Panel Discussion: Central American Migration and Cultural Exchanges


Monday, March 11, 2019, 5:30pm to 7:30pm


CGIS South, S216, 1730 Cambridge Street

The proposed panel discussion is part of the supporting programing for the exhibition Arquitectura del vaivén: Diasporic Building(s) in Central America’s Northern Triangle, organized by DRCLAS Arts and the Central America and the Caribbean’s programs during the academic year 2018-2019, and curated by Gabriela Poma, Harvard University Doctoral student in Romance Languages and Literatures. The panel responds to interest in the study of displacement, movement and migration as exchange. Professor Sergio Delgado Moya, who serves as Poma’s dissertation advisor, will moderate the panel that will feature Harvard faculty from the DRCLAS Central America and the Caribbean’s Faculty committee, Alexandra Ortiz Wallner (Institute of Latin American Studies, Freie Unviersität Berlin) and Beatriz Cortez (California State University, Northridge). 

5:30 pm: Opening Remarks
5:35-5:45 pm: Remarks by Gabriela Pomas’ dissertation advisor, Professor Sergio Delgado Moya
5:45-7:15 pm: Panel Discussion (Moderated roundtable with guest speakers)
7:15-7:30 pm: Q&A
7:30 : Reception

Speakers: Beatriz Cortez, Visual artist and Professor, Department of Central American Studies, California State University, Northridge; Alexandra Ortiz Wallner, Professor, Institute of Latin American Studies, Freie Unviersität Berlin; Kirsten Weld, John L. Loeb Associate Professor of the Social Sciences, Harvard University; Jocelyn Viterna, Professor of Sociology, Harvard University

Beatriz Cortez is a Los Angeles-based artist and scholar. She was born in El Salvador and has lived in the United States since 1989. Her work explores simultaneity, different temporalities and different versions of modernity, particularly in relation to memory and loss - in the aftermath of war, through the experience of migration, and when imagining possible futures. She is the author of Estética del cinismo: Pasión y desencanto en la literatura centroamericana de posguerra (Guatemala: F&G Editores, 2010) and editor of numerous books and journal publications. She holds an M.F.A. from the California Institute of the Arts, and Ph.D. in Latin American literature from Arizona State University. She teaches in the Department of Central American Studies at California State University, Northridge.

Alexandra Ortiz Wallner is a Latin American Studies scholar specialized in modern and contemporary Central American Literatures and in the field of Global South Studies. Her book El arte de ficcionar: la novela contemporánea en Centroamérica (2012) is the first monographic, theoretical study of Central American novelistic representations of violence, memory and displacement. She is co-editor of the series “Towards a History of Central American Literatures” and has published widely on Central America with a focus on the crossings between aesthetics and politics in literature. She holds a PhD. in Romance Literatures from Potsdam University (Germany), and degrees in Spanish and Latin American Literature from Universidad de Costa Rica. She has been visiting professor and visiting fellow in Delhi University, Université de Nantes, Pontifica Universidad Católica de Chile and Humboldt Universität Berlin. Her latest co-edited book, SurSouth: poetics and politics of thinking Latin America-India (2016) has been nominated this year for the international prize of the International Convention of Asian Scholars ICAS. She teaches and researches at the Institute of Latin American Studies, Freie Unviersität Berlin. She was born in El Salvador and raised bilingual (Spanish/German) in El Salvador, Nicaragua, and Costa Rica. Since 2004 she lives in Berlin, Germany.

Kirsten Weld is a historian of modern Latin America. Her research explores struggles over inequality, justice, historical memory, and social inclusion in the 20th-century Americas. Born and raised in Canada, Weld holds a BA from McGill University and a PhD from Yale University, where her doctoral dissertation received institutional and national awards. She taught at Brandeis University as the Florence Levy Kay Fellow in Latin American History for two years before coming to Harvard, where she offers courses in modern Latin American history, US-Latin American relations, archival theory, and historical methods. In 2016, Harvard's Faculty of Arts and Sciences recognized her with the Roslyn Abramson Award for “excellence and sensitivity in teaching undergraduates.” She has won research fellowships from the American Council of Learned Societies, the American Philosophical Society, the Weatherhead Center for International Affairs, the Social Science Research Council, the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada, the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, and the William F. Milton Fund.

Jocelyn Viterna is Professor of Sociology and Director of Undergraduate studies at Harvard University. She is also the Co-director of the Politics and Social Change workshop, and Chair of the Central America and the Caribbean committee in the David Rockefeller Center at Harvard University. Currently, Viterna is developing two research projects. The first investigates gender discrimination in the Salvadoran and U.S. judicial systems, especially in cases related to pregnant women. The second investigates the medical treatment of fetal malformations in El Salvador. Viterna’s work has been published in the American Journal of Sociology, the American Sociological Review, Politics and Gender, and the Latin American Research Review, among other journals. Her first book, Women in War: The Micro-processes of Mobilization in El Salvador (2013, Oxford University Press) won four distinguished book awards (the ESS Mirra Komarovsky award, the ASA Section on Sex and Gender award, the ASA Section on Political Sociology award, and the SSSP Global Division award) and one honorable mention (the ASA section on the Sociology of Development). It is currently being translated for publication in Spanish.

Moderated by Sergio Delgado Moya, Associate Professor, Department of Spanish and Portuguese, Emory University

Sergio Delgado Moya is the author of Delirious Consumption: Aesthetics and Consumer Capitalism in Mexico and Brazil (University of Texas Press, 2017), and of The Logic of Sensationalism: Approaches to Art and Death in the Americas (forthcoming with University of Texas Press). He is co-editor, with Tom Cummins and José Falconi, of Conceptual Stumblings, a volume on experimental art in Chile (forthcoming 2019). Prior to his appointment at Emory, Prof. Delgado Moya was Associate Professor of Romance Languages and Literatures at Harvard University, and Visiting Researcher at the Instituto de Estudos Brasileiros (IEB) at the Universidade de São Paulo (USP). He earned a Ph.D. in Spanish and Portuguese Languages and Cultures from Princeton University, and a B.A. in Philosophy and in Spanish Language and Literature (Highest Honors), from the University of California at Berkeley. He was born in Tijuana, Mexico, and raised in the Californias.