Gormley and Schulenburg present at international Latin American studies conference in Washington, D.C.

July 25, 2013

PLATTEVILLE, Wis. — Dr. Melissa Gormley, associate professor of history and director of the Women’s and Gender Studies Program at the University of Wisconsin-Platteville, and Dr. Chris Schulenburg, associate professor of Spanish and program coordinator for Latin American studies at UW-Platteville, presented panel topics at the XXXI International Congress of the Latin American Studies Association’s “Towards a New Social Contract?” conference held May 29 to June 1 in Washington, D.C. Gormley and Schulenburg were selected by LASA to attend the conference and chair two of its panels.

Gormley addressed the role of visual culture and visual narrative in developing political agenda and national identity in Brazil in her presentation “Beyond the Lens: Historicizing Life in Brazil during the First Vargas Era” for the two panels titled “Visualizing the Nation: Representations of the National in 20th Century Latin American Art and Photography.”

Schulenburg discussed 20th and 21st century women’s literature in Venezuela, Puerto Rico, Mexico and Cuba and the dialogues that take place between women and between readers and writers in his presentation “What Jumps out at You: Female Art Appreciation in Zoe Valdes’s ‘Una novelista en el Museo de Louvre” for the panel titled “Dynamic Dialogues: the Development of a Female Voice Dialogued in the Centuries.”

Gormley and Schulenburg stated that the conference provided them with unique insights and perspectives that could be used both inside and outside the classroom.

“This conference provided us with an opportunity to engage with higher education faculty from some amazing cities in our country and the world who are doing similar work,” said Gormley. “At the conference, we learned the most current, cutting-edge information in our fields, which provided us with a whole new source of information for our classes. It was also an opportunity for us to reconnect with our research and college, which was very invigorating. My scholarship and research are important to me because they help me be a better professor.”

Gormley teaches courses in modern world history, Latin American history, historical theory and methodology and colonial Latin American history.

“The conference enabled us to fully engage with others in our fields and explore new ways of looking at important topics that we will teach in class,” said Schulenburg. “The presenters are known and respected in the state, nation and world and had excellent information to share. I will be using much of what I learned in my courses this fall.”

Schulenburg teaches courses in 20th and 21st century Latin American literature, Spanish, teaching world languages, women’s Latin American literature and colonial Latin American literature.

Every year, specialists on Latin America gather at the LASA International Congress. Featuring more than 900 sessions, the Congress is the world’s premier forum for expert discussion on Latin America and the Caribbean.

Higher education faculty members from institutions in North America, Latin America, South America, Spain and Western Europe attended. Faculty members were from a variety of academic disciplines including economics, history, literature, sociology, theatre and more. Every two years, the conference is held in Latin America.

LASA is the largest professional association in the world for individuals and institutions that are engaged in the study of Latin America. With more than 7,000 members – 45 percent who reside outside the United States – LASA is the one association that brings together experts on Latin America from all disciplines and diverse occupational endeavors, across the globe.

LASA’s mission is to foster intellectual discussion, research and teaching on Latin America, the Caribbean and its people throughout the Americas, promote the interests of its diverse membership and encourage civic engagement through network building and public debate.

The next International Congress will be held in Chicago, Ill., May 21-24, 2014.

Contact: Melissa Gormley, associate professor of history and director of the Women’s and Gender Studies Program, (608) 342-6111, gormleym@uwplatt.edu, and Chris Schulenburg, associate professor of Spanish and program coordinator for Latin American studies, (608) 342-1109, schulenburgc@uwplatt.edu

Written by: Laurie Hamer, College of Liberal Arts and Education, (608) 342-6191, hamerl@uwplatt.edu


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