Historia Reciente y Memoria

A Section of the Latin American Studies Association


Informe Sección Historia Reciente y Memoria

Hillary Hiner

The recent change to the LASA Congress schedule has meant that Section activities are now programmed on an annual basis, including the preparation and presentation of a Section panel. For this reason, the principal activity of the Recent History and Memory Section in the last year has been the organization of the panel for the 2013 Congress, titled "Rethinking Testimonio and Memory in Latin America." The panel includes six Section members from Argentina, Brazil, and Mexico and continues the tradition of presenting innovative, high-quality work at the LASA Congresses. During the 2013–2014 period, we will undertake two activities: 1) the selection of the Section panel for the 2014 LASA Congress; and 2) the Best Book Contest, last awarded in 2012. We hope that many of our Section members will participate in this contest, either as members of the judging panel or by submitting nominations. To participate, one must have published a book within the last three years (2011, 2012, or 2013) and the subject matter of the book must be relevant to recent history and memory in Latin America. As the Section has accumulated a certain amount of funds since its inception we also propose that the winner of 2014 Best Book Award be allotted a modest cash prize.

During the Section business meeting in Washington, DC, several topics were discussed. First, we discussed an area that continues to be of concern, which is our Section membership. Since changing over to the yearly Congress model, we have noticed that membership revolves around participation in the Congress. There was a noted consensus among members questioning this yearly model, particularly on the part of our Latin American members who must obtain funding to attend LASA Congresses. For this reason, we decided that we would bring this matter up at the meeting of section chairs. Second, we also considered different possibilities to stimulate interest in the section and shore up membership. The Section will propose a workshop for the next LASA Congress in 2014 and will also apply for funding for this workshop. We also discussed the possibility of undertaking virtual activities periodically during the year, such as live-streaming conferences or talks by section members. Third, and finally, we began preparing the 2014 Best Book Contest, considering a few possible deadlines and jury members. From this meeting, three Section members presented themselves for the Best Book Contest jury: Cynthia Milton, Hillary Hiner, and Juan Hernández. We encourage our members to consider volunteering for this jury. The Executive Council and directorate will make the final decision concerning jury members.

In closing, at the Section business meeting it was also necessary to choose new members of the council and directorate. These new authorities were approved via e-mail by the Section in the two weeks following the Congress. The new Section officers are Alejandro Cerda (Universidad Autónoma Metropolitana, Xochimilco, Mexico) and Aldo Marchesi (Universidad de la República, Uruguay), Co-chairs; Samantha Quadrat (Universidade Federal Fluminense, Brazil), Secretary; and Claudio Barrientos (Universidad Diego Portales, Chile), Emilio Crenzel (CONICET, Universidad de Buenos Aires, Instituto de Desarrollo Económico y Social), Vania Markarian (Universidad de la República, Uruguay), Cynthia Milton (Université de Montréal), and Rodrigo Sá Motta (Brazil), Executive Council members.