Instituto de Investigaciones Históricas, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (IIH-UNAM) · May 25th, 26th and 27th, 2011

Organized by the Instituto de Investigaciones Históricas (IIH) of the UNAM, the Observatory on Latin America (OLA) / The New School, and the Bicentennials Program of the Facultad de Arquitectura, Diseño y Urbanismo at the Universidad de Buenos Aires (FADU/UBA), this International Conference was held within the framework of the culmination of the 2nd International Call for Papers and Audiovisual Presentations “Bicentennials in Action: Commemoration, Economic Crisis, and Political Mobilization in Latin America.”

Representatives of the IIH/UNAM and of the OLA/The New School inaugurated the event, highlighting the importance of jointly carrying out this regional academic initiative. The initiative focused on the Latin American bicentennials in a way that emphasizes the unity, historical diversity and culture of the countries in the region, on the occasion of commemorating and reflecting on the past, the present and the future of their people.

At the regional level, the panorama of the process of Latin American bicentennials was analyzed by Margarita Gutman (OLA/The New School and FADU/UBA), and Ileana Versace reported on the extent, methods and results of the 2nd International Call for Papers and Audiovisual Presentations “Bicentennials in Action.”

The five awarded Works of the 2nd International Call were presented in different sessions of the conference. Due to administrative problems with his visa, Yuri Torrez was unable to travel to Mexico, so Adriana Clemente (FCS/UBA) read excerpts of his essay about the disputes between different visions of the Bolivian bicentennial. Nersa Caballero and Liliana Sotelo in their works posed challenging questions to the identity of native peoples and Afro-descendents in Argentina and Colombia, respectively. Sebastián Vargas Álvarez and Adriana Guevara presented on the legacies and politics in Argentina and Colombia. Fernando Carrión (FLACSO, Ecuador), Rubén Ruiz (Coordination of the Department of Humanities /UNAM), Adriana Clemente (FCS/UBA), Aurora Loyo (IIS/UNAM), Patricio Gross (CEPAT/FAUP/UCEN) and Eugenia Allier (IIS/UNAM) commented on each of the works that were presented, placing them in a dialogue in the context of local realities and regional commemorations.

Three perspectives on the bicentennial commemorations were discussed in a panel composed of Adriana Clemente (FCS/UBA), Patricio Gross (CEPAT/FAUP/UCEN) and Carlos Martínez Assad (IIS/UNAM). The first two analyzed the different approaches which were used in Argentina and Chile, while the third panelist included a perspective from the centennial commemorations in Mexico.

Fernando Carrión (FLACSO, Ecuador) presented the book Construir Bicentenarios Latinoamericanos en la Era de la Globalización, which brings together contributions of well- known academics as well as the award-winning works and honorable mentions from the International Call for Papers and Audiovisual Presentations. The significance of the book was discussed by specialist Louise Noelle Gras (IIE/UNAM).

At the close of the event, the former Rector of UNAM, Juan Ramón de la Fuente, gave a closing address about education and development in Latin America. Michael Cohen (OLA/The New School), Margarita Gutman (OLA/The New School and FADU/UBA) and Alicia Mayer (IIH/UNAM), as representatives of the organizing institutions reflected on the results gained by this International Call for Papers and Audiovisual Presentations, noting the expansion of collaboration by an academic network. They invited everyone to continue these first steps in the establishment and strengthening of this regional network and the dissemination of knowledge.


Read more about the Building Bicentennials Program

This program is supported by the JULIEN J.STUDLEY FOUNDATION