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Nancy Webber
Office of the Provost

Cyndi Connelley-Eskine
Office of the Vice Provost for Faculty and Academic Affairs

Last modified: Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Funding for Borderlands Lecture Series and Desencuentros multidisciplinary projects announced

Feb. 15, 2011

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- Two major multidisciplinary projects -- Borderlands Lecture Series and Desencuentros: Sovereignty, Revolution and Neo-Anarchism in Latin America -- have been funded with seed money from the Office of the Vice Provost for Faculty and Academic Affairs' Multidisciplinary Ventures and Seminars Fund.

"The collaborative, interdisciplinary nature of each of these activities draws IU faculty and students together across disciplinary and school boundaries into a shared exchange of ideas," said Michael Wade, associate vice provost for faculty and academic affairs. "Their value to the research and creative activity of the campus as a whole is reflected by the contributions of departments, centers and schools, as well as the vice provost's office to the funding of each project. I encourage all faculty and students to participate in these activities and join the conversation."

Borderlands Lecture Series

The Borderlands Lecture Series will feature public lectures and classroom discussions by experts from across the country on the topic of borderlands, which are locations rich with social, political and economic investment and divestment in boundaries between nations. Literary critic Mary Louise Pratt defines borderlands as "contact zones" between cultures, nations and peoples, and says that the study of these liminal sites of exchange and transfer reveals unexpectedly creative and often destructive energies, sometimes far from the line drawn on a map.

Project co-coordinators are Matthew P. Guterl, professor in the Department of African American and Diaspora Studies and director of the American Studies Program; Vivian Halloran, associate professor of Comparative Literature; and John Nieto-Phillips, associate professor in Latino Studies and the Department of History. While all represent programs and departments within the College of Arts and Sciences, the lectures, discussions and related Ethnic Studies Research Workshop for graduate students involve students from schools and departments across campus.

The Ethnic Studies Research Workshop, Feb. 18-19, is a two-day workshop featuring graduate students from a variety of disciplines, departments and schools sharing their work-in-progress with one another and receiving feedback and input from participants, including faculty respondents. Selected participants pre-circulate their essays prior to the workshop and give a 10-minute presentation summarizing the main points of their essays, which will be followed by comments by a faculty respondent. Audience members in attendance will have ample time to ask questions and engage in discussion about the topics raised by the presenters.

Visiting scholars for the Lecture Series this semester include Frances Aparicio and Geraldo Cadava, both from Northwestern University, Rachel Lee of the University of California-Los Angeles, Karl Jacoby from Brown University, and Natalia Molina from the University of California-San Diego.

Additional funding and support comes from the College Arts and Humanities Institute.

For more information on the workshop, contact:

Desencuentros: Sovereignty, Revolution and Neo-Anarchism in Latin America

Coordinated by IU professors Jeffrey L Gould, Rudy Professor of History; Daniel James, who holds the Bernardo Mendel Chair in Latin American History; Lessie Jo Frazier, associate professor of gender studies; and Patrick Dove, associate professor of Spanish and Portuguese, Desencuentros: Sovereignty, Revolution and Neo-Anarchism in Latin America will feature seminars throughout 2011 that discuss new interpretations of Latin American case studies from different points in the 20th century.

The project also will sponsor a conference in September that will offer talks by an international array of experts. Featured topics will include the study of conflicts between insurgent groups and the Mexican Institutional Party of the Revolution in the southern Department of Guerrero in the 1970s; disputes within Central American revolutionary movements of the 1970s concerning gender and ethnicity; the origins of Peronism as social revolution in 1940s Argentina, the analysis of which will help shed new light on contemporary populist regimes in Venezuela, Olivia and elsewhere; and the "return" of anarchist movements in contemporary Andean countries in conjunction with the emergence of new indigenous voices and ecological projects.

Additional funding and support comes from the College Arts and Humanities Institute and the Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies in the College of Arts and Sciences.

For more information on series and conference, contact

Multidisciplinary Ventures and Seminars Fund

The Multidisciplinary Ventures and Seminars Fund, administered by the Office of the Vice Provost for Faculty and Academic Affairs, is designed to provide partial support for collaborative projects to encourage interdisciplinary exchange and intellectual growth into new and multidisciplinary areas of inquiry. Proposals are encouraged that draw together two or more disciplines in an innovative way, including those fostering the university goals of globalization and internationalization of research and creative activities.

For information and contacts on the four projects, e-mail or call 812-855-9973. For information on fund eligibility and the application process, visit