Letter from the Director

Welcome from Donna Goldstein, Director, LASC 2016-2017

Donna GoldsteinAugust 22, 2016 

Dear Latin American Studies Center (LASC) Colleagues,

Welcome back to the Fall Semester 2016. I hope your summer was excellent and that it provided the appropriate context for rest and regeneration that is much needed by all after the long school year. 

I am now heading into my third year as director of the Latin American Studies Center and I am writing to invite you to stay connected to the Center this year and also to keep you updated about our upcoming plans for this AY 2016-2017.

Our goal as a Center is to continue to support Latin American research, scholarship, and related activities on the CU campus. To that end, we co-sponsor on-campus activities, support scholars—particularly graduate students—pursuing field research, and convene Research Clusters for scholars focused on Latin America.

I am a cultural and medical anthropologist and Professor in the Anthropology department. I have worked, lived and carried out field research in Mexico, Ecuador, Brazil and Argentina. My current work engages with a broad range of themes within medical anthropology and the anthropology of science that include: pharmaceutical politics; environmental damages and toxicities and the health of individuals, communities, and populations; science under neoliberalism; and the history of genetics and nuclear energy. I am currently working in Brazil and at CU, with a broad range of scholars in the natural and social sciences, carrying out research on the health of populations living proximate to the Angra dos Reis nuclear energy complex in Brazil. And, of course, I am following the changing Brazilian political situation closely.

I am pleased to announce that last Spring 2016 the Center received news of the renewal of a second year of funding of grant money provided by the Tinker Foundation aimed at funding pre-dissertation graduate student research in Latin America. With matching funds provided by the Graduate School, College of Arts and Sciences and the Anthropology Department at CU, the Center was able to support fourteen new Tinker awardees in the Spring of 2016. (We supported twelve in 2015.) We hope to compete and renew our Tinker foundation grants in the coming year and we look forward to supporting graduate student research once again. If we are fortunate enough to receive a third year of funding, then we will announce our Tinker competition in early Spring 2017. Stay tuned!

LASC is fortunate to have the administrative support from Nancy Neumann—also CARTSS administrator—who also works with us to keep our administrative duties streamlined. We also have been fortunate to have the support of Arielle Milkman, our Graduate Research Assistant since Fall of 2015. Arielle Milkman is a second year Masters student in Anthropology and is interested in human rights issues in contemporary Peru. She will be in touch with all of you shortly to keep you posted on upcoming events and opportunities related to the Center and activities on campus as well as broader issues in Latin America. We plan to schedule a few happy hour events at “No Name“ Bar so that people can meet. We will let you know the dates. 

LASC will also continue to be an information gathering and sharing organization that tracks and supports the many Latin America related activities on campus and beyond. In spite of the small budget within the College of Arts and Sciences, LASC will continue to fund activities on campus through co-sponsorship (in small amounts of support in the $200 - $500 range). Last year we were proud to contribute to many great campus events across the humanities and social sciences for film-screenings, visiting scholars, and lectures (See our website for events we sponsored in 2015-2016, including Brazilian Week, a workshop and talk with anthropologist and writer Ruth Behar, LASC’s spring film series, and a lecture by Professor Kaifa Roland titled Touristic Nostalgia in Tomorrow’s Cuba.) Additionally, we will continue to fund scholars through our Research Clusters programThis year, LASC has new Research Clusters: Political Ecology of Climate Policy in Latin America and the Latin American Studies Graduate Student Research Cluster. 

Our vision for LASC is one that includes enhancing collaborations, research, and scholarship in the broadest manner, and to that end we are currently seeking additional funding to support research about Latin America on the CU campus. We are proud of our success with the Tinker Foundation’s Field Research Grants and we hope to be successful in our pursuit of other grants.

LASC has survived on a shoestring budget and good will during the last five years. I wanted to take this moment to personally thank Arielle Milkman for her fantastic year of service. I also wanted to thank our dedicated board members for their service and for their support of LASC in these lean years. While we don’t know what the future may bring, we hope that we can continue to grow thoughtfully and expand the reach and program building we have begun and to remain organized as a community of Latin American scholars.

Best wishes,

Donna Goldstein's signature
Donna M. Goldstein