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KU welcomes scholars, indigenous rights activists to 'Paraguay at the Crossroads'

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

LAWRENCE – Paraguay has been undergoing many tumultuous political, economic and social changes, but its larger neighbors have attracted most of the attention. Some changes stem from long historical trajectories, and others have been spurred by the recent intensification of globalization.

Scholars from all disciplines, whose research and critical eye will put these changes in perspective and identify future trends, will speak at the University of Kansas as part of a conference hosted by the Center for Latin American & Caribbean Studies and supported by many campus and outside sponsors. “Paraguay at the Crossroads” will run from Thursday, Aug. 24, through Saturday, Aug. 26, at multiple locations across the Lawrence campus.

The conference also consists of two film screenings, including “Landfill Harmonic” (2015), directed by Brad Allgood, Graham Townsley and Juliana Penaranda-Loftus, and “La Chiperita” (2015), directed by Hugo Cataldo. Both screenings will take place at the Spencer Museum of Art.

The event will include presentations in English and Spanish and is free and open to the public.

Paraguay and the state of Kansas have had an official partnership led by the Kansas Paraguay Partners and the Comité Paraguay-Kansas for 48 years. Both organizations are members of the Partners of the Americas, the Western Hemisphere’s largest private, apolitical volunteer organization.

The partnership has included commercial, governmental and educational collaboration. Currently, nearly 200 Paraguayan students attend Kansas universities under the agreement, while several Kansas faculty and students have researched and studied abroad in Paraguay.

“Paraguay at the Crossroads” was organized by a committee of KU scholars, including Melissa Birch, School of Business; Tamara Falicov, Department of Film & Media Studies, and Brent Metz, Department of Anthropology.

Marta Caminero-Santangelo, director of the Center for Latin American & Caribbean Studies, will open the conference, followed by panel sessions chaired by scholars from around Kansas, including:

  • Brent Metz

  • Tamara Falicov

  • John Barnett, Emporia State University

  • Josephine Squires, Fort Hays State University
  • Paul Zagorski, Pittsburg State University
  • Dorivar Ruiz Diaz, Kansas State University

“Paraguay at the Crossroads” is sponsored by the Center for Latin American & Caribbean Studies, College of Liberal Arts & Sciences, Environmental Studies Program, Department of Film & Media Studies, Hall Center for the Humanities, Indigenous Studies Program, International Programs and Department of Spanish & Portuguese.

In addition, “Paraguay at the Crossroads” is supported by several outside sponsors, including Kansas Paraguay Partners, Partners of the Americas, Title VI: U.S. Department of Education, U.S. Embassy, Asuncion, Paraguay, and three generous anonymous donors.

For a full list of public events, including information about speakers, topics, and locations, please visit the conference website. Contact the Center for Latin American & Caribbean Studies with inquiries about the conference and associated events at 785-864-4213. You may also directly contact the Kansas Memorial Union, Spencer Museum of Art and Kenneth Spencer Research Library for accessibility information.

For more information about the Center or Paraguay at the Crossroads, please visit clacs.ku.edu or contact us at 785-864-4213 or clacs@ku.edu