Doris Sommer

Doris Sommer

Ira Jewell Williams, Jr., Professor of Romance Languages and Literatures and in African and African American Studies

The Other Voices of America

Of the over 1.2 million Mapuches in Chile, over half live within the greater Santiago metropolis. To help maintain a link to their native culture and language, several radio stations have begun to broadcast in Mapudungun - the language of the Mapuche - and provide programming to this end. These stations provide meaningful references for a community as well Chileans who would like to learn about a minority language. This project seeks to connect and engage those who are reinventing the tangible and intangible cultures of the Americas, in Chile and neighboring countries. Assistant Professor Luis Cárcamo-Huechante, in collaboration with the Hemispheric Institure (NYU) and the Cultural Agents Initiative (Harvard) are working to build a web page in indigenous radios and communications. A publication that focuses on indigenous radio experiences and the question of linguistic/cultural citizenship and pluralism in the Americas is currently being edited by Professor Cárcamo-Huechante with the participation of scholars from the US, Colombia, Argentina, Peru and Chile.

Participating Harvard faculty: Luis E. Cárcamo Huechante, Assistant Professor of Romance Languages and Literatures; Doris Sommer, Ira Jewell Williams Jr. Professor of Romance Languages and Literatures, Director of Graduate Studies in Spanish.

Collaborating Institutions: Centro Cultural Estación Mapocho Santiago, Chile; Fundación Avina; Cultural Agents Initiative from Harvard University; Hemispheric Institute from New York University; Programa Radial Mapuche Wixage Anai.


Puerto Rico Winter Institute 2005

Puerto Rico Winter Institute 2005: Culture at the Crossroads

Faculty Lead: Doris Sommer

"Culture at the Crossroads" will be the theme of the inaugural program of the Puerto Rico Winter Institute January 10-28, 2005 in San Juan. Each year the Institute, a joint collaboration of the David Rockefeller Center for Latin American Studies at Harvard University and the University of Puerto Rico, will focus on a different academic area.

The Institute seeks to stimulate research, collaboration and intellectual exchange between Harvard and key institutions of higher learning in Puerto Rico. This seminar is the brainchild of Doris Sommer, a faculty member in the Department of Romance Languages at Harvard. Her goal was to put Puerto Rico on the research map of mainland academics and increase visibility for the rich cultural, political and social heritage of Puerto Rico. Each week, two distinguished professors, one from Harvard and one from Puerto Rico or the diaspora, will co-teach a seminar on a topic related to the theme, this year, that of transnational culture. Seminar participants will include faculty from Harvard and Puerto Rican institutions. Harvard and Puerto Rico faculty, as well as Harvard and Puerto Ricobased graduate and professional students, are eligible to apply. This institute is made possible by a generous grant from the Wilbur Marvin Foundation and the contributions from the Universidad de Puerto Rico (UPR), the Centro de Estudios Avanzados de Puerto Rico y del Caribe (CEA) and Escuela de Artes Plasticas (EAP).

Seminar Leaders:

Thomas Cummins is Dumbarton Oaks Professor of the History of Pre-Columbian and Colonial Art at Harvard. His latest book, Toasts with the Inca: Andean Abstraction and Colonial Images on Kero Vessels (University of Michigan Press, 2002) examines ways in which the colonization process modified indigenous forms and objects.

Enrique Vivoni, Professor at the School of Architecture and Director of the Architecture and Construction Archives at UPR, has curated more than 15 architectural exhibitions and published multiple essays. He is the recipient of an NEH grant for his project "Hispanophilia: the Spanish Revival in Architecture and Life in Puerto Rico, 1900-1950."

Davi­d Carrasco teaches anthropology and religious history at Harvard. He is Editor in chief of the Oxford Encyclopedia of Mesoamerican Cultures. He is the author of City of Sacrifice: The Aztec Empire and the Role of Violence in Civilization. His latest book Alambrista looks at art and culture among immigrants in border areas.

Juan Flores is Professor in the Department of Black and Puerto Rican Studies at Hunter College (CUNY) and in the Sociology Program at the CUNY Graduate Center. He is the author of The Insular Vision (winner Casa de las Americas award), Divided Borders: Essays on Puerto Rican Identity, and From Bomba to HipHop: Puerto Rican Culture and Latino Identity.

James Lorand Matory, Professor of Anthropology and of African and African American Studies at Harvard, studies the diversity of African, African American, and Latin American cultures. His publications include Sex and the Empire that Is No More (1994) and the upcoming The TransAtlantic Nation: Tradition, Transnationlism and Matriarchy in the Afro-Brazilian Candomble.

Angel G. Quintero Rivera is a researcher and lecturer at the Centro de Investigaciones Sociales of the University of Puerto Rico. His publications include ¡Salsa, sabor y control! Sociologia de la musica "tropical" (1998) y Virgenes, magos y escapularios. Imagineria, etnicidad y religiosidad popular en Puerto Rico (1998).


Gender, Sexuality and Culture: A Dialogue from the South

This collaborative research initiative among academics, researchers, and writers from the U.S., Argentina, Chile, and Uruguay led to a symposium held in Santiago, Chile, in August 2003, organized by Harvard Romance Languages and Literatures Professors Bradley Epps and Luis E. Cárcamo Huechante in conjunction with Raquel Olea from the University of Santiago, Chile, and Chilean poet Carmen Berenguer. The project brought together individuals working on topics of gender and sexuality in the fields of literature, visual arts and cultural critique in the Southern cone of Latin America and in the U.S. The objective was to deepen and expand dialogue between the theoretical and critical frameworks from the north and the south. Topics included the post-dictatorial democratic transformations of Argentina, Chile and Uruguay as related to questions of gender and sexuality (personal and collective liberty; social tolerance; equal rights, etc.). The conference led to the creation of an international network of scholars working together to co-edit essays that will be published in a volume.

Participating Harvard faculty: Bradley Epps, Professor of Romance Languages and Literatures, (RLL); Luis Cárcamo Huechante, Assistant Professor of RLL; Doris Sommer, Ira Jewell Williams Jr. Professor of RLL; Diana Sorensen, Professor of RLL.

Collaborating Institutions: Universidad de Santiago, Chile


People Taxonomy

Faculty Grant Recipient?