Press Release – Massey University

Latin Americas colonial legacies and the impact of neoliberalism as well as food, football, film and feminism are among topics at conference of Latin American scholarship at Massey Universitys Auckland campus next week.Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Identity and change themes in Latin American forum

Latin America’s colonial legacies and the impact of neoliberalism as well as food, football, film and feminism are among topics at conference of Latin American scholarship at Massey University’s Auckland campus next week.

Topics close to home include the effect of the Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement, indigenous tourism comparisons between Māori and the Mapuche people of Chile and how Spanish-speaking families in New Zealand nurture their language.

Titled Transforming Legacies, the July 3-5 conference of the Association of Iberian and Latin American Studies of Australasia (AILASA), organised by Massey’s Spanish Language Programme and supported by the embassies of Spain, Argentina and Mexico, covers a diverse range of critical contemporary research on Latin America issues and influences. Scholars from across Latin America, the United States, Australia and New Zealand will attend.

‘Melting pot’ or ‘coat of many colours’ in Latin America?

Keynote speaker Professor Saul Sosnowski, Professor of Latin American Literature and Culture at the University of Maryland, will discuss whether a ‘melting pot’ or ‘a coat of many colours’ best defines the diversity of modern societies in his talk Balancing Memories, Pondering Legacies.

“Perhaps more than at any other time, what defines us are migrations, cultural transformations, blending of tastes and sounds and even of well-crafted memories,” he says.

Another keynote speaker Christine Arkinstall, a Professor of Spanish at the University of Auckland, will discuss feminism and female intellectuals, and the rich exchange between Spanish-speaking female writers and thinkers on both sides of the Atlantic.

Co-organiser Dr Leonel Alvarado, who coordinates Massey’s Spanish Language Programme, says the conference programme embraces a range of relevant and topical issues, from ethical trade and tourism and sustainability to the political and economic challenges for the region.

Massey University presenters include linguistics researcher Dr Arianna Berardi-Wiltshire who will discuss her research on the strategies used by Spanish-speaking families in New Zealand in raising bilingual children.
Conference co-organiser and Spanish language lecturer Dr Celina Bortolotto will discuss the work of Argentinian cartoonist and writer Roberto Fontanarrosa, in a panel discussion: Re-inventing Argentina.

Art exhibition showcases Chilean search for justice

The conference is also hosting an exhibition of art works by a group of Wellington-based Latin American women who have produced their own arpilleras, or hand-sewn tapestries, depicting powerful memories and the search for justice that emerged in Chile in the 1970s.

“The exhibition showcases intimate and collective reflections around migration experiences, identities and a sense of home, and will be on display in the Massey Business School’s Flexible Room on Monday and Tuesday,” Dr Alvarado says.

“We are looking forward to some robust round table discussions, for example on the effects of neoliberalism in Brazil, Chile, Argentina and Brazil, as well as exploring artistic themes – for example, how sexuality and gender is treated in Latin American and Spanish films,.”

The conference will be held in the Sir Neil Waters Building on Sunday, July 3 and in the Massey Business School on Monday and Tuesday, July 4-5, and is open to the public. Presentations are in Spanish and English.

Professor Sosnowski will also be giving public lectures at Palmerston North’s Te Manawa Museum (July 7) and at Old Museum Building in Wellington (July 8), on Argentinian writer Jorge Luis Borges and the Kaballah.

For more information check the conference website here.

ENDS

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