A Section of the Latin American Studies Association

Section Annual Report 2019

By: Kelly McDonough

1. Business meeting (Sunday, May 26, 2019)

Presiding, Kelly McDonough; secretary, Caroline Egan. Twenty section-members attended the meeting. McDonough, the section’s chair, offered an update on the number of section members (140) and guaranteed sessions for LASA 2020 (3). She also announced that elections for the Executive Committee will begin June 1st and close on June 15th. McDonough also reported on various items from the LASA section chair’s meeting, particularly the fact that for the foreseeable future LASA will not take place in the United States.

  • Member comments/suggestions at the meeting included:
  1. expanding the section newsletter to other digital media formats
  2. concerns about the lack of a Colonial Literatures track
  3. encouraging more Spanish-language submissions to prize competitions
  4. the possibility of using section funds for graduate student travel scholarships

The remaining topics addressed at the section meeting were the following:

2. Elections:

The new Executive Council members are Nathan Gordon (chair), Caroline Egan (vice-chair and chair of Awards Committee), Rocío Quispe Agnoli (secretary-treasurer), Valeria Añon ( council member), Kelly McDonough (ex-oficio council member).

3. Term activities and plans for the coming term:

  • Four issues of the section’s newsletter, edited by Pablo García-Loaeza, were published and will continue to be published.
  • The section’s social-communications officers, Nathan Gordon and Caroline Egan, will continue to maintain and look for ways to increase the section’s presence on social media. We discussed bringing on a new social-communications officer since Nathan Gordon will be chair of the section. This will be discussed by the Executive Council of the Section.
  • Caroline Egan, along with two section members, will draft a letter to the incoming president of LASA regarding concerns about the elimination of the Colonial Literatures track (and track changes in general).
  • The Executive Council will review our current prize configuration and discuss whether we want to make any adjustments to encourage Spanish-language submissions.
  • The Executive Council will discuss the possibility of offering one or more travel scholarships for graduate students next year (while ensuring that we maintain a prudent reserve).

4. Section prizes:

The 2019 Best Book in Colonial Latin American Studies was presented to Bianca Premo for her book The Enlightenment on Trial: Ordinary Litigants and Colonialism in the Spanish Empire. Premo was awarded $500. The award committee was chaired by Nathan Gordon. Next year’s award will be the “Maureen Ahern Doctoral Dissertation Award in Colonial Latin American Studies.” The award committee will be chaired by Caroline Egan.