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  • Latin American Studies Association

    I N T H I S I S S U E

    On the Profession

    What LASA Can Do For Political Scientistsby EVELYNE S. HUBER

    A Survey of Political Scientists Views on LASA by RAL MADRID

    El incierto rumbo de LASAby ARIEL C. ARMONY

    What Might LASA Do to Best Meet the Needs and Serve the Interests of Those in the Political Sciences?by SUSAN C. STOKES


    Immigration Matters

    Dont Panic, We are Hispanic!Migracin y resistencia socialby JOS MANUEL VALENZUELA ARCE

    Crossing-back Methodologies Transnational Feminist Research on Incest in Mexicoby GLORIA GONZLEZ-LPEZ

    Why the Immigrant Rights Struggle Compels Us to Reconceptualize Both Latin American and Latino/a Studiesby WILLIAM I. ROBINSON

    Political Commentary

    Situacin social y poltica de Mxico y deOaxaca al final del gobierno de Vicente Fox yprincipios del gobierno de Felipe SALOMN NAHMAD

    forumS P R I N G 2007 | V O L U M E X X X V I I I | I S S U E 2

  • 1 From the President | by CHARLES R. HALE

    4 From the Associate Editor | by ARTURO ARIAS


    6 What LASA Can Do For Political Scientists | by EVELYNE S. HUBER

    8 A Survey of Political Scientists Views on LASA | by RAL MADRID

    11 El incierto rumbo de LASA | by ARIEL C. ARMONY

    13 What Might LASA Do to Best Meet the Needs and Serve the Interests of Those inthe Political Sciences? | by SUSAN C. STOKES


    Immigration Matters

    16 Dont Panic, We are Hispanic! Migracin y resistencia socialby JOS MANUEL VALENZUELA ARCE

    19 Crossing-back Methodologies: Transnational Feminist Research on Incest in Mexico | by GLORIA GONZLEZ-LPEZ

    21 Why the Immigrant Rights Struggle Compels Us to Reconceptualize Both Latin American and Latino/a Studies | by WILLIAM I. ROBINSON


    24 Situacin social y poltica de Mxico y de Oaxaca al final del gobierno de VicenteFox y principios del gobierno de Felipe Caldern. | by SALOMN NAHMAD

    ON LASA2007

    27 Report from the Program Chairs | by NEIL HARVEY and MARA SOCORRO TABUENCA


    28 Elections 2007: Nominating Committee Slate


    37 LASA Voluntary Support | by SANDY KLINZING

    39 LASA Membership Report 2006

    Table of Contents

    President Charles R. Hale, University of Texas,

    Vice PresidentEric Hershberg, Simon Fraser

    Past PresidentSonia E. Alvarez, University of Massachusetts,

    TreasurerKevin Middlebrook, University of


    For term ending October 2007Jos Antonio Aguilar Rivera, Centro de Docencia eInvestigacin Econmica

    Elizabeth Jelin, Consejo de Investigaciones Cientficas y Tecnolgicas

    Lynn Stephen, University of Oregon

    For term ending April 2009Alcida Rita Ramos, Universidade de BrasliaGuillermo Delgado, University of California/Santa CruzJos Rabasa, University of California/Berkeley

    Ex OfficioNeil F. Harvey, New Mexico State UniversityMara Socorro Tabuenca Crdoba,

    El Colegio de la Frontera NorteMilagros Pereyra-Rojas, University of PittsburghPhilip Oxhorn, McGill University


    EditorCharles R. Hale, University of Texas, Austin

    Associate EditorArturo Arias, University of Redlands

    Managing EditorMilagros Pereyra-Rojas, University of Pittsburgh


    Membership CoordinatorJenna B. Bielewicz, University of Pittsburgh

    Congress CoordinatorMara Cecilia Q. Dancisin, University of Pittsburgh

    Communications SpecialistIan Downing, University of Pittsburgh

    Assistant Director for Institutional AdvancementSandra Klinzing, University of Pittsburgh

    Executive DirectorMilagros Pereyra-Rojas, University of Pittsburgh

    Administrative CoordinatorIsrael R. Perlov, University of Pittsburgh

    The LASA Forum is published four times a year. It is the official vehicle for conveying news about the LatinAmerican Studies Association to its members. Articlesappearing in the On the Profession and Debates sections of the Forum are commissioned by the Editorial Committeeand deal with selected themes. The Committee welcomesresponses to any material published in the Forum.

    Opinions expressed herein are those of individual authorsand do not necessarily reflect the view of the LatinAmerican Studies Association or its officers. Directsubscriptions to the LASA Forum only, without LASAmembership, are $50.00 per year.

    ISSN 0890-7218

  • The LASA Executive Council (EC) recentlybraved Montrals sub-zero temperatures toattend our midterm meeting, an intense dayand a half long session dedicated to vitalAssociation issues. Reflecting on the pastnine months that culminated with this mid-term meeting, I am happy to report that themajority of my time and energy as Presidenthas been spent on issues of great intellectual-political substance and challenges crucial toLatin Americanist scholars. When, onoccasion, I do not highlight these substantivedimensions myself, I have learned to relyupon the present ECa critical, demanding,energetic and highly talented grouptobring them to the fore. Here is a glimpse ofour deliberations, followed by a comment onpluralism and the concerns aboutpoliticization within our Association.

    One topic to which this EC has assignedgreat importance is our commitment to theLatin Americanization of LASA. Whileour members surely have a range ofpositions on the meaning of this term, andon the substance of this commitment, mysense is that most would endorse two broadprinciples (and these two certainly formedpart of what I understood as my presidentialmandate). We seek to increase thepercentage of Latin America-based LASAmembers as well as an evolutionary changetoward an Association that more fullyencompasses the study of Latin Americafrom Latin America, thereby moving awayfrom an organizational culture andintellectual frame dominated by scholarsfrom the North. To be sure, this starkcontrast between Southern and Northernperspectives does not always hold, given thegreat heterogeneity that both geographiclocations encompass. Still, the dual principleis a reasonable point of departure, andindeed, it goes to the heart of why many ofus find LASA to be so valuable and vital.

    The data show how far we have come fromLASAs U.S.-centric beginnings, but also,how far we have to go. Currently, roughly30 percent of our members live outside theUnited States, of whom about 20 percent areLatin America-based. We have never had aLatin America-based president. It is onething to reaffirm the principle, but quiteanother to achieve full clarity about the endgoals and the appropriate means to reachthem. What geographic distribution of ourmembership do we seek? What changes inorganizational culture are most important inthis gradual transformation towardbecoming a truly Americas-wide associationwith a U.S. home? What kinds of relationswith our Latin American sister organizationswill best achieve complementarities andmutual support? Our practice of providingtravel funds for significant numbers of LatinAmerica-based Congress participants iscrucial to the overall objective of LatinAmericanization, but how sustainable areour current fund raising strategies as bothgeneral Congress attendance, and the LatinAmerican-based proportion of attendeescontinue to grow? We do not yet have firmanswers to these questions, but I can reportthat the EC has assigned them high priority,and has begun to take action. For example,a subcommittee of the EC will design a briefsurvey to better understand the currentsources of travel funds available to LatinAmerican participants and in May LASAofficials will hold meetings with ourcounterparts in Brazilian social scienceorganizations to discuss these issues in thecontext of both Montral 2007 and Rio deJaneiro 2009.

    Closely related to the need to increase thefunds available for travel grants is the thornyquestion of corporate sponsorship. Giventhat attendance at the Montral 2007Congress is projected to be greater than thatof Puerto Rico, the fund raising challengewill be exacerbated as well. In order to

    reach our benchmark of supporting roughly30 percent of total applications, we will needto raise about $492,000 (25 percent morethan our Puerto Rico goal)while theamount we currently have in hand is about$257,000. The EC had a long and spiriteddiscussion about socially responsibleinvestment, in relation to management ofLASA reserves and endowment funds, aswell as the possibility of pursuing corporatedonations. Without any attempt to conveythe many complexities, I can report that theEC approved exploratory actions on bothfronts: a more assertive move towardsocially responsible investment of theAssociations assets and a primary attempt toattract donations from socially responsiblecorporations. Fully aware that this latterstep is highly controversial, and fullyexpecting it to generate intense andconstructive debate, I am very excited aboutthe initiative. It is an opportunity for LASAto engage critically with the uneven andcontradictory economic conditions in whichwe are all immersed, while also potentiallyfashioning creative new ways to meet ourAssociations pressing financial needs. I amalso deeply grateful to life member MichaelConroy, who has volunteered to work withthe Fund Raising Committee and the EC tohelp us navigate this rocky terrain. Moredetails on this initiative will soon beavailable.

    Finally, I would like to report briefly on theECs deliberations regarding our revitalizedcommission on academic freedom, as well asthe related issue of a petition for LASA toconvene a fact-finding mission to investigatethe impact of social conflict and governmentactions on Oaxa