University of Pittsburgh
March 7, 2007

Pitt's Center for Latin American Studies to Host Conference, "Globalization and Diversity/Inequality in Latin America: The Challenges, Opportunities, and Dangers"

Contact:  412-624-4147

PITTSBURGH-A conference titled "Globalization and Diversity/Inequality in Latin America: The Challenges, Opportunities, and Dangers" will be held March 23-24, in the Pittsburgh Athletic Association, 4215 Fifth Ave., Oakland. The conference, coordinated by faculty from the Departments of Hispanic Languages and Literatures and Political Science in the School of Arts and Sciences, will bring together eminent scholars from a variety of disciplines and professions to consider globalization issues for conventional political and new social movements, indigenous communities, women, and ethnic and racial minorities.

The conference will include the following four panel discussions. Their titles and participants are as follows.

"Global Communications and New Technologies" will address the impact of new technologies and global communications on social movements. The participating scholars include Omar Cardona, Center for Disaster and Risk Studies, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of the Andes, Colombia; Michael Handelsman, Department of Modern Foreign Languages and Literatures, University of Tennessee; and Nuno Themudo, Graduate School of Public and International Affairs, University of Pittsburgh.

"Increasing/Decreasing Inequality" will address the question of how structures of inequality in Latin America have been affected by recent patterns of globalization in the region. Participating scholars include Miguel Angel Centeno, Department of Sociology, Princeton University; Ricardo Forster, professor of philosophy, University of Buenos Aires, Argentina; and Humberto Lopez, Office of the Chief Economist, Latin American Department, The World Bank.

"Leadership and Access to Power" will examine the new styles of leadership that enabled Hugo Chávez, Juan Evo Morales Ayma, and Michelle Bachelet to capture the attention and support of large numbers of citizens who essentially had been left out of previous political discourse. Participating scholars include Javier Auyero, Department of Sociology, State University of New York at Stony Brook; Ana María Bejarano, Political Science Department, University of Toronto; and Kenneth Roberts, Department of Government, Cornell University.

"Social Movements in National and Transnational Contexts" will consider whether there is a distinctive place of Latin America in the geography of the emerging transnational activist networks. Participating scholars include Magdalena Cajias, High University of San Andres, Bolivia; Mario Gustavo Guzmán Saldaña, ambassador of Bolivia to the United States; and Ana Rebecca Prada M., High University of San Andres, Bolivia.

The conference is free and open to the public. It is sponsored by Pitt's Global Studies Program, Center for Latin American Studies, Department of Hispanic Languages and Literatures, Department of Political Science, and Office of the Provost and by the U.S. Department of Education. For more information, visit