A Section of the Latin American Studies Association

Archive/Archivo: LASA 2020 Virtual Congress - Sessions' Abstracts

Report of Minutes - LASA Virtual 2020

Environment Section Annual Business Meeting
07:00 pm – 08:45 pm, Thursday May 14, 2020
Co-Chairs: Maria Alessandra Woolson and Lidia Ivonne Blasquez Martínez
Facilitator: Maria Alessandra and Lidia


Discussion of section's Pre-LASA Guadalajara Excursion and Networking Reception.
Unlike previous congresses, LASA 2020 was faced with exceptional circumstances that meant the cancellation of the field-trip and networking reception. Initial organizing phases for these events had been the work of Marcela López Vallejo, a resident of Guadalajara. For the first time in recent congresses, the section had planned these activities in conjunction with another LASA section –the FARS section–. We hope that a similar collaboration can take place for both the section's next field trip and reception during the LASA 2021 Hybrid Congress in Vancouver: Crisis Global, Desigualdades y Centralidad de la Vida. The details and context will be addressed once more information becomes available. There were no expenses associated with these activities and no vote was necessary.

Voted in 2019 at the general business meeting in Boston was the decision to maintain the scholarships support for Latin American scholars to travel to Guadalajara for LASA 2020. The 2019-2020 Scholarship committee members were Gabriela Muñoz Meléndez, Catherine Tucker and Isabella Alcaniz. Due to the virtual nature of the Congress and the voluntary donation structure that LASA employed for the registration, no scholarships were awarded for congress attendance.



• María Alessandra Woolson
Universidad de Vermont   //  mwoolson@uvm.edu 
• Lidia Blásquez Martínez
UAM, México  //  l.blasquez@correo.ler.uam.mx
• Marcela López-Vallejo
CIDE México  //  marcelalopezvallejo@gmail.com

1. Proposal was put to the floor to call for a Second Business Meeting prior to September and invite section members to attend. Proposal passed unanimously. No Board members attended the conference or the business meeting.

2. Regarding the renewal of the section's Board of Directors, and following the guidelines established by LASA, no elections were held at this year's business meeting because there was limited attendance and no new nomination for vacant positions.

3. Proposal was put to the floor to reopen elections to renew the board of directors' vacant positions in an early September's Zoom meeting. An email was sent to all members in July inviting the community to present their applications for the vacant positions on the board of directors of our section. A second notification will be sent in August.

4. Proposal was put to the floor to continue the Scholarship Committee and improve the notification timing of the scholarship model to support section members to travel to Vancouver and attend LASA Congress 2021. Scholarships 2021 was discussed to again earmark support for Latin American Scholars and one graduate student to attend the meeting. A committee will be organized during the next online business meeting. It will be led by Isabella Alcaniz who has graciously accepted the task. Other members from the Board of Directors will assist her, similarly to what was proposed for last year, and include two co-chairs and general members. Passed unanimously.

5. No new Co-Chair. Due to limited attendance of the business meeting, the section will maintain the current co-chairs: Maria Alessandra Woolson, Senior co-chair (based at a U.S. institution) and Lidia Blásquez Martínez, Junior co-Chair (based at a Mexican institution). Marcela López Vallejo will once again organize the field trip and the conference reception, and has agreed to become a member of the Board of Directors. Passed unanimously.

6. Vote to maintain Mesa Directiva or Board of Directors for the section, in order to further increase the institutional memory, and to help distribute the tasks that would otherwise assigned solely to the chairs. Tasks discussed and maintained from previous year include: 1. Communications of special topics to members, 2. Enhance digital presence of section with photographs of field trips and future events, 3. Expand website and include new publications from members and other member-related information, 4. Support scholarship committee, 5. Support other unexpected networking opportunities for members, 6 Support social media presence. Passed Unanimously.

7. Adjourned meeting.

8. Board members were invited to attend a second board meeting on July 23rd, 2020. In attendance were Maria Alessandra Woolson, Lidia Blásquez Martínez, Marcela López Vallejo, Isabella Alcaniz, and Gabriela Muñoz Meléndez. Members that could not be in attendance but that have confirmed their interest in maintaining their position on the board include: Catherine Tucker, University of Florida; 4. Claudia Horn, University of London; 5. Miriam Melton-Villanueva, University of Nevada, Las Vegas.

9. Following the Board meeting on July 23rd 2020, the environmental section held a section's meeting. All members were invited. Tasks described in item 6 were discussed, and the following was added: 7. organize a webinar calendar with two webinar events in fall 2020 and two webinar events in spring 2021. A call for volunteers was presented. Section members that have decided to collaborate with the webinars and the social media presence include: Elena Elena Álvarez/ Consultant N.Y. & Universidad San Martín de Porres, Linda Etchart/ Kingston University London, Eve Bratman/ Franklin and Marshall College. The following committees were formed:

a. Social Media committee: Isabella, Elena Alvarez, Linda and Lidia.
b. Website committee: Maria Alessandra and Marcela.
c. Webinar committee: Catherine, Maria Alessandra, Elena and Eve.

10. Adjourned meeting.


• María Alessandra Woolson, Senior Co-Chair
Universidad de Vermont  //  mwoolson@uvm.edu
• Lidia Blásquez Martínez, Junior Co-Chair
UAM, México  //  l.blasquez@correo.ler.uam.mx
• Marcela López-Vallejo, Board member, Field trip and reception organizer
CIDE México  //  marcelalopezvallejo@gmail.com
• Isabella Alcaniz, Board member, Scholarship committee
University of Maryland   //  ialcaniz@umd.edu
• Miriam Melton-Villanueva
University of Nevada, Las Vegas  //   miriam.melton-villanueva@unlv.edu
• Catherine Tucker
Universidad de Florida   //  tuckerc@ufl.edu
• Gabriela Muñoz Meléndez
COLEF- México   //  gmunoz@colef.mx
• Claudia Horn
University of London C.Horn@lse.ac.uk

Report by Maria Alessandra Woolson