International Conference on Civil Society Brings Activists from Latin America to Campus
The public is invited to attend Interrogating the Civil Society Agenda: Social Movements Civil Society, and Democratic Innovation, a three-day conference sponsored by the Center for Latin American, Caribbean and Latino Studies. Discussions of issues related to civil society, social movements, and democracy will take place on April 24-25 on campus; a special community dialogue is scheduled for April 27 at Grace Episcopal Church.
The conference will approach important issues of activism, political organizing, and democracy in various contexts of Latin America. Presenters include 35 individuals from the Five Colleges, as well as scholars and activist-intellectuals from Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Peru, Puerto Rico, the United Kingdom, the United States and Venezuela. Focusing on the Civil Society Agenda and the nexus of civil and “uncivil” contention, the conference themes have profound implications for the future(s) of democratic politics. By investigating the limits and possibilities of a variety of participatory schema, speakers will interrogate prevailing assumptions about the relationship between civil society and democracy.
The conference begins with opening remarks from Sonia Alvarez, chair of the Center for Latin American, Caribbean, and Latino Studies program, at 7:00 p.m., followed by a panel that will speak on cultural political action from their work throughout the Americas. The next day four sets of presentations will discuss various issues of civil and un-civil society responses to the political situation, namely neoliberalism, in Latin Americas.
On the 27th at 2:00 p.m., at Grace Episcopal Church in downtown Amherst, a discussion between community activists from Latin America and this region will engaging a variety of topics, including opportunities for social transformation through movements. All are welcome to contribute their insights about organizing in the world today. The conference will end with a musical performance by José González at 5:00 p.m.
Click here for a pdf of the complete program, including locations. To schedule an interview with any of the participants or organizers or for press access please contact Casey Stevens. Learn more about the Center for Latin American, Caribbean and Latino Studies.
April 23, 2008