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Latin American Studies

The 23rd Annual Latin American Studies Symposium: Extreme Events in Latin America

Extreme Events in Latin America

Birmingham-Southern College's Annual Latin American Studies Symposium is a multi- and inter-disciplinary undergraduate research conference showcasing original research and creative projects conducted during the preceding year by undergraduate students from approximately 30 colleges and universities, including the Birmingham Area Consortium of Higher Education (BACHE) and the Associated Colleges of the South (ACS).

Established at BSC in 1992 to foster undergraduate research, the symposium increases public awareness of Latin America and provides a forum for students and faculty to share their interests and to establish contacts with colleagues in other disciplines.

The theme for 2015 is "Extreme Events in Latin America."The term "extreme event" tends to be associated with severe weather phenomena such as tornadoes, tropical storms, hurricanes, and floods. It is also increasingly being used to describe climate change impacts and the effects earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, and landslides can have on urban areas. However, there is no precise metric for determining the extremeness of an event, and while some large-scale human events might generate positive effects or outcomes—sporting events, celebrations, commemorations, and elections, for example—extreme events are usually associated with death, destruction, misery, and mayhem. Airline disasters and bus crashes and some mass public demonstrations, strikes, and uprisings; and sudden political events such as coups, assassinations, and mass killings are also types of extreme events.

Although the 2015 theme is "Extreme Events in Latin America," undergraduate papers on any topic relevant to Latin American Studies may be accepted: politics and culture, the global economy, literature, the environment, public health, gender, and art, for example. The symposium will run from Friday afternoon April 24th through Saturday, April 25th.

  • Dr. Richard S. Olson, Professor and Director of Extreme Events Research in the Department of Politics and International Relations at Florida International University, will deliver the keynote address on Friday, April 24th. Dr. Olson's publications are required reading for the specialized field of the politics of disaster.
  • Dr. Douglass Sullivan-González, Associate Professor of History and Dean of the Sally McDonnell Barksdale Honors College at the University of Mississippi will discuss his forthcoming book, The Black Christ of Esquipulas: Religion and Identity in Guatemala, at the luncheon on Saturday, April 25th.His talk will focus on the cholera epidemic that occurred during Guatemala's civil war in the 1830s.

Papers may be presented in Spanish, English, or Portuguese. Please submit an abstract proposal of no more than 250 words by Friday, March 13th to:

Dr. Vincent T. Gawronski
Latin American Studies Symposium, Director
Birmingham-Southern College
900 Arkadelphia Road, Birmingham, AL 35254
Phone: (205) 226-4836

Registration Fee for All Participants: $50.00.

For Hotels, Restaurants, and Other Birmingham Area Attractions, Please Visit:
Greater Birmingham Convention & Visitors Bureau