Calendar of Events

September 25, 2017 - 4:00 PM to 7:00 PM

Women's Resistance to Military Dictatorship and the New Conservative Coup in Brazil

Please help us welcome Professor Cristina Scheibe Wolff, a feminist historian from the Federal University of Santa Catarina, and our 2017 Fulbright Chair in Brazilian Studies!

She will offer a talk entitled "Women's Resistance to Military Dictatorship and the New Conservative Coup in Brazil" which will be followed by our opening reception for the 2017-18 academic year.

What are the connections between women's resistance to Military Dictatorship (1964-1989) and the new wave of women's and feminists protests in the last few years, in Brazil? We want to analyze the ways  misogyny and gender helped the new Coup against president Dilma Roussef and, on the other had, women's resistance, in the past and present, against conservative forces and discourses. 

September 19, 2017 - 4:00 PM to 7:00 PM

DACA and the the State of Immigration Policy

A discussion of the politics, policies, and pragmatics of current immigration policy, particularly the recent termination of DACA . This policy has important implications for students at our university and across the nation, staff members, and hundreds of thousands of individuals who may lose their rights to work and reside in the United States. This event will examine how immigration policy is made, the history of DACA and other immigration reform policies, and what we as a campus community can do to support our community members. This event includes speakers from political science, legal studies, Spanish and Portuguese, the American Civil Liberties Union, and the Pioneer Valley Workers Center. Free and open to the public, with refreshments provided. Sponsored by the UMass College of Social & Behavioral Sciences, the Center for Latin American,Caribbean and Latino Studies (CLACLS), the Political Science Department, the Legal Studies Program, Spanish, and the Portuguese Studies Program.




April 13, 2017 - 1:30 PM to April 14, 2017 - 7:00 PM

Puerto Rico: Savage Neoliberalism, Colonialism and Financial Despotism

Puerto Rico: Savage Neoliberalism, Colonialism and Financial Despotism

Center for Latin American, Caribbean and Latino Studies University of Massachusetts Amherst

April 13-14, 2017 

Organizers: Puerto Rican Studies Research Working Group of the Center for Latin American, Caribbean and Latin American Studies

Co-Sponsors: College of Social & Behavioral Sciences, College of Humanities & Fine Arts, Office of the Provost, Language, Literatures, & Cultures, Center for Multicultural Advancement and Student Success, El Sol Latino – Un Periódico Diferente

Thursday, April 13- Campus Center 174/176 and Amherst Room, 10th Floor, 1:30-7:30pm

1:30 Opening Remarks

​Sonia Álvarez - Leonard J. Horwitz Professor of Latin American Politics and Director of the Center for Latin American, Caribbean and Latino Studies

2:00-3:45 - Debt, Privatization, and Diaspora, Campus Center 174/176

Moderator:  Marcos Marrero - Director, Planning and Economic Development, Holyoke, MA

1.     Francisco Fortuño Bernier – City University of New York Graduate Center, New York

“Privatizations in Puerto Rico and the Neoliberal Project: Strategy, Temporality and Periodization”

2.     Miguel Alvelo-Rivera - University of Illinois, Chicago

 “Mobilizing the Diaspora: A Critical Reflection on Contemporary Puerto Rican Diaspora”

3.     Luis Beltrán Álvarez – University of Puerto Rico, Río Piedras

 “Puerto Rico’s Colonial Exceptionality: How Laws and Debt Create Inferior Subjectivities and Conditions of a Humanitarian Crisis”

4.     Laura Briggs – University of Massachusetts, Amherst

“Accumulation by Dispossession: Finance, Foreclosure, and the High Cost of (Social) Reproduction in Puerto Rico”

4:00-5:45 - Dependence and Resistance, Amherst Room, 10th Floor

Moderator:  Ann Zulawski - Professor Emerita of History and of Latin American Studies, Smith College

1.     Mayra Vélez Serrano – University of Puerto Rico, Río Piedras

“A Long History of Wall Street’s Bailouts and How Puerto Rico Will not be Different”

2.     Héctor Cordero-Guzmán – City University of New York - Baruch College, New York

“Work, Welfare and Puerto Rico’s Crisis”

3.     Sarah Molinari – City University of New York Graduate Center, New York

“Debt Struggles, Austerity Indignation, and Uncertainty During Puerto Rico’s Economic Crisis”

6:00-7:30 Keynote Speakers- Puerto Rico: Savage Neoliberalism, Colonialism and Financial Despotism, Amherst Room, 10th Floor

Moderators: Roberto Alejandro - Political Science, University of Massachusetts Amherst

                    Agustín Laó-Montes - Sociology, University of Massachusetts Amherst

1.     María de Lourdes Santiago – Member of the Puerto Rican Senate, former candidate for governor representing the Puerto Rican Pro-Independence Party

2.     Rafael Bernabe – Professor of Hispanic Studies, University of Puerto Rico, Río Piedras,  former candidate for governor representing the Puerto Rican Working People's Party

7:30 Dinner - Thompson Hall -Room 620, 6th Floor


Friday, April 14 - Campus Center Marriott Center, 11th Floor, 10:00am-6:00pm

10:00-11:15 - Labor, Human Rights, and the Colonial Crisis

Moderator:  Solsireé del Moral - American Studies and Black Studies, Amherst College

1.   Aimee Loiselle – University of Connecticut, Storrs

“A Laboratory for Neoliberalism: Puerto Rican Needleworkers, Flexible Labor Markets, and Rationales for Exemptions and Incentives”

2.   Jorell Meléndez Badillo- University of Connecticut, Storrs

"Our Turn to Speak: The Creation of Puerto Rican Workers' Intellectual Communities, 1897-1933."

3.   José Raúl Cepeda - Interamerican University, Ponce

“Coloniality, Social Violence, and Criminalization of Puerto Ricans from Military Governments to the Fiscal Control Board”

4.   Ashley Ortiz-Chico – University of Connecticut, Storrs

“PROMESA Rota, Human Rights in Puerto Rico’s Debt Crisis”  

12:00-1:30 - Lunch

1:30-4:00 - Crisis:  Analysis and Solutions

Moderator:  Roberto Márquez - Professor Emeritus, Latin American and Caribbean Studies, Mount Holyoke College

1.   Liliana Cotto Morales – Professor of Sociology, University of Puerto Rico, Río Piedras

“Collective Actions in Response to the Colonial Despotism of PROMESA: New Vocabularies and Strategies”

2.   Jorge Duany - Director of the Cuban Research Institute and Professor of Anthropology, Florida International University, Miami

“Economic Crisis and Migration in Puerto Rico”

3.     José Caraballo – Professor of Business Administration, University of Puerto Rico, Cayey

“The Great Depression of Puerto Rico, Causes and Possible Solutions”


4.   Emilio Pantojas García – Professor of Sociology and Center for Social Research, University of Puerto Rico, Río Piedras

“Puerto Rico's Final Collapse: Crisis and Alternatives”


4:15-5:30 – Keynote Speaker

Moderator:  Agustín Laó-Montes - Sociology, University of Massachusetts Amherst

Juan González - Juan González is an American progressive broadcast journalist and investigative reporter. He was also a columnist for the New York Daily News from 1987 to 2016. He frequently co-hosts the radio and television program Democracy Now! with Amy Goodman.

"Imperial Nakedness and Capital's Direct Rule: Puerto Ric, Immigrants and Latin America in Trump Times"


5:45 Reception & Live Music by Charlie Berríos

March 28, 2017 - 9:30 AM to 11:00 AM

March 27, 2017 - 4:00 PM to 5:30 PM


Suzana Maia is a Professor of Anthropology and Gender Studies at the Federal University of Reconcavo da Bahia (UFBR), in Brazil. She is the author of “Transnational Desires: Brazilian Erotic Dancers in New York” (Vanderbilt University Press, 2012), and of several articles on sexuality and transnationalism. She has also done research on women's grassroots quilombola movement in Bahia, looking at the possibilities and limits of feminist alliances between women from different backgrounds. She is currently a Postdoctoral Visiting Researcher in the Department of Comparative Literature at the Graduate Center (CUNY), developing research on whiteness among the middle-classes in Brazil.


March 01, 2017 - 4:30 PM to 6:30 PM

A Debate on the Cuban reform: transformations, contradictions and challenges

Participants: Agustin Lao-Montes (UMass), Oscar Fernandez (University of Havana), Anamary Maqueira (UMass), and Jorge Quesada (UMass)

February 27, 2017 - 4:00 PM to 5:30 PM

Latin American Cinema: A Comparative History

Paul A. Schroeder Rodríguez’s "Latin American Cinema: A Comparative History," is the first to address all the major periods in the region, from the silent era to the digital age. He is currently a Professor at Amherst College who is working on a research project that seeks to answer why Latin America in the eighteenth century saw the emergence of an alternative discourse of modernity that combined Baroque ideals of reciprocity and faith with Enlightenment ideals of individual freedom and scientific knowledge.

February 21, 2017 - 4:00 PM to 5:30 PM

Asking for Forgiveness Without Repentance: Peruvian State and Afroperuanos

Luis Martin Valdiviezo is a Professor for the Education Department of the Pontificial Catholic University of Peru.

February 15, 2017 - 4:00 PM to 6:00 PM

Embodying Coalitions Across the Worlds of Postcolonial and Decolonial Scholarship and Practice

How do postcolonialism and decolonialism help us think through our current political moment? How have these two approaches addressed, or failed to address, Islam and the Middle East? How can they inform our current discussions about immigration? What methods do postcolonialism and decolonialism offer for scholarship and activism during this time? How do they respond to the rise of the global right?



Lisa Armstrong, Study of Women & Gender-Smith College

Laura Briggs, Women, Gender, Sexuality Studies-UMass

Ellen Correa, Office of Civic Engagement and Service Learning-UMass

Claudia de Lima Costa, Vernacular Language and Literature-UFSC, Brasil

Isabel Espinal, W. E. B. DuBois Library-UMass

Jennifer Hamilton, Legal Studies and Anthropology-Hampshire College

Asha Nadkarni, English-UMass

Banu Subramaniam, Women, Gender, Sexuality Studies-UMass


CLACLS Embodying Coalitions Research Working Group Organizers:

Kiran Asher, Women, Gender, Sexuality Studies-UMass

Kimberlee Pérez, Communication-UMass

Kristie Soares, Languages, Literatures, and Cultures-UMass

February 06, 2017 - 4:00 PM to 5:30 PM

Fragmented Stories, Fractured Lives: Forests and Ethno-Territorial Struggles in the Pacific Lowlands of Colombia

Kiran Asher is an Associate Professor grounded in two decades of field-based research in Latin America and South Asia. Her diverse research interests focus on the gendered and raced dimensions of social and environmental change in the global south.

Part of the Spring 2017 Research Colloquium Series.