Centre for Latin American and Caribbean Studies


Upcoming Events

Celebrating the research and teaching related to Latin America and the Caribbean across Newcastle University, our events list publicises upcoming film screenings, public seminars, research workshops, conferences and partnerships.

Book presentation. Multilingualism in the Andes Policies, Politics, Power: Professor Rosaleen Howard

Thursday, 23 March, 4.00-6.00 pm. Old Library Building (OLB), 2.21.

Professor Emerita Rosaleen Howard (a former CLACS Director) talks about her new book, Multilingualism in the Andes. Policies, Politics, Power (Routledge, 2023). In the book, Rosaleen draws key comparisons between Ecuador, Peru, and Bolivia, where Quechua and Aymara are still widely spoken, in addition to many Amazonian languages. Language policy has evolved over colonial and postcolonial history, reflecting the relationship between successive government regimes, the Indigenous social movements, and the speakers of the languages at the grassroots. Multilingualism intersects with inequality and social injustice in many respects and is currently being approached as an issue of human rights. The book presentation will take the form of a conversation between the author and Dr Josep Cru (School of Modern Languages, Newcastle University). We are pleased that the Routledge Series Editor, Professor Emerita Marilyn Martin Jones (University of Birmingham), will be with us to say some words of introduction. Based on Rosaleen's lifetime of work in the Andean region, this is an unmissable event.
Followed by a wine reception.

Book presentation. Struggles for the Human: Violent Legality and the Politics of Rights

Thursday, May 4, 4.00-6.00 pm. Henry Daysh Building (HDB), 1.10.

Dr Lara Montesinos Coleman (University of Sussex) discusses her book, Struggles for the Human: Violent Legality and the Politics of Rights, (Duke, 2023).
This groundbreaking text argues for a re-evaluation of the role of human rights discourse and practice, using ethnographic case studies from Colombia as a point of reference. It offers a fresh approach to the politics and ethics of human rights, in the form of a theoretically-driven ethnography based upon years of engagement with peasant, worker and indigenous movements in Colombia. It is the product of a decade and a half of dialogue and relationship, as well as direct involvement in struggle against capitalist extraction. When scholars refer to the “violence of development”, or to synergies between neoliberalism and authoritarianism, Colombia often features as an emblematic example - in part, because of the extent to which it sustains the contradictions between a formally liberal-democratic polity and a political economy generating death on an enormous scale. Taking Colombia as a point of reference, this book is a political enquiry into human rights as a vocabulary of resistance, as well as an ethical enquiry, concerned with human possibilities and political imaginations in the face of atrocity and devastation. What is most distinctive about the approach here is that it puts struggles against extractivist capitalism at the forefront of ethical and political reflection.
Dr Nick Morgan (SML) will provide a brief introduction to the book.
Followed by a wine reception.

Book presentation. Reading the Walls in Bogotá: Graffiti, Street Art and the Urban Imaginary of Violence

Thursday May 11, 4.00 - 6.00 pm, Old Library Building (OLB) 2.20. 

Dr Alba Griffin (University of Leeds) explores urban imaginaries of violence in Bogotá, Colombia, through graffiti and street art. Drawing on ethnography, interviews, focus groups and vox pops conducted between 2015-2016, the book asks what it feels like to live in a so-called ‘violent society’ during a controversial and complex transition to postconflict, arguing that graffiti and street art are ways in which people both contest and reproduce imaginaries of violence. These imaginaries range from disenchantment with memory politics and peace narratives, to spatialized stigmas and marginalization, to social hierarchies reproduced through the policing of public space. The work unites the diverse forms of graffiti and street art in the city, comparing political slogans to hip-hop influenced graffiti writing to street art stencils and large-scale murals, even though they are often separated in traditional analyses of urban art. Instead, the book argues that that they work together to produce the urban visual landscape and it is through an analysis of their collective import and impact on the city that we can understand how such visual signs reflect the nuances of social imaginaries of violence.
Followed by a wine reception.


Past Events

Find resources, outcomes, comments and reflections from our past events.

Film Screening: Praia do Futuro (Karim Ainouz)

Sunday, 5 March, 7.30 pm. Star and Shadow Cinema, Newcastle.

Futuro Beach (Praia do Futuro) tells the story of lifeguard Donato (played by Wagner Moura, whom you might recognise from Elite Squad or Narcos) and German war veteran and motorcyclist, Konrad (Clemens Schick). When a German tourist loses his life in a drowning at Fortaleza's famous Praia do Futuro (Future Beach), Donato feels the death is his fault and begins a journey to escape from his present self. He leaves for Berlin in search of his lover, Konrad, whom he had met ten years earlier at the same beach, and saved from drowning. Whenever Donato drifts away, his younger brother, Ayrton (Jesuita Barbosa), brings him back.

Indigenous Contemporary Art: An analysis by Rember Yahuarcani

Wednesday, 8 March 2023, 4.00 – 6.00pm. Old Library Building (OLB), 2.29.

In this talk the artist, writer, activist, and curator Rember Yahuarcani will explore the rise of Amazonian indigenous contemporary art focusing on its current situation and interrelation to the larger art scene and the complicated political situation in Peru. In the second part of his presentation, he will reflect on his own artistic practice and trajectory. His recent drawings will be displayed at the SML Beehive Exhibition Space, with an opening after his talk.
Rember Yahuarcani is a visual artist, writer and activist. He belongs to the Uitoto people of Peru’s northern Amazon. His artistic work focuses on the Uitoto ontologies and Amazonian worlds and his activist practice urges the respect of indigenous worlds and the right of indigenous political voice. His work has been featured in Peru, Brazil, Argentina, US, UK, China, etc, and has won the II Intercontinental Biennale of Indigenous Art. He has also published four books and been the recipient of Peru’s National Award for Children’s Literature. He has authored, with G. Borea, the book chapter ‘Amazonian Waterway, Amazonian Water-Worlds: Rivers in Government Projects and Indigenous Art’ (Routledge, July 2020), and is an opinion columnist in El Comercio newspaper. He has recently started to work as a curator, curating the exhibition Ite!/ Neno!/ Here!: Responses to Covid 19 (with Giuliana Borea, Crisis Gallery, 2020), and NUIO: Volver a los orígenes (Galería Martín Yepez, 2022).
Rember’s visit to Newcastle University has been organised by Dr Giuliana Borea, arising from a long-standing collaboration. Rember will be presenting his work in different fora, dialoguing with students and colleagues of the university. Rember’s first visit to the UK is made possible through the support of the NU HaSS Global Fund, Centre for Latin American and the Caribbean Studies (CLACS), The Materiality, Artefacts & Technologies in Culture & History (MATCH), and the School of Modern Languages (SML).
Followed by a wine reception.

  • Critical Language Research: Applied Linguistic and Anthropological Approaches

    Location: Howden Room, KGVI Building. Newcastle University
    Date: 25 October 2019

    This one-day workshop brought together people from different disciplinary perspectives to share experience and understandings, both ethnographic and theoretical, of critical language research on indigenous languages in the Latin American context, with comparisons drawn with multilingual settings in the UK. There was focus on how speakers use their multilingual repertoires for varied communicative ends; from an anthropological view, we discussed the ‘natures’ of language; and debated how these insights might serve in language policy making. 

    Read more and watch the event here.


  • Decentred / Dissenting Connections: Envisioning Caribbean Film and Visual Cultures

    Location: Armstrong Building, 2.16. Newcastle University
    Date: 29-30 May 2018

    Decentred / Dissenting Connections: Envisioning Caribbean Film and Visual Cultures’ was a two-day conference that hosted speakers from around the UK and featured a keynote talk by Professor Charles Forsdick (University of Liverpool) and a screening of A Winter Tale and a Q&A with the director, Frances-Anne Solomon, at Tyneside Cinema. The conference was co-convened by Dunja Fehimović and Francisco-J. Hernández Adrián [Durham University] with the support of the Institute of Modern Languages Research [IMLR], AHRC OWRI, and Newcastle University School of Modern Languages)

  • Vanessa Knights Memorial Lecture 2018

    Location: Barbara Strang Teaching Centre, B.32.  Newcastle University 
    Date: 15 March 2018

    This was the third in a series of annual lectures in memory of Vanessa Knights (1969-2007) who was lecturer in Spanish, Portuguese and Latin American Studies at Newcastle University from 1995 until her early death. Vanessa was well known and respected in her field. Her work dealt with Spanish-speaking cultures of the Iberian Peninsula and, especially, Latin America, focusing on music, literature, and popular culture.

    Read more about the event.


  • Symposium: Abolition of the Army in Costa Rica, 70 years on: Issues of Institutional Violence, Power, and Political Economy

    Location: Research Beehive, Old Library Building, Newcastle University
    Date: 24 April 2018

    This international symposium was held to mark the 70th Anniversary of the abolition of the Costa Rican Army. The symposium opened with “El Codo del Diablo” (2014) a moving documentary about a little known state endorsed crime that followed the army abolition. Following the screening, each of our special guest speakers gave presentations followed by a group discussion.

    Guest speakers:
    Antonio Jara Vargas, Master of History, Researcher at the Central American Centre for Historical Research, University of Costa Rica.
    José Enrique Castillo Barrantes, Costa Rican Ambassador to the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.
    Sharon López, Master in Human Rights and Education for Peace, coordinator of the Master Degree in Human Rights, National University, Costa Rica.


  • International Conference: ¿La paz es ahora? Examining the question of peace and violence in Colombia

    Location: Room 2.16, Armstrong Building, Newcastle University 
    Date: 29 September 2017

    The aim of this conference was to bring together scholars from different disciplines and backgrounds to discuss what we really mean when we talk about peace, and about violence, in the Colombian context. Discussions throughout the day ranged from meditations on the applicability of our theoretical concepts (what is the state and according to who?) to analyses of case studies where in some cases everyday peacebuilding has been put into practice (how do the Indigenous Guard in Northern Cauca do it?) and in other cases grand corruption continues unimpeded by grand gestures of peace. The practices of various state institutions, from lawmakers to educators, were compared and contrasted to those of activists, artists and filmmakers, with special attention paid to how different groups in different situations perceive and respond to questions of memory, human rights and media narratives.

    Read more about the event

  • Researching Everyday Geopolitics In Latin America

    Location: Research Beehive, Old Library Building, Newcastle University
    Date: 8 September 2017

    The ‘Researching everyday geopolitics in Latin America’ seminar (funded by the University’s International Partnership Fund) organised by the School of GPS and CLACS brought together ten international scholars working on geopolitical issues in Argentina, Chile, Colombia, Falklands/Malvinas, Mexico and Peru. The presenters reflected on  a diverse set of topics including youth (counter) cultures in Lima and Bogota, the ‘war on drugs’ in Mexico, popular geopolitics and memory in Argentina, border contestations in Chile-Peru and the ‘geopolitics of the periphery’ in Chilean Patagonia. The day offered an opportunity for extended discussion, networking and future collective publications are planned. 

  • After the Thaw: Cultural approaches to research on Cuba

    Location: Research Beehive, Old Library Building, Newcastle University 
    Date: 12 May 2017

    This seminar series, with the support ILAS Regional Seminar Grant Series, jointly organized by the University of Edinburgh and the University of Newcastle, followed the recent détente between the USA and Cuba to discuss the implications of the thaw to Cuba. Departing from an approach to Cuban cultural politics and its historic consequences for economic, scientific and international relations, experts on contemporary Cuban Studies (Michael Chanan, University of Roehampton and Dunja Fehimovic, University of Newcastle) addressed the complex dynamics of Cuban cultural production in a globalised context, analysing the impact of health and education in and beyond the island; and how Cuba can lead the way in the region in sustaining impressive accomplishments in human development, departing from examples in the arts, culture, and science.


  • Slavery Workshop

    Slavery: dialogues across time and place

    Location: Research Beehive, Newcastle University

    Date: 12 May 2017

    The event (sponsored by School of History, Classics, and Archaeology and CLACS) brought together scholars working on human trafficking and enslavement in a wide variety of chronological periods and geographical locations, from Egypt in the sixth century to Britain today. The event showed the strengths of international slavery studies in the Northeast and at Newcastle in particular.

    Read more about the event

  • Bregando: Navigating the Everyday

    Location: Research Beehive, Old Library Building, Newcastle University 
    Date: 28 April 2017

    This postgraduate conference explored 'the art of bregar'. Coined by Arcadio Díaz Quiñones (2000), 'bregar' describes the constant hard work involved in navigating the processes of everyday life. Across the Caribbean and Latin America, the art of bregar describes not only historical and cultural heritage, but the unpretentious mechanisms of coping.

    Read more about the event.

  • Rethinking Difference Collage

    Rethinking difference: Beyond Language, Culture, and Indigeneity

    Location: Percy Building, Newcastle University 
    Date: 30 - 31 March 2017

    The innovative format of this event promoted an optimum amount of high quality debate around a crucial topic within the field of anthropology and adjacent disciplines. Our aim was to explore the range of scholarly approaches to the analysis of cultural difference, seeking to get beyond the pitfalls of relativism and binary thinking that this may entail.

    Read more about the event.

  • Vanessa Knights Memorial Lecture

    Location: Barbara Strang Teaching Centre, Newcastle University
    Date: 16 March 2017

    This is the second in a series of annual lectures in memory of Vanessa Knights (1969-2007) who was lecturer in Spanish, Portuguese and Latin American Studies at Newcastle University from 1995 until her early death. Vanessa was well known and respected in her field. Her work dealt with Spanish-speaking cultures of the Iberian Peninsula and, especially, Latin America, focusing on music, literature, and popular culture.

    Read more about the event.

  • New Perspectives on Hispanola, Past and Present

    Location: BSTC and Herschel Building, Newcastle University

    Date: 8 June 2016

    Pulitzer Prize winner Junot Díaz returned to Newcastle University in June 2016 to give a public lecture as part of the 11th annual ¡Vamos! Festival. The author gave a public lecture I will build a great wall: Immigration and Xenophobia in the Age of Disruption as part of a wider CLACS organised conference in his honour, titled ´New perspectives on Hispaniola Past and Present'.

    Read more about the event

  • Society for Caribbean Studies Conference

    Location: Percy Building

    Date: 6-8 July 2016

    It was our great pleasure to host the 2016 Society for Caribbean Studies (SCS) Annual Conference. This was a very special conference for SCS, as it was their 40th!  

    Read more about the event