Symposium explores Latin American revolutions

Peter Kornbluh

An analyst from the National Security Archive and scholars from Duke and New York universities take part in the Bates College symposium Latin American Revolutions in afternoon and evening sessions on Wednesday and Thursday, March 9 and 10.

Hosted by the Latin American studies faculty, with support from the Mellon Innovation Fund, the symposium is open to the public at no cost. For more information, please contact 207-786-8295.

Sibylle Fischer, associate professor and chair of the Spanish and Portuguese department at New York University, offers the lecture Haiti and the Revolutions in Spanish America at 4:15 p.m. Wednesday, March 9, in Room 204, Carnegie Science Hall, 44 Campus Ave.

At 7:30 p.m. that day, Jocelyn Olcott, associate professor of history at Duke University, gives a talk titled Soldiers, Suffragists and Sex Radicals: Women, Gender and the Mexican Revolution, also in Carnegie 204.

Peter Kornbluh, a senior analyst at the National Security Archive who directs the archive’s Cuba and Chile Documentation Projects, presents the lecture The Cuban Revolution: 50 Years of Bedeviling U.S. Foreign Policy at 4:15 p.m. Thursday, March 10, in the Keck Classroom (G52) in Pettengill Hall, 4 Andrews Road (Alumni Walk).

Concluding the symposium is a roundtable discussion with the three guest speakers on the theme Latin America’s Many Revolutions at 7:30 p.m. that day, also in the Keck Classroom.

Fischer’s scholarship covers, among other areas, Caribbean and Latin American literatures in Spanish, Portuguese and French; 19th-century culture and politics; the intersections of literature, dictatorship and philosophy; and the Black Atlantic.

Olcott researches the feminist history of modern Mexico. Her first book, Revolutionary Women in Postrevolutionary Mexico (Duke University Press, 2005) explores questions of gender and citizenship in the 1930s. She is also a co-editor of “Sex in Revolution: Gender, Politics, and Power in Modern Mexico” (Duke University Press, 2006).

Olcott is working on two book-length projects: a history of the 1975 UN International Women’s Year Conference in Mexico City, under contract with Oxford University Press; and a biography of the activist and folksinger Concha Michel. She is also developing a long-term project on the labor, political and conceptual history of motherhood in 20th-century Mexico.

The National Security Archive is an independent, nongovernmental research institute and library located at The George Washington University. Kornbluh was co-director of the Iran-Contra documentation project and director of the archive’s project on U.S. policy toward Nicaragua. Through the 1990s, he taught at Columbia University as an adjunct assistant professor of international and public affairs.

He is the author, editor or co-editor of several National Security Archive books, including Bay of Pigs Declassified: The Secret CIA Report on the Invasion of Cuba (The New Press, 1998) and The Pinochet File: A Declassified Dossier on Atrocity and Accountability (The New Press, 2004), which the Los Angeles Times selected as a “best book of the year.”

Kornbluh’s articles have been published in Foreign Policy, The New York Review of Books, The New Yorker, The New York Times, The Washington Post, the Los Angeles Times and many other journals and newspapers. He has appeared on national broadcasts including 60 Minutes, The Charlie Rose Show, Nightline, All Things Considered and Fresh Air with Terry Gross. He has also worked on and appeared in numerous documentary films, including the Oscar-winning Panama Deception.

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