Welcome from Donna Goldstein, Director, LASC 2015-2016
August 24, 2015
Dear Latin American Studies Center (LASC) Colleagues,
Welcome back to the Fall Semester 2015. I sincerely hope that 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. My name is Donna Goldstein, and in August 2014, I became the director of the Latin American Studies Center at CU Boulder. This is my second academic year as LASC director 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 2015-2016.
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 pursuing field research, and convene Research Clusters focused on Latin America.
I am a cultural and medical anthropologist and Associate 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 with colleagues at the Getúlio Vargas Foundation 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 nuclear energy complex in Brazil.
I am pleased to announce that last Spring 2015 the Center received a competitive grant from the Tinker Foundation that is aimed at funding 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 Tinker awardees in the Spring of 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 all goes well, we plan to announce our Tinker competition in early Spring 2016.
LASC is fortunate to have the administrative support from Nancy Neumann—CARTSS administrator—who also works with us to keep our administrative duties streamlined. We also have been fortunate to have the support of Dani Merriman, our Graduate Research Assistant for 2014-2015. This year we are pleased to announce that Arielle Milkman will be taking over this position from Dani Merriman. Dani is leaving to Colombia to begin her doctoral research. We are grateful for her immense contributions to the well-being of the Center and we wish her well in her research. Arielle Milkman is a new incoming Masters student in Anthropology and is interested in human rights issues in contemporary Peru. She has already hit the ground running and 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.
In spite of LASC’s 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 $250 – $500 range). Last year we were proud to contribute to many great campus events across the humanities and social sciences for film-screenings, engaging discussions and lectures (See the 2014-2015 Newsletter for a full report on the year). Additionally, we will continue to fund scholars through our Research Clusters program. In the past we have supported the following constituents: Graduate Student Research Cluster, Brazil-U.S. Network for Environment, Society, and Governance Cluster, Research Cluster on Gender, Race, Ethnicity, and the LASC-ALF Working Group. Scholars in these groups have organized lectures and film screenings, shared and discussed drafts of writing projects, and formed interdisciplinary research and writing collaborations. We plan to support new Research Clusters this coming year and we will be sending out a Call for Proposals in the near future. We will be asking new Research Clusters to open their membership to talented and interested undergraduates. 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.
Our vision 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 four years. I wanted to take this moment to personally thank Dani Merriman for her 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.
Donna M. Goldstein
The mission of the Center for Latin American Studies is to provide an institutional space for research, teaching and discussion on Latin America at the University of Colorado at Boulder. Its general purpose is to bring together CU faculty, students and visiting scholars interested in Latin American issues: recognizing the diversity of their interests and approaches; supporting their research, teaching, and studies; and strengthening their links with Latin America and with communities of Latin American origin in the United States.