“I’m still having a very rich love affair,” said University of Pittsburgh Professor George Reid Andrews—with his book, Afro-Latin America, 1800-2000, on which Andrews based his October lecture in Titsworth Lecture Hall.
The event was part of Sarah Lawrence’s “Beyond Borders: A Series on Latin America and Latinos,” a presentation— now in its third year—focusing on Latin American politics and culture. Prompted by the rising Hispanic population in the United States and increased enrollment in Latin American-related courses at Sarah Lawrence, a group of SLC faculty decided to coordinate a series of lectures and film screenings that would foster the increased interest in Latin America.
“We have more and more students interested in Latin American literature, art and politics,” said history faculty member Jorge Nállim, one of the series organizers. “The most important goal of this series is to bring the different realities of Latin America closer to students. We want the series to have a lasting impact.” His colleagues in planning include Maria Elena Garcia (anthropology), Matilde Zimmerman (history), Isabel de Sena, Eduardo Lago, Maria Negroni and Miguel Perdomo (modern languages and literatures) and Dean Hubbard (public policy).
Other presenters on deck for the spring are Alex Rivera, who produces “radical collage” videos on Latino stories; Edmundo Desnoes, a Cuban writer whose works include Memories of Underdevelopment; and Steve Striffler, a University of Arkansas anthropologist who has written about agrarian struggles in Ecuador’s banana-producing region.
Nállim envisions “Beyond Borders” expanding in the future to include panel discussions on particular issues facing Latin America, such as human rights.
—Suzanne Guillette MFA ’05
Upward Trend: Languages
Since 1997, Sarah Lawrence has expanded its curriculum to embrace a more global perspective, says Dean of the College Barbara Kaplan. “As people become more interested in other cultures, interest in foreign languages increases. The ability to understand and experience a culture is very closely tied to the ability to speak its language.” Language enrollments are thriving this year, as the facts attest:
- A new classics faculty member, Emily Anhalt, has joined longtime faculty member Sam Siegel to meet the demand for Latin
- New Spanish-language faculty were hired to meet student interest in diversity and social issues
- More opportunities have been created in field work and service learning projects in local Spanish-speaking communities
- Spanish and French are tied for most-subscribed language overall
- The popular two-year-old Japanese program is enjoying an unusually high percentage of returning students, and an equal number are studying German
- Beginning Italian has the year’s highest language course enrollment