Ignacio Martín Baró Prize Lectureship


Each year CLAS invites advanced doctoral students from all divisions and disciplines  to apply for an Ignacio Martín-Baró Prize Lectureship in Latin American Studies. This award supports the teaching of a one-quarter undergraduate course of the recipient's own design, focusing on a major Latin American political issue or question pertaining to human rights in Latin America. Priority is given to course proposals appropriate for cross-listing in Human Rights. Pending funding, one lectureship will be awarded, with a salary of $5,000. To be eligible, the student must have defended the dissertation proposal, or have scheduled the dissertation proposal defense for no later than the quarter in which the course is to be taught.


DEADLINE: 12:00 PM, Wednesday, March 15, 2017



2015-16 Prize Lectureship Courses

Latin America After Development:Sustainability, Extractivism, and Growth’s Alternatives Across a Hemisphere
Eric Hirsch, Anthropology
Spring 2016      
LACS 26616      TR 1:30-2:50pm

This seminar is focused on a deceptively simple question: what happens to a place after a development intervention there comes to an end? While we might say that “development”—economic, social, personal—is never really over, this seminar is concerned with the specific idea of one community’s peacetime intervention in the progress and life of another, and on how such projects end in Latin America. In this interdisciplinary course, we move from considering the immediate impacts of development project closures to larger questions about what it means to achieve national "inclusion," a newly important policy term, in the context of the prosperity now apparent in much of the hemisphere. The first part of the course focuses on key themes that emerge as analysts assess development’s immediate impacts: extraction and resource politics; corporate social responsibility; environmentalism; indigenous and ethnic identity. In the second part, we consider some of the unconventional ways nature and ecology are being rethought at the forefront of Latin America’s radical “de-growth” and “post-development” movements, which have taken on local policy importance as climate change and concerns about long-term human habitability gain global attention. We draw on a variety of readings and media, from scholarly literature to documentaries to NGO evaluations and other primary sources.

Sciences as Solutions to Latin American Challenges, 1500-2000
Christopher Dunlap, History
Spring 2016      
LACS 26617      MW 1:30-2:50pm

Long before European contact with the Americas, indigenous peoples used science and technology to solve challenges and problems unique to their times and spaces. We will analyze scientific practice in the colonial/Atlantic World era, then proceed to more detailed case studies of how sciences and technologies were funded, disseminated, taught, and marshaled against a variety of challenges to health, society, and prosperity in the region up to the present day. We will also examine why the pursuit and application of scientific and technological knowledge has taken a decidedly different trajectory in Latin America than in highly developed North Atlantic countries. 




The Ignacio Martín-Baró Program was established to honor the memory of slain colleague and distinguished member of the University of Chicago community, Father Ignacio Martín-Baró, who lived a life committed to the human values of democracy, social justice and service to the poor, silenced, and dispossessed. Ignacio Martín-Baró was an ordained Jesuit priest, born in Spain in 1942. Upon joining the Jesuit order, Martín-Baró was sent to El Salvador where he studied psychology. He came to the University of Chicago in 1976 to pursue graduate studies and three years later received his doctorate in Social Psychology. Upon returning to El Salvador, he found himself in the midst of a violent civil war, which had been ravaging the country for more than a decade. Despite many death threats and brutal acts of repression suffered by colleagues, students and friends, Father Martín-Baró continued to pursue a brilliant teaching and research career as pastor of a rural parish on the outskirts of San Salvador. On the morning of November 16, 1989, Father Martín-Baró, along with five Jesuit brothers, their housekeeper, and her daughter, became victims of their commitment to the dispossessed of El Salvador. That morning armed soldiers took them away and executed them. The Ignacio Martín-Baró Endowed Program was created by then-President of the University of Chicago Hannah Holborn Gray to honor the life and memory of this extraordinary individual. The endowment is administered by the Center for Latin American Studies and supports an annual lectureship awarded to an advanced graduate student to teach a course of his/her design related to politics and human rights in Latin America.

Contact Jamie Gentry
jagentry@uchicago.edu | 773.702.8420