Asia and the Americas

A Section of the Latin American Studies Association

Section Annual Reports

Informe anual de la sección Asia y las Américas de LASA 2021-2022

Pese a los efectos de la pandemia del COVID 19 y a su impacto LASA, la sección desarrolló una serie de actividades en el período mencionado. Hasta abril del 2022 la sección tuvo como Co-Chairs responsables a Cynthia Sanborn y a Andrés Serbin. Por razones personales, en abril de 2022 Cynthia Sanborn renunció y de común acuerdo con ella se designó interinamente como Co-Chair a Ariel Gónzalez Levaggi, miembro del Comité Ejecutivo.

1. Newsletter de la sección:

En el transcurso de este período se convocó a la membrecía de la sección a proveer de informaciones al Newsletter de la sección para difundir las actividades relacionadas con el tema de la sección. La convocatoria tuvo amplia respuesta y se publicaron y circularon al mailing list de la sección 4 números del mismo. El trabajo de edición, compilación y difusión estuvo a cargo de CRIES durante este período.

2. Participacion en el LASA/Asia 2022 Congress:

Rethinking Trans-Pacific Ties: Asia and Latin America, taking place February 15–19, 2022, con el panel ¨A Different Way of Thinking about the World Order: Mainstream and Contesting Approaches and Narratives on International Relations¨ Track Title: Asia and LAC intellectual encounters

Participants:

Chair: Andrés Serbin

Session Organizer: Vladimir Rouvinski

Discussant: Andrés Serbin

Presenter: Vladimir Rouvinski

Presenter:Ivan Kurilla

Presenter: CHIEN-KAI CHEN

Presenter: Larisa Deriglazova

Presenter: Pramod Jaiswal

Abstract:

Action is the proper fruit of knowledge. However, knowledge concerning the views of the current international dynamics held by the political, business, and intellectual elites on each side of the Pacific Ocean is scarce. Hence, it is one of the obstacles to building more mutually beneficial and sustainable relations. Narratives that refer to strategic objectives of the political, economic, military, and intellectual elites in different regions and nations are vehicles shaping our understanding of new international dynamics. Therefore, learning the ideas, perceptions, and cultural insights that nurture different understandings of international relations is the key to interpreting the narratives of elites and their impact on the reconfiguration of world order. Besides, historically, mainstream academic contributions in the English-speaking world formed environments in which the narratives concerning the international had been exposed. Today, however, new contesting and differentiated understandings of international relations emerging in other parts of the world are crucial for studying the contemporary complex and multilevel (or multiplex, according to Acharya) reconfiguration process. At this workshop, we would like to draw attention to different ways to examine international studies' state of the art in two geographically and otherwise heterogeneous regions: the Americas and Eurasia. We also propose to discuss a preliminary research agenda that would allow us to focus specifically on understanding the value of the international for the Americas, Asia/India Pacific, and Eurasia as far as their role in constructing new world order is concerned.

Es de resaltar que esta actividad se desarrolló con más de 480 participantes de ambas regiones y el panel citado tuvo amplia repercusión por lo que se recomienda continuar con ella en el futuro.

3. Congreso LASA 2022: ¨Polarización socioambiental y rivalidad entre las grandes potencias¨, 5 al 8 de mayo 2022.

Paneles de la sección:

Se envió el 23 de agosto de 2021 la convocatoria al mailing list para presentación y aprobación de 2 paneles que promovió la sección. Se anotaron 5 propuestas que cumplieron todos los requisitos para la inscripción y 2 papers. Se aprobaron e inscribieron los siguientes paneles:

Proposal Information:

Session Tracking Number: 1902467 

Session Title: Conjuring Transpacific Worlds: Formulations of Chineseness and Orientalism in and across the Americas

Track Title: Section Sessions

Participants:

Session Organizer: María Elvira Ríos

Chair: Monica DeHart

Discussant: Laura Torres-Rodríguez

Re-Orienting Chineseness in Chile: Towards a Postmigrant Approach

Authors: Carol Chan, Maria Montt Strabucchi and María Elvira Ríos

Rooting out Corruption or Rehearsing Hemispheric Orientalisms? Central American Anti-Corruption Efforts in a New Era of Transpacific Relations

Author: Monica DeHart

Worlding Chin@ Latin@: Cultural Intimacies in Food, Art, and Politics

Author: Lok Siu

Abstract: Original scholarship over the last two decades has shifted our understanding of the often invisibilized forces that contributed to the formation of national borders, communities, and identities across the Americas. Disrupting long-held narratives of mestizaje and racial democracy, this interdisciplinary work highlighted the formative role of Asian communities in the region’s history and contemporary sociopolitical landscape (Chang 2019, Gonzalez 2017, Hu-DeHart 1993, Siu 2005, Young 2014). The papers in this panel draw from three new book projects that analyze the role of hemispheric Orientalisms, formulations of Chineseness, and transpacific relations to make sense of the past, present and future of the Americas. These include: Transpacific Developments: The Politics of Multiple Chinas in Central America (DeHart, Cornell University Press 2021); Chineseness in C hile: Shifting Representations During the Twenty-Firs t Century (Chan, Montt-Strabucchi, Rios, Palgrave Macmillan Press 2022); and Worlding Chin@ Latin@: Cultural Intimacies in Food, Art, and Politics (Siu, press forthcoming). They illustrate the generative role that Chineseness has played in shaping national and regional identities across the domains of media, film, food, art, trade, infrastructure, and everyday cultural politics. They also illuminate the enduring power of Orientalist formulations of racialized difference as an index for belonging, modernity and even sovereignty. Together, these projects propose a re-orienting of national and hemispheric identities to reflect the multiple forms of Chineseness and suggest the need for new epistemologies that move beyond traditional area studies and North-South power dynamics to recenter the Americas within a broader network of transpacific circulations and exchanges.

Viernes 6 de mayo, de 10:00 a 11:30 a.m. (Hora del Pacífico)

Session Tracking Number: 1901251

Session Title: After the Pandemic: Latin America and Asian extra-regional actors in a changing international order

Track Title: LASA Section Sessions

Participants:

Chair: Andrés Serbin

Session Organizer: Vladimir Rouvinski

Presenter: Dina Moulioukova

Presenter: Paz Verónica Milet García

Presenter: Cynthia Sanborn

Presenter: Eduardo Pastrana Buelvas

Presenter: Oxana Katysheva

Presenter: Ariel Gonzalez Levaggi

Abstract: The COVID 19 pandemic has changed and accelerated Latin America's relations with extra-regional actors - especially with China, Russia and India. The withdrawal of the United States from Afghanistan will affect, on the other hand, some redefinitions of Washington's policy towards the region. As a consequence, in the post-pandemic phase, new patterns of relations between Latin American countries and extra-regional actors will develop within the framework of an accelerated and uncertain transition of the international system. In this framework, this round table aims to bring together a group of researchers from Latin America, the United States, China, India and Russia who, from different theoretical approaches and geopolitical perspectives, will discuss the main emerging issues on the regional agenda in the post-pandemic stage under the impact of the growing influence and the interactions with relevant extra-regional Asia actors of the international system. Particularly regarding the use of non-traditional tools of engagement such as “soft power” strategies and health and public diplomacy. The workshop is expected to facilitate the identification of emerging areas of study of the Latin American region and its relations with Asian actors i n the post-pandemic phase for further research by the round table participants.

4. Business Meeting de la Sección Asia y las Américas.

527 // MTG - Meeting - Friday, 04:00pm - 05:30pm

Asia and the Americas Section- Business Meeting

Contact Persons: Andrés Serbin, Coordinadora Regional de Investigaciones Económicas y Sociales; Cynthia A. Sanborn, Universidad del Pacífico (en su reemplazo Ariel Gónzalez Levaggi, Universidad Católica Argentina). La reunión contó con la participación virtual de 11 Miembros y giró principalmente en torno a los siguientes temas:

a) Informe de los Co-Chairs sobre las actividades anuales de la sección;

b) estrategias para la ampliación del número de miembros de la sección de cara al período 2022-2023;

c) llamado a próxima convocatoria a elecciones para el cargo de Co-Chair. En el interín, Ariel Gónzalez Levaggi quedó como Co-Chair de la sección;

d) dado que durante el período 2021-2022 no un hubo convocatoria a un premio en la sección, se propuso que la próxima convocatoria fuera para elegir el mejor paper de jóvenes académicos sobre la temática central de la sección para fomentar nuevamente la participación de estudiantes y egresados recientes de posgrado/doctorado;

e) ampliar las actividades de la sección más allá del Congreso de LASA con reuniones virtuales y con diálogos interregionales;

f) temas varios, incluyendo el informe del estado financiero de la sección.

5. Convocatoria a elecciones de Co-Chair y de miembros del Comité Ejecutivo.

Se le pedirá asistencia a la secretaría de LASA para la realización de las elecciones en los próximos meses.

Co-Chairs Prof. Andrés Serbin,  CRIES

Prof. Ariel Gónzalez Levaggi, Universidad Católica Argentina

Asia & the Americas

2021 Annual Report May 27, 2021 (via Zoom)

On Thursday, May 27, Asia & the Americas co-chairs Vladimir Rouvinski and Andres Serbin convened the section business meeting via Zoom. The meeting was attended by 32 section members, including three standing and elected members of the section’s executive committee in addition to section’s co-chairs. During the meeting, Vladimir and Andres informed participants of section activities after the last (extraordinary) business meeting of the Section conducted on 29 July 2020 via Zoom, discussed proposals for the 2021-22 LASA cycle and provided space for the participants of the meeting to share information about their research and activities.

Section Membership

LASA reports the section membership to be 93 as of 27 May 2021 (compared to 99 in 2020); however, it is to understand that a large number of section members did not registered for LASA 2021 Virtual and, thus, may not have renewed membership for this cycle. Still, this membership is to evidence that, despite of the challenges caused by COVID-19 pandemics, there is a steady interest to strengthen Asia and the Americas area of studies; there are new members who joined the section this year and participated in the 2021 business meeting.

2021 Congress

Pre-congress:

As in previous years, in September 2020, the section started planning such a pre-event. However, because of the continuing pandemic and doubts in the feasibility of holding the proposed activity, the Section was quickly forced to stop preparations of the event: most of the potential participants manifested that they would not be able to attend because of the lack of financial and other type of necessary support by their institutions.

Congress Panels and Events:

In accordance with the decision taken by the Section Executive Committee and approved at the business meeting in July 2020, the Section’s panels approved to be presented at 2020 Congress were moved to be included in the program of 2021 Congress. The Section Co-Chairs contacted the organizers of the panels, in order to reconfirm the composition of the panels and to make any changes if necessary. Both panels were presented at 2021 Congress with an important number of attendants. In addition, the EC encouraged its members to share proposals for two additional panels that carry “Sponsored by Asia and the Americas LASA Executive Committee” annotation. Two panels had been selected and presented at 2021 Congress. Lastly, shortly before the congress started, the EC sent to all the members its recommendations for attending panels on topics related to Asia and the Americas.

Section Business

This year the section conducted its nominations through LASA Asia & the Americas asiamericas_section@lasaweb.org listserv as well as announced the openings via the list of recipients of the section’s newsletter: one of co-chairs and one member-in-large were to step down. After the call for nominations was sent out, the section received one nomination for co-chair and one nomination for member-in-large. Following the instructions received from LASA, the section sent to LASA names of the candidates, together with candidates’ statements and CVs, so as an e-ratification could be conducted. Total 16 votes have been casted, and 15 members of the Section approved the candidates. The new section’s co-chair Cynthia Sanborn and Ariel Gonzalez Levaggi, member-in-large, spoke at the meeting and shared their visions of the Section’s work.

Current Executive Committee Roster

  • Andrés Serbin co-chair 2019-2022, CRIES, Argentina
  • Cynthia Sanborn co-chair 2021-2023, Universidad del Pacífico, Peru
  • María Montt Strabucchi treasurer 2019-2022, Pontificia U Católica, Chile
  • Victor Kheifets officer 2019-2022, St. Petersburg State U., Russia
  • Jerry Garcia officer 2020-2023,  Sea Mar Museum, USA
  • Ariel Gonzalez Levaggi officer 2021-2023, Pontificia Universidad Católica, Argentina

The Chairs informed the members of the Section about their participation in various meetings with LASA leadership and officials dedicated to reforming LASA statutes and offering a higher degree of incidence to the Sections in the decision-making process within the Association and selection of papers to be presented during annual congresses. The co-chairs shared their satisfaction with these new dynamics within LASA.

Finally, Rouvinski shared an update on section finance with the group.

Public Relations and Communications

During the business meeting, the Co-Chairs shared information about the work conducted by EC to implement the strategies aimed at achieving greater section’s visibility and relevance to member’s academic interest approved by the participants of last year’s business meeting.

Section newsletter. At last year’s business meeting, it was decided that CRIES, under the supervision of Co-Chair Andres Serbin, would be responsible for the publication of the Newsletter and the decision that section will subsidy production costs ($300) was approved. The CRIES staff member in charge of the Newsletter was appointed by CRIES and two newsletters were produced. The Newsletter # 19 (4 September 2020) reached 321 recipients (with 196 total opens), and Newsletter # 20 (9 April 2021) had 319 recipients (149 total opens).

Section Awards. Following the decision made at last year´s business meeting, the Section successfully conducted its Best Academic Work Award competition. The Section approved $300 award as the main prize and two diploma recognitions. The juries Mercedes Vasquez (U. Hong Kong), Takahiro Miyachi (U. Tokio), María Florencia Rubiolo (U. Cordoba) selected the winner, Professor Rhys Jenkins of the University of East Anglia. Professor Jenkins spoke at the meeting about his book and the importance he attached to the section’s recognition of his work. In addition, two honorary diplomas were awarded to Professor Ignacio Lopez-Calvo (University of California, Merced) and PhD student Jian Gao (University of Texas at Austin). Florencia Rubiolo informed the group about the work conducted by the juries. The section expressed their gratitude to the juries for their exemplary work.

2022 Congress Planning

Pre-Congress Event Looking forward to the next LASA congress in San Francisco, members expressed their support of the idea to continue with our tradition to hold a pre-congress conference and select panels to fill the section’s slots. It was decided that EC virtual meeting is to be convened soon to discuss the matter in detail.

Other Initiatives

Kathy Lopez invited participants to consider contributing into Palgrave Book Series "Historical and Cultural Interactions between Asia and Latin America" https://www.palgrave.com/gp/series/15129. Vladimir Rouvinski and Andres Serbín shared a call for papers of Revista CS special issue dedicated to “Latin America and Asia-Pacific, Eurasia, the Indo-Pacific: Challenges and Opportunities” https://www.icesi.edu.co/revistas/index.php/revista_cs/announcement/view/82 .

The Section confirmed its commitment to continue serving as a platform promoting academic research, curricular development, and public understanding of relationships between Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean.

This meeting took place via Zoom at LASA2021 Virtual, May 27, starting 7:00 PM EDT and ended 8:45 PM

Asia & the Americas Latin American Studies Association (LASA)

2020 Annual Report July 30, 2020 (via Zoom)

On Thursday, July 30, Asia & the Americas co-chairs Vladimir Rouvinski and Andres Serbin convened the section business meeting via Zoom, because of the exceptional circumstances caused by COVID-19 pandemics that not allowed holding this meeting in person. The meeting was attended by 22 section members, including two standing members of the section’s executive committee in addition to section’s co-chairs. During the meeting, the Section recognized the following members: Dr. Monica DeHart, Distinguished Professor of Anthropology and Latin American Studies & Global Development Studies at University of Puget Sound; Dr. Mercedes Vazquez, Lecturer & Honorary Assistant Professor at the University of Hong Kong; and Dr. Gonzalo Sebastián Paz, Adjunct Professor at Center for Latin American Studies of Georgetown University, for their contributions in the activities of the Section.

Vladimir and Andres informed participants of section activities after 2019 Congress in Boston, shared proposals for the 2020-21 LASA cycle and provided space for the participants of the meeting to share information about their research and activities.

Section Membership

LASA reports the section membership to be 99 as of July 2019; however, it is to understand that a large number of section members did not registered for LASA 2020 Virtual and, thus, may not have renewed membership for this cycle. Still, this membership is to evidence that, despite of the challenges caused by COVID-19 pandemics, there is a steady interest to strengthen Asia and the Americas area of studies, and there are many new members who joined the section this year.

2020 Congress

Pre-congress:

As in previous years, the section planned to have its pre-event, this time in collaboration with the University of Guadalajara. However, because of the sudden arrival of the pandemic, it was forced to cancel the pre-event: most of the participants were not attending the Congress anymore and the University of Guadalajara was quickly closed before new decisions were to be made with regard to how to operate in new scenarios.

Congress Panels and Events:

The Section had to take a decision on how to deal with Section’s panels approved to be presented at 2020 Congress. Before any decisions were to be made, section’s co-chairs reached out to the Section’s membership via e-mail, as well as conducted a survey on the web. The results of the consultations showed that the overwhelming majority of section’s members decided not to attend the virtual version of the congress, yet expressed their strong intention to participate in the next year’s congress. Taking into consideration this scenario, co-chairs called for an emergency meeting of the executive committee, which reached a consensus, in particular, to ask LASA officials to allow the section to maintain the same panels during the next year´s congress and to encourage LASA to cooperate more actively with the sections in terms of congress’ policies. At the same time, and despite of the fact that most of the section’s members did not attend virtual 2020 congress, Vladimir Rouvinski acting as a co-chair conducted a virtual business meeting during the congress, which was attended by 7 participants, including several new section’s members. It was also decided that the Section would conduct another business meeting in July (of which we report in this document).

Section Business

As in the last year, this year the section conducted its board nominations through e-mail so as to elicit a larger number of candidates for office as well as electoral participants. One of co-chairs and two members-in-large were to step down. In addition, communication officer Mercedes Vasquez decided to resign in March, because of the increased workload and online teaching at her home university in Hong Kong. However, after the first call for nominations was sent out, the section received no nominations at all before the original deadline (28 April). A new call for nominations was sent out, with deadline set to 15 July, and Section finally received two nominations for member-in-large.

Since there were no nominations for co-chair, despite of the original and new extended deadlines, upon LASA approval, it was decided that Vladimir Rouvinski will continuing serving as Co-Chair until next elections in 2021, as an exception. At the same time, as co-chair Andres Serbin assumed the coordination of the production of newsletter under the institutional platform of CRIES, there is no need for communication officer at this moment. Thus, this year marked the retirement of committee members Gonzalo Paz and Benjamin Creutzfeld, and two new members have joined the Executive Committee: Cynthia A. Sanborn (Universidad del Pacífico) and Jerry Garcia (Sea Mar Museum). These officers will serve a three-year term alongside four ongoing members of the executive committee and two co-chairs.

Current Executive Committee Roster

  • Vladimir Rouvinski, co-chair 2016-2021 ,Icesi U, Colombia
  • Andrés Serbin, co-chair 2019-2022,CRIES, Argentina
  • María Montt Strabucchi, treasurer 2019-2022, Pontificia U Católica, Chile
  • Victor Kheifets, officer 2019-2022, St. Petersburg State U., Russia
  • Allison White, officer 2018-2021, Tulane U, USA
  • Sebastián Naranjo R, officer 2018-2021, Renmin U, China
  • Cynthia A. Sanborn, officer 2020-2023, U. del Pacífico, Peru
  • Jerry Garcia, officer 2020-2023, Sea Mar Museum, USA

Finally, Rouvinski shared an update on section finance with the group.

Public Relations and Communications

During the business meeting, we discussed section strategies to increase visibility, including:

Section newsletter. As it was mentioned earlier, it was decided that CRIES, under the supervision of Co-Chair Andres Serbin, will be responsible for the publication of the Newsletter and the decision that section will subsidy production costs (as it did last time) have been approved. The CRIES staff member in charge of the Newsletter will be appointed during the next week and the appointment will be informed to the membership so they can provide information for the Newsletter.

Section Awards. Following the decision made at last year´s business meeting, this year the Section has launched its Best Academic Work Award competition, with deadline for nominations set to 15 November 2020. The Section approved $300 award for the main prize and two diploma recognitions. The Section approved the juries: Mercedes Vasquez (U. Hong Kong), Takahiro Miyachi (U. Tokio), María Florencia Rubiolo (U. Cordoba). The results of the competition are to be announced during 2021 LASA Congress.

2021 Congress Planning

Before moving on to discuss Section’s participation in next year´s congress, co-chairs informed the participants about virtual meetings and consultations with LASA leadership, and shared their satisfaction with these new dynamics that are greatly improving chances of conducting a successful academic congress next year.

Pre-Congress Event Looking forward to the next LASA congress in Vancouver, members expressed their support of the idea to continue with our tradition to hold a pre-congress conference. Taking into consideration difficulties faced by at least some of the participants in getting visas to Canada, there is a proposal to hold a pre-conference event in Seattle/Tacoma, located in close proximity to Vancouver. Besides, some participants expressed their concern about financial obstacles existing for some of the members to assume the costs of travel to North America, and a possibility of hybrid/totally online events has been discussed. However, no decision has been reached at this point, and the participants agreed that Executive Committee will discuss this issue and make a proposal.

Tracks. Members expressed their satisfaction with the inclusion of “Asia and the Americas” special track in 2021 Congress in Vancouver. The co-chairs encourage the participants to design the panels to be submitted via this specialized track and offered a possibility of choosing two proposals that would be identified as “sponsored by Asia and the Americas LASA Executive Committee” (so as not to confuse with panels sponsored by the Section and mentioned below). The criteria for such a selection will be the same as for Section’s panels last year, and the call for paper will be sent right away, with deadline set to 20 August 2020 so that the Executive Committee has time to reach a consensus regarding which panels will be recommended. It was made clear that “sponsored by AA LASA Executive Committee” recognition does not guarantee the inclusion into the program. This decision is to be made by track’s chairs. In this regard, coordination among co-Chairs of the section and of the track “Asia and the Americas” has been already established.

Panels. In the meeting, the participants confirmed that two Section’s panels (approved for 2020 Congress) will be presented as Section’s panels during 2021 Congress in Vancouver. These panels are: “Universalidad desde abajo: teoría, práctica y narrativa en el contexto transpacífico entre Asia y América Latina” and “Placing India Within Transpacific Studies”. All the presenters at each of the panels re-confirmed their intention to participate in the next year´s congress.

Other Initiatives

Kathy Lopez invited participants to consider contributing into Palgrave Book Series "Historical and Cultural Interactions between Asia and Latin America" https://www.palgrave.com/gp/series/15129. Fernando Pedrosa invited section’s member to learn about the activities of the group he leads in Buenos Aires: http://www.asiaamericalatina.org/ Andres Serbin and Enrique Dussel encouraged section’s members to take advantage of the activities (webinar, book and reports publications) that are carried out by CRIES and CECHIMEX. The other members also shared the news of their coming publications and other activities.

This meeting took place via Zoom, July 30, starting 9:00 AM EDT and ended 10:27 AM.

 

 

Asia & the Americas Latin American Studies Association (LASA)

2019 Annual Report June 2019

On Sunday, May 26, Asia & the Americas co-chair Monica DeHart convened the section business meeting as part of the LASA 2019 Congress in Boston, MA. The meeting was attended by 20 section members, including three standing members of the section’s executive committee in addition to the section co-chair. During that meeting, DeHart informed participants of section activities of the last year, solicited proposals for possible activities for the 2019-20 LASA cycle.

Section Membership

LASA reports the section membership to be 103 as of November 2018; however, there was general agreement that a large number of section members did not attend LASA 2019 and, thus, may not have renewed membership for this cycle. This membership number enables the section to propose two section panels for LASA 2020 in Guadalajara.

2019 Congress Participation and Activities

Pre-congress:

As in previous years, the section capitalized on local connections to collaborate with the Global Development Policy Initiative at Boston University to host a half-day pre-congress roundtable on “Shifting Environmental Politics in Nuestra Transpacific America.” Originally scheduled to include five panelists, travel and personal circumstances prevented two of the originally-announced participants from attending; however, Nicole Fabricant (anthropologist, Towson University), Rebecca Ray (economist, Global Development Policy Initiative/GEGI), and Jason Chang (historian, University of Connecticut), along with moderator Gonzalo Paz produced a stimulating conversation. Approximately 25 section members were able to attend and participate in the event. Following the roundtable, the section hosted a dinner reception for all attendees.

Congress Panels and Events:

In keeping with the trend of the last several years, the number and range of panels related to Asia and the Americas has continued to grow at LASA, with increasing representation of humanistic scholarship and pan- Asian foci. This year’s Congress program featured 20 panels devoted specifically to Asia-Americas dynamics/themes, and an additional 27 papers on other panels also focused on this trans-Pacific relations. The section sponsored two invited panels, "Asia and Latin America: Cultural Studies Perspectives" (which was Part I of a two-part panel, the second of which, “Asia and Latin America: Transpacific Imaginaries” took place on a separate day) and "China, América Latina, y el Caribe: Retos y oportunidades para un orden internacional cambiante." All of these panels generated large audiences and considerable cross-fertilization during the conference. Especially promising was the presence of a larger number of graduate students on and at these section panels, indicating a growing new generation of Asia and the Americas scholarship.

Section Business

This year the section conducted its board nominations and election process through e-mail so as to elicit a larger number of candidates for office as well as electoral participants. The group has sought to maintain a co-chair system that spans representatives from North and South America, as well as the humanities and social sciences, 2 ideally serving in 3-year rotations with alternating schedules so as to ensure continuity in the leadership with the advent of each new chair. This year marks the end of DeHart’s four-year term as co-chair, and the retirement of committee members Sue Gronewold, María Montt Straubcchi, Junyoung Verónica Kim, and Zelideth Rivas. The election process thus included (a) one new co-chair, (with Rouvinski continuing until 2020); and (b) three new executive committee members, including one dedicated to communication and media relations.

DeHart reported that elections, administered by Rouvinski through e-mail to all section members, had generated 30 votes and announced the results: (a) new co-chair, Andrés Serbin of the Coordinadora Regional de Investigaciones económicas y sociales; (b) new communications officer, María Mercedes Vázquez Vázquez (U Hong Kong), and (c) two new executive committee members at large, Victor Kheifets (St. Petersburg) and María Montt Strabucchi (Pontifícia Universidad Católica de Chile). These officers will serve a three-year term alongside the four ongoing members of the executive committee.

Current Executive Committee Roster

                                             

  • Vladimir Rouvinski, co-chair 2016-2020, Icesi U
  • Andrés Serbin, co-chair 2019-2022, CRIES
  • María Montt Strabucchi, Secretary-Treasurer 2019-2022, Pontificia U Católica, Chile
  • María Mercedes Vázquez, communications 2019-2022, U Hong Kong
  • Victor Kheifets, officer 2019-2022, St. Petersburg State Univ
  • Gonzálo Paz, officer 2016-2020, Georgetown U
  • Benjamin Creutzfeldt, officer 2017-2020, Wilson Center
  • Allison White, officer 2018-2021, Tulane U
  • Sebastián Naranjo R, officer 2018-2021, Renmin U

Finally, DeHart shared an update on section finance with the group.

Public Relations and Communications

During the business meeting, we discussed section strategies to increase visibility, including:

  • Section newsletter. Members at the business meeting expressed their sense of the value of the newsletter and encouraged its continuation, approving the section subsidy for production costs.
  • Section Awards. The group recommended identifying one book and/or article per year for section awards. Members did not feel that the recognition necessarily needed to be connected with a monetary award (although it could), but felt these awards would provide important recognition to both the section and also to scholars/students who receive the recognition. Members expressed willingness to convene committees to review the nominated materials.

2020 Congress Planning

Pre-Congress Event Looking forward to the next LASA congress in Guadalajara, members expressed their strong desire to continue the tradition of holding a pre-congress event, given how successful these were in creating community among section members, providing a chance for a “workshop” on different issues that might be outside of one’s own individual expertise, and connecting with the local institutions/communities with which 3 the section collaborates. No consensus emerged on a particular proposal for next year’s precongress, but members articulated the following possibilities:

  • A full-day event that holds 2-3 different panels, each specialized in a distinct disciplinary (or social science v. humanistic) focus on a given theme, thus allowing for depth and breadth.
  • A full-day event that convenes panels of mixed disciplinary background on distinct themes.

Regarding a theme for the pre-congress, members recommended eliciting information from the sponsoring university in Guadalajara about the issues they’re currently working on and building on those. They also recommended themes that lent themselves to cross-disciplinary focus—i.e., transoceanic slave trade—that could be engaged in both historical and contemporary ways, focusing on domains on economics, politics, culture, etc. Another suggestion was to produce a special edition out of the event.

Following the section’s business meeting in Boston, Andres Serbin has established a working contact with the Department of Ibero-Latin American Studies at the University of Guadalajara that expressed its interest to cohost pre-conference LASA 2020 event.

Tracks. Members expressed concern about the disappearance of the “Asia and the Americas” track, noting that only a “Latin America and the Pacific Rim” track remained. People were interested in establishing a more expansive track that allowed section panels to be more visible in the program.

Panels. DeHart reminded members about the need to generate proposals for section panels for next year. She said that the co-chairs would establish a deadline for those proposals and that members could use the Asia & the Americas listserve or the Facebook page as a way to generate CFP for proposed panels.

Other Initiatives

Ignacio Lopez Calvo reminded the group of the Asia and the Americas series he edits through Palgrave Macmillan and Anthem Press. Manuscript proposals from the group are welcome. He also noted the ongoing East-West Cross-cultural relations conference (with distinct titles) that he organizes each May and invited section members to consider participating. More info on those opportunities will be circulated in the newsletter.