by journalist and former mayor of Bogotá, Enrique Peñalosa, this symposium gives context to “Bogotá, el Renacer de una Ciudad,” an exhibit showcasing the city’s renaissance which will be on display in 108 Wurster Hall. Guest speakers include:

  • Carolina Barco, Ambassador to the United States, Former Planning Director;
  • Daniel Bermudez, Architect, Associate Professor of Architecture at the Universidad de los Andes in Bogotá;
  • Rachel Berney,  Assistant Professor at the University of Southern California;
  • Gerard Martin, Former director of the Colombia Program at Georgetown University, Urban Consultant to Bogotá and Medellín;
  • Alexandra Rojas,  Former Deputy Secretary of Finance; and
  • Camilo Santamaría, Architect and City Planner.

This symposium will be in English. Co-sponsored by the Departments of Architecture and City Planning, the Institute of Urban and Regional Development, the Program in the Design of Urban Places, the Berkeley-Stanford CityGroup, the UC Transportation Center and the Program in Global Metropolitan Studies.

For more information about the symposium, its schedule and to RSVP, see:

Friday, October 3, 12:30 – 1:30 pm and 6:00 – 9:00 pm, 112 Wurster Hall
Saturday, October 4, 9:30 am – 7:00 pm, 305 Wurster Hall

Bay Area Latin America Forum

Barry Carr
“Pink, Red or Tutti Frutti? Where Is Latin America Heading Politically?”

Is Latin America turning to the left? In this talk, Barry Carr looks at recent developments (in Venezuela, Bolivia, Ecuador, Chile, Uruguay, Argentina, Brazil and Paraguay) and assesses the significance of the so-called Pink Tide, the emergence of new international actors in Latin America and the challenge these developments pose for the United States in what has traditionally been a predictable political setting.

Barry Carr taught at La Trobe University until early 2008 and served as the director of that university’s Institute of Latin American Studies. He is currently a visiting scholar at CLAS and is co-editing a book that looks at recent developments in Latin America.

Download "Pink Tide Rising," Benjamin Allen's article on Professor Carr's work. (4mb .pdf)

Monday, October 13, 4:00 pm
554 Barrows Hall

Photos of the event
Article about the event - "Pink Tide Rising"

Tinker Summer Field Research Symposium

This symposium is a unique opportunity to learn about the current research done by UC Berkeley graduate students who spent last summer in Latin America. Field research grants were provided by CLAS with the generous support of the Tinker Foundation.

Schedule of presentations-->

Wednesday-Thursday, October 15-16, 1:00–3:00 pm
CLAS Conference Room, 2334 Bowditch Street

Article by 2008 Tinker recipient Gretchen Gordon on biofuels in Brazil
Article by 2008 Tinker recipient Neal Richardson on farmer protests in Argentina

“Underground Undergrads: A Teach-In on Immigrant Students and Their Struggle to Create Political Change”

Find out about the growing student movement advocating access to higher education for undocumented students. This event will feature the authors of a new student publication, Underground Undergrads: UCLA Undocumented Immigrant Students Speak Out. In the book, eight undocumented immigrant students tell personal stories of pain, financial hardship, emotional distress and, ultimately, triumph. UC Berkeley students and staff will also speak at the event, providing information about the recent court case challenging AB 540, Cal organizations that advocate for undocumented students’ rights and how students can get involved in the struggle to create political change.

Featured speakers include:

Joel Aguiar, Organizer with UC Berkeley RISE
María Blanco, Executive Director, Chief Justice Earl Warren Institute for Race, Diversity and Ethnicity
Matias Ramos, UCLA graduate whose story is featured in the book Underground Undergrads
Kent Wong, Director, UCLA Labor Center

Co-sponsored by the UC Berkeley Center for Labor Research and Education, Rising Immigrant Scholars Through Education (RISE), Xinaxtli, the Center for Latino Policy Research and the Chief Justice Earl Warren Institute for Race, Diversity and Ethnicity

Thursday, October 16, 6:00 pm
MLK Jr. Student Union (Bancroft at Telegraph)

Tan Oak Room, 4th Floor

Bay Area Latin America Forum

Beatriz Manz
“Anthropologist as Witness: Spain’s Guatemala Genocide Case”

In the early 1980s, Guatemala’s human rights abuses reached genocidal proportions. As an anthropologist who studies Guatemalan society, Prof. Manz has taken the position, controversial within the profession, that public exposure of what took place is the necessary and ethical path. She has provided expert testimony before Congressional committees and asylum judges, written opinion pieces for such papers as The New York Times and The International Herald Tribune and, more recently, provided expert testimony before the National Court in Madrid, Spain, which is considering genocide charges against several Guatemalan military officers.

Beatriz Manz is a professor of geography and ethnic studies at UC Berkeley and has done extensive anthropological fieldwork in Guatemala. Her book, Paradise in Ashes, chronicles the devastation in the war-torn rainforest region of northern Guatemala. Professor Manz will be joined by Almudena Bernabeu, International Attorney from the Center for Justice and Accountability, one of the lawyers involved in the Spanish case.

Monday, October 20, 12:00 – 1:15 pm
554 Barrows Hall

Photos of the event
Article about the case by Almudena Bernabeu and Naomi Roht-Arriaza

Cine Latino

Children of the Amazon
Directed by Denise Zmekhol (United States, 2008)

“Children of the Amazon” follows Brazilian filmmaker Denise Zmekhol as she travels deep into the Amazon in search of the Indigenous Surui and Nega­rote children she photographed 15 years ago. Part road movie, part time travel, her journey tells the story of what happened to life in the largest forest on earth when a road was built straight through its heart.

“Beautifully filmed and compassionately told, ‘Children of the Amazon’ deftly uses the director’s relationship with the children of three Amazonian communities to show the history of the region as a whole.” — Victoria Langland, UC Davis

Wednesday, October 22, 7:00 pm
160 Kroeber Hall

Anne Firth Murray
“Issues in International Women’s Health and Human Rights”

Anne Firth Murray will provide an overview of international women’s health issues presented in the context of a woman’s life, beginning in infancy and moving through to old age. Drawing from her recent book, From Outrage to Courage: Women Taking Action for Health and Justice, she will highlight critical issues such as: discrimination against women; poverty; unequal access to education, food and health care; and violence. Examples of women’s groups addressing these issues will be provided.

Anne Firth Murray has been teaching international women’s health and human rights in the Human Biology program at Stanford since 2001. A New Zealander, she is the Founding President of the Global Fund for Women.

Thursday, October 23, 4:00 pm
554 Barrows Hall

Raquel Rolnik
“Participatory Planning and Urban Reform in Brazil: Limits and Possibilities”

Professor at the School of Architecture and Urbanism at the University of São Paulo. She was Director of the Department of Planning of the city of São Paulo (1989-1992) and National Secretary for Urban Programs of the Brazilian Ministry of Cities (2003-2007) during a time of massive reform towards participatory planning processes in Brazilian cities. She is currently the United Nations Special Rapporteur on Adequate Housing as a component of the right to an adequate standard of living and on the right to non-discrimination in this context.

Co-sponsored by Global Metropolitan Studies and the Ph.D. Colloquium Series of the Department of City and Regional Planning.

Thursday, October 30, 5:00 ­ 7:00 pm
112 Wurster Hall

Marcelo Birmajer
The Author Discusses “A Closed Coffin”

Marcelo Birmajer is one of South America’s most prominent young writers. He has written over 20 books and screenplays for some of Argentina’s most important films including “Lost Embrace.” His unique style, a combination of Latin machismo, self-irony and Jewish humor has earned him the nickname “the Woody Allen of the Pampas.”

This talk will be in Spanish.

Co-sponsored by the Judaica Collection of Doe Library.

Download PDF - "A cajón cerrado"

Wednesday, November 5, 12:00 pm
CLAS Conference Room, 2334 Bowditch Street

Cine Latino

Lost Embrace
Directed by Daniel Burman (Argentina, 2004)

Directionless and unsatisfied, Ariel dreams of escaping a life trapped behind the counter of his mother’s lingerie store in a shabby Buenos Aires shopping mall. He is angling to move to Poland, a land of opportunity to him but also the place his Jewish grandmother fled during World War II. Before he can convince her to hand over the documents he needs to secure a Polish passport, his long-lost father arrives on the scene bringing with him the answers to Ariel’s questions about the past. 100 minutes. Spanish with English subtitles.

“A film of unexpected, almost indescribable off-center charm that deepens as it goes on.” — Kenneth Turan, Los Angeles Times

Wednesday, November 5, 7:00 pm
Please note new location: 126 Barrows Hall

Charles Briggs and Clara Mantini-Briggs
“On Bats, Rabies, Reporters and the Wrath of the State: Popular Power in a Venezuelan Epidemic”

In July of 2008, anthropologist Charles Briggs and public health physician Clara Mantini-Briggs stumbled into an epidemic of an unknown, 100 percent fatal disease in the Delta Amacuro rainforest of eastern Venezuela . Working closely with pro-Chávez indigenous leaders, they documented an outbreak of bat-borne rabies. The talk charts encounters with a disease, racial inequality, international press coverage and the hostility of a pro-poor, revolutionary state.

Charles Briggs is the Alan Dundes Distinguished Professor in Folklore and Professor of Anthropology at UC Berkeley. Clara Mantini-Briggs, M.D. M.P.H., is an Associate Researcher in the Department of Demography and is affiliated with the Ph.D. Program in Medical Anthropology at UC Berkeley. She is also the Director of Fundación para las Investigaciones Aplicadas Orinoco.

Co-sponsored by the Department of Anthropology.

Photos of the event

Monday, November 10, 4:00 pm
160 Kroeber Hall

Linda and Loretta Sánchez
“A Conversation with the Sánchez Sisters”

Linda (center) and Loretta Sánchez (right) with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. (Mouseover: Linda (left) and Loretta Sánchez).

With her 2002 election, Linda Sánchez joined her sister Loretta in the U.S. Congress, and the two became the first women of any relation to serve together in the House of Representatives. They recently coauthored a joint autobiography, Dream in Color.

Introduction by Beatriz Manz, Professor and Chair of Ethnic Studies at UC Berkeley.

Wednesday, November 12, 5:00–6:30 pm
Gaia Arts Center, 2120 Allston Way, Berkeley

Article about and photos of the event

Diego Escolar
"Indigenous Revival and the Production of Sovereignty in Contemporary Argentina: Huarpe Revisionism and Ecological Memories in Guanacache"

Diego Escolar received his Ph.D. in Anthropology from the University of Buenos Aires (UBA) in 2003. His research deals with the life and history of rural populations in the Cuyo region of western Argentina. His first book, Los dones étnicos de la nación, addressed the persistence of Huarpe indigenous identities long after their supposed extinction in the colonial period, and the resurgence of these identities since 1990. He has published numerous articles and served as a consultant to non-governmental organizations, the Argentine government, and indigenous development programs of the World Bank. Dr. Escolar is currently researcher at the Consejo Nacional de Investigaciones Científicas y Técnicas and a professor at the Universidad Nacional de Cuyo in Mendoza, Argentina. Talk in Spanish.

Co-sponsored with the Department of History.

Monday, November 17, 4:00 pm
CLAS Conference Room, 2334 Bowditch Street

Kent Eaton
"Power to the Left, Autonomy for the Right?: Territorial Conflict in Bolivia and Ecuador"

As in much of Latin America, leftist governments in Bolivia and Ecuador have come to power at the national level recently. Unlike other countries in the region, however, conservative autonomy movements have also gathered strength. A number of questions emerge from these twin developments. First, are these really “movements,” how are they “conservative” and what do they mean by “autonomy”? Second, why have they emerged in Bolivia and Ecuador and not elsewhere, and why have they emerged now and not earlier? Finally, why has the movement in Santa Cruz (Bolivia) gathered far greater momentum than the equivalent movement in Guayaquil (Ecuador)?

Kent Eaton is an Associate Professor in the Politics Department at UC Santa Cruz and is currently teaching a graduate seminar on Latin American politics at UC Berkeley.

Monday, November 24, 4:00 pm
CLAS Conference Room, 2334 Bowditch Street

Photos of the event
Article by Professor Eaton from the Fall 2008 Berkeley Review of Latin American Studies

Cine Latino

The Judge and the General
Directed by Elizabeth Farnsworth and Patricio Lanfranco (
United States, 2008)

When Chilean judge Juan Guzmán was assigned the first criminal case against the country’s ex-dictator, General Augusto Pinochet, no one expected much. After all, the conservative judge had supported Pinochet and believed the general’s version of events: that the tales of mass murder and systematic violations of human rights were mostly Communist propaganda and any excesses committed by the military were the unfortunate consequences of a dire struggle. The filmmakers trace the judge’s descent into what he calls “the abyss,” where he uncovers the past and his own role in the tragedy. 84 minutes. English and Spanish with subtitles. 

Director Elizabeth Farnsworth and Professor Naomi Roht-Arriaza, the legal advisor to the film, will participate in a panel moderated by Professor Eric Stover following the film.

“See the movie if you get a chance, even just for a break from the cynicism of everyday life.” — Phil Bronstein, San Francisco Chronicle 

Co-sponsored with the Human Rights Center.

Monday, December 1, 7:00 pm
Pacific Film Archive Theater

Cine Latino

Linha de Passe
Directed by Walter Salles (Brazil, 2008)

In the heart of São Paulo, one of the toughest, most chaotic cities in the world, four fatherless brothers struggle to earn respect and reales without turning to crime. “Linha De Passe” explores how the brothers — like the vast majority of young Brazilian men — instead seek refuge in soccer, religion or familial connections. The title, a Brazilian soccer term for players passing the ball from one to another without letting it touch the ground, poetically evokes both the structure of the film and the boys’ efforts to stay in the game. 108 minutes. Portuguese with English subtitles.

Walter Salles, the award-winning director of “Central Station,” “Midnight,” and “The Motorcycle Diaries,” will be on hand to discuss “Linha de Passe,” as well as “On the Road,” an upcoming film currently in production.

Date: TBD
Location: TBD


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