Each year CLAS invites advanced doctoral students from all divisions and disciplines to apply for the 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. Each year, 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.
Applications for the 2018–19 year will open in January 2018 and will be due Thursday, March 1, 2018.
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.
This position requires 11 hours of work per week as per the UChicago student employment guidelines.
Who Counts, What Counts? Racial Governance in 21st Century Latin America
Karma Frierson, Anthropology
In 2015 for the first time in Mexico’s history, there was an official count of its population of African descent, leaving Chile as the only nation in the hemisphere not to do so. A year prior, Brazil introduced a quota system for all federal jobs, leading to new questions about who qualifies for these positions. These examples and more highlight a new era in Latin America that questions who counts—both literally as with censuses and figuratively as with affirmative action—as Afro-descended in a region characterized by racial mixture. In this course we will analyze the new turn toward racial governance as we grapple with the following questions: How does the racial governance of the 21st century upend or echo the racial governance of the colonial era? How does this new era affect our understanding of race and identity? What is lost and gained by counting people as black?
Linguistic Minorities and Language Rights in Latin America
Adam Singerman, Linguistics
This course examines the ongoing struggle to maintain, preserve, and revitalize the native languages of Latin America. How can we understand this struggle as part of a wider initiative, grounded in international understanding of human rights, to promote the marginalized traditions of indigenous peoples? We begin by examining Latin America's linguistic diversity and history as they pertain to questions of present-day human rights struggles. Next, we will make sense of the interrelated phenomena of language shift, language endangerment, and language death. We will then read scholarly efforts (including legal approaches) to contextualize the question of minority languages within the broader discourse of human rights. Finally, we will examine a series of case studies on different Latin American linguistic minorities—including the Maya of Guatemala and Mexico and the Quechua- and Aymara-speaking populations of the Andes—and their efforts to preserve, standardize, and gain official recognition for their languages.