Whiteness and Weddings in the 'Post'-Colonial, Neo-liberal Economies of the Caribbean

Start: Jan 18, 2017 5:30:00 PM
End: Jan 18, 2017 7:00:00 PM

Karen Wilkes (Birmingham City University) - In the contemporary neoliberal context, where the princess bride is a privileged consumer citizen, the destination white wedding is a niche product for the tourist industry, and the Caribbean is a particularly popular destination, fulfilling 'Western ideas of [paradise and] a romantic other' (C. M. Hall and Tucker 2004: 10). Operating in the global market place, companies such as Sandals actively sell the Caribbean as a paradise destination and attainable luxury, through interactive web sites and high-quality glossy brochures.
This paper will discuss destination weddings in the Caribbean as a lens through which to explore issues of gender, race, and colonial relations in the neoliberal context. It assesses the discourses created by the tourist industry and disseminated through the global media, which appear to reaffirm traditional gender positions and resurrect colonial relations by perpetuating narratives of blackness as servitude and the Caribbean as unproblematic paradise.

IHR Latin American History Seminar: Reindigenisation and Culture in the Andes (Nineteenth Century)

Start: Jan 24, 2017 5:30:00 PM

Institute of Historical Studies
Adrian Pearce (University College London) - The little-known historical topic of reindigenisation is understood as a greater presence and protagonism of the indigenous in national life in the Andean republics during the decades subsequent to independence. More information here.

Coalitions and Compliance: The Political Economy of Pharmaceutical Patents in Latin America

Start: Jan 25, 2017 5:30:00 PM

Kenneth Shadlen (LSE) -Since the late 1980s developing countries have come under considerable pressure to revise their intellectual property policies and practices. One area where pressures have been exceptionally controversial is in pharmaceuticals: historically, fearing the costs of providing private property rights over knowledge in this area, developing countries did not grant patents to drugs. Now they must do so.

The politics of left-wing militants' confessions to past violence in Latin America

Start: Feb 1, 2017 5:30:00 PM

Professor Leigh A Payne (Oxford) - What happens when state perpetrators publicly confess to human rights violations in past dictatorships? The South African Truth and Reconciliation Commission considered them crucial to delivering on the promise of truth and reconciliation. But Payne’s study of perpetrators’ confessions within and outside such commissions challenges that assumption. She finds that perpetrators’ versions of the past, not always the truth, emerge. She further contends that conflict, and not reconciliation, is the outcome of these confessions. This conflict is not necessarily negative for democracy.
She argues that 'contentious coexistence' puts fundamental democratic values of participation, contestation, and expression in practice. She sets out this argument in her book Unsettling Accounts. In this presentation she will present a study she has begun on confessions made by former left-wing guerrillas. She explores why contentious coexistence did not result from the recent confessions made by two Argentines about their involvement in the 1970s armed left movement.

IHR Latin American History Seminar: The Global Coolie Trade between China and Latin America in the Nineteenth Century

Start: Feb 7, 2017 5:30:00 PM

Institute of Historical Studies
Rudolph Ng (Birkbeck University of London) - This paper details how two opposing coalitions of international agents fought for thirty years, one to continue, the other to abolish, the Chinese coolie trade to Latin America. As abolitionism gained strength in the early 1800s, owners of mines, plantations, and other industries in Latin America began looking with some urgency for a substitute for their African slaves. More information here.

'Bayou-Maharajah': A special LGBT+ History Month screening and discussion

Start: Feb 7, 2017 6:00:00 PM

'Bayou-Maharajah': A special LGBT+ History Month screening and discussion
To mark LGBT+ History Month, UCL Americas Research Network is collaborating with UCL's LGBTQ Research Network, qUCL, to host a screening of Bayou Maharajah followed by a discussion around themes raised in the documentary and a drinks reception. 

The Past is not History: Revisiting Peasant Resistance in the Salvadorean Revolutionary War - A film screening and discussion

Start: Feb 8, 2017 5:30:00 PM

Professor Jenny Pearce (LSE) - What kind of history do we have today of the Salvadorean revolution? Or some would call it the Salvadorean (civil) war. This year (2017) marks the 25th anniversary of the Peace Accords which brought the civil war to an end. However, not even this basic characterization (revolution/civil war) is shared of this sorrowful, yet some would argue nonetheless, inspiring experience of mass based insurgency during the Cold War. I am using the terminology of ‘revolutionary war’ as an interim nomenclature, awaiting the verdict of history. El Salvador is, it is argued in this presentation, trapped between (traumatic) memories and history, a past that overshadows the present without becoming history. Read the full abstract here.

The Annual Eleanor Roosevelt Lecture: Sir Keir Starmer MP, on Human Rights

Start: Feb 9, 2017 6:00:00 PM

Sir Keir Starmer MP
The UCL Institute of the Americas is pleased to announce that its 2017 annual Eleanor Roosevelt lecture will be delivered by Sir Keir Starmer MP. Keir Starmer's maiden parliamentary speech after his election in 2015 referenced Eleanor Roosevelt's inspiration to modern advocates of human rights. This was in recognition of her role as chair and driving force of the United Nations Human Rights Commission that created the 1948 charter of liberties, The Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Keir Starmer will discuss the development of human rights under this charter and comment on the significance of Eleanor Roosevelt's legacy.

'1.5 oC to stay alive'?: climate change, imperialism and 'co2lonialism' in the Caribbean

Start: Feb 15, 2017 5:30:00 PM

Dr Leon Sealey-Huggins (University of Warwick) - Existing discussions of climate change reduce it to a technical problem to be solved by better science, engineering or economics. Taking responses to climate change in the Caribbean region as case study which is instructive for responses globally, this article examines the social and political relations of climate change to argue for an alternative understanding.

IHR Latin American History Seminar: Democracy, Autocracy and Sovereign Debt in Mexico and Brazil during the pre-1914 Globalisation

Start: Feb 21, 2017 5:30:00 PM

Institute of Historical Studies
Leonardo Weller (Fundação Getúlio Vargas, São Paulo) - Sovereign debt is a financial as well as a political topic. Politics shapes the way governments borrow and repay. The existing historical literature on the pre-1914 sovereign debt market focuses on creditors (the supply side) and assumes that autocratic regimes are more likely to default than democracies. We claim that this model is oversimplified. More information here.

IHR Latin American History Seminar: Histories of a Plague Year: Population, Health and Colonial Government

Start: Mar 7, 2017 5:30:00 PM

Institute of Historical Studies
Gabriela Ramos (University of Cambridge) - Studies in Andean population history concur in considering 1720 a watershed for determining periods of decline and growth (Dobyns 1963, Whightman 1990).  After 1720, the Spanish colonial government launched a series of reforms aimed at improving revenue collection and governmental efficacy, especially by conducting new, accurate population counts. More information here.

IHR Latin American History Seminar: The Ideas Behind the First Estimates of the Argentine Cost of Living Index, 1918-1933

Start: Mar 21, 2017 5:30:00 PM

Institute of Historical Studies
Cecilia Lanata (University of Sussex) - In line with international trends, the cost of living index released in 1918 by Alejandro E. Bunge and published in the Revista de Economía Argentina (Review of the Argentine Economy, REA) was the first Argentine indicator of this kind. The one developed between 1933 and 1935 by the Departamento Nacional de Trabajo (National Labour Department, DNT) headed at the time by José Figuerola was the first one based on a household budget survey. More information here.