University of Pittsburgh
August 20, 2008

Pitt's Center for Latin American Studies to Present the Conference Caribbean and Its Borderlands, Revolution and Aftermath

The Sept.17 conference is the first in a series focusing on the revolutionary movements in the Caribbean and Central America during the past 50 years
Contact:  412-624-4147

PITTSBURGH-The year 2009 will mark the anniversaries of several important revolutionary events in the Caribbean and Central America. The Nicaraguan Revolution and the Grenadian Revolution, in 1979, the Cuban Revolution, in 1959, and other revolutionary movements in the Caribbean and Central America throughout the past 50 years have had dramatic local and regional impact and wider implications for the Americas, including the United States. Conflict and civil wars destabilized the region and underpinned the current political configurations in a number of countries. Also, refugees from both the Caribbean and Central America formed a diaspora that has affected the United States, among other countries.

Throughout the academic year, the Center for Latin American Studies (CLAS) will support a series of conferences, panels, presentations, and exhibitions on the theme Revolution and Aftermath in the Caribbean and Its Borderlands.

The first event of the series is a conference, titled Caribbean and Its Borderlands, Revolution and Aftermath, to be held Sept. 17 at 1 p.m. in the Pittsburgh Athletic Association's Walnut Rooms (lower level), 4215 Fifth Ave., Oakland.

The free public conference features the following presentations:

Ricardo Córdova, executive director of Guillermo Manuel Ungo Foundation, El Salvador, "From War to Peace: El Salvador in Transition";

Betsy Konefal, assistant professor of history, the College of William & Mary, "Speakable Truths? Maya Revolutionary Activism and the Politics of Forgetting in Guatemala"; and

Carmelo Mesa-Lago, distinguished professor emeritus of economics and Latin American studies, University of Pittsburgh, "Cuba at the Crossroads: Debate on Socioeconomic Reforms, Raul Castro's Policies and Potential for Relations With the United States."

The presentations will feature discussant Laird Bergad, professor of history and director of the Center for Latin American, Caribbean, and Latino Studies, City University of New York. Alejandro de la Fuente, professor of history, University of Pittsburgh, will serve as moderator.