Visiting Resource Professor Program

Visiting Resource Professor Program

CLAS Invites Nominations for 2015-2016 Visiting Resource Professors. The Visiting Resource Professor program funds two distinguished Latin American scholars, politicians, or writers per year to come to Vanderbilt for approximately four weeks to participate in a graduate seminar and to interact more widely with V.U. students. (We may also consider nominations for an advanced undergraduate seminar.)

Candidates for the Visiting Resource Professorship must be nominated by a member of the Vanderbilt faculty who will integrate the VRP into a seminar, and who will work with CLAS to host the VRP and coordinate the professorship. Nomination is open to faculty from any department or school. In the nomination, the faculty member should demonstrate how the scholar will contribute to a course s/he is teaching during the semester for which the VRP is sought. The VRP will be in charge of a designated number of seminar sessions; during those sessions, the seminar should be opened to students from other departments and programs with an interest. In departments where students have sufficient proficiency in Spanish or Portuguese, the class should be conducted in that language to promote a “languages across the curriculum” approach. We especially encourage the nomination of scholars whose work transcends several disciplines, making the proposed seminars compelling for students in related fields. Previous VRPs have included Mexican migration expert Jorge Durand; father of Latin American cultural studies Jesús Martin-Barbero, and Chilean filmmaker Alberto Fuguet.

CLAS now welcomes expressions of interest in the VRP program for Fall 2015 and Spring 2016 professorships. Please contact Ted Fischer ( or Avery Dickins ( to discuss possible nominees and how they would fit into the program.

Visiting Resource Professors 2011-2012

The Center for Latin American Studies brought Professor María Elisa Velázquez Gutiérrez to campus as a visiting resource professor from February 1st until February 5th, 2012. Professor Velázquez gave a talk entitled “Africans and Afrodescendant women in Mexico City during Colonial Times: Social Relationships and Cultural Reproduction” for the Black Atlantic History Seminar.

Professor Velázquez has been president of the International Scientific Committee The Slave Route: Resistance, Liberty and Heritage for UNESCO since 2011 and a member of this project since 2009. She holds the position of researcher at the National Institute of Anthropology and History in Mexico and has been a member of the National System of Researchers for the Council of Science and Technology of Mexico since 1997. For a more complete description of her work, please click here.

The Cuban-born artist María Magdelena Campos-Pons and her husband,  the composer and performing artist Neil Leonard, were on campus October 9 – 18, 2011. Born in Matanzas in 1959, Campos-Pons was educated in Cuba at the National School of Art (1976–1979) and Instituto Superior de Arte (1980–1985) and graduated from Massachusetts College of Art in 1988. She is one of the most significant artists to emerge from the Cuban post-revolutionary era. She moved to the United States in 1991 and now lives in Brookline, Massachusetts.

While at Vanderbilt, Campos-Pons and Leonard participated in numerous events including the opening of two exhibits, one at the VU Fine Arts Gallery and the other at the Frist Center for the Visual Arts. To learn more about these two important artists and their time at Vanderbilt, click on the image to the left.

Visiting Resource Professors 2010-2011

Jorge DurJorge Durandand, professor of Social Anthropology at the University of Guadalajara, was in residence at Vanderbilt in August and September of 2010.  Durand is co-founder of the Mexican Migration Project,  which is a binational research effort with the aim of furthering understanding the complex process of Mexican migration to the US.  Read more about this project here.

While on campus Dr. Durand continued a collaborative research project with Dr. Katharine Donato, was featured in a roundtable on Tuesday, September 7  entitled “Immigration in a Time of Economic Crisis: Downturns and Returns in US/Mexico Relations” (5pm reception; 6pm roundtable, First Amendment Center; 1207 18th Ave. South) , and lead a seminar for Vanderbilt graduate students and faculty.

As part the CLAS year-long Liberation Theology series, Elsa Tamez was on campus in early October 2010.  Tamez is one of the principal initiators and developers of the feminist perspective of Latin American liberation theology. Professor of biblical studies (and former director) at the Latin American Biblical University (UBL) in San Jose, Costa Rica, she is the author of several books, including “Bible of the Oppressed” and” When the Horizons Close.”   Tamez took part in  a roundtable on Monday October 4 (roundtable at 4pm; reception 5:30; Divinity School Reading Room)  “Understanding Liberation: Theology, Poverty and Education.”

Ivone GebaraIvone Gebara, one of Latin America’s leading theologians and a Brazilian Sister of Our Lady, was on campus March 27- April 10.  Gebara, a professor at the Theological Institute of Recife,  writes from the perspective of ecofeminism and liberation theology shaped by her experiences working with poor women in the favelas of Brazil.

Visiting Resource Professors 2009-2010

Alberto Fuguet

Alberto Fuguet , Chilean author and filmmaker, was on campus  at Center for Latin American Studies at Vanderbilt for the month of March. As one of the most prominent Latin American authors of his generation and a leader of the literary movement known as McOndo, he proclaims the end of magical realism. While on campus, Fuguet  filmed a short movie called “Música Campesina”.  This was an experiment to make a narrative bilingual short film in situ in Nashville. This film was written, cast and produced in less than a month. The shoot took place at the end of March and early April.   “Música Campesina” is about Alejandro, a thirtysomething “momma´s boy” who finds himself in Nashville by chance, running away from a personal debacle, and decides to stay a while here to lick his wounds. In the process, he encounters other latinos, the country music world in which the latinos seem uninterested, and in the end, himself. The genre is a sort of boy meets Nashville, boy meets himself in a neorrealist mode.  CLAS will premiere this film at Vanderbilt in the fall of 2010.

Lucio Renno, a political scientist at the University of Brasilia, was at Vanderbilt during the month of November 2009. During his time on campus, Renno co-taught three lectures with Dr.Mitch Seligson on Inequality and Development in Comparative perspective, delivered a public lecture on the electoral implications of corruption scandals, and worked on preparing for the Americas Barometer 2010 fieldwork in Brazil.

After receiving his PhD from Pittsburgh, Renno taught at SUNY Stony Brook and the University of Arizona before moving back to Brazil. His work looks at the distribution of information and electoral behavior, and his work has focused on Brazil. His publications include Reforma Política: Licões da História Contemporânea.

jesus barberoJesus Martín Barbero, widely considered the father of cultural studies in Latin America, inaugurated the Center for Latin American Studies’ new Visiting Resource Professor program during the month of September.

Martín Barbero, the recipient of seven honorary doctorates, currently holds the title of distinguished professor of communication studies at the Pontificia Universidad Javeriana in Bogotá, Colombia. A pioneer of communication and cultural studies, his books include Communication, Culture and Hegemony: From Media to Mediation, Televisión y melodrama, Al sur de la modernidad, and Oficio de cartógrafo.

Barbero received his PhD in Belgium in 1971, and has held the UNESCO Chair of Communications in Barcelona. He has been a visiting professor at Stanford, NYU, and Berlin, among others. His work has been highly influential in literary criticism, anthropology, communication, and cultural studies. Prof. Carlos Jáuregui of Spanish and Portuguese hosted Barbero in one of his graduate seminars.

In addition to the registered seminar participants, 15 additional Vanderbilt faculty and graduate students registered to attend the three sessions led by Prof. Martín Barbero. Helena Simonett, Associate Director of CLAS, attended Barbero’s seminars, and found them helpful in her own research. “Being a National Resource Center affords CLAS the opportunity to have these distinguished professors here at Vanderbilt,” said Simonett. The topics covered “Los Estudios Culturales Latinoamericanos,” “Repensando lo Popular,” and “Técnica y Política: Espacios/Tiempos no Pensados.” Prof. Matín Barbero also delivered a public lecture on “Diversidad cultural y convergencia digital.” This lecture, as well as the seminars delivered by Professor Barbero, can be seen on the CLAS website.

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