On 28 April 2016, a memorandum of understanding was signed between the Department of Spanish, Portuguese and Latin American Studies, UCC and the Society for Irish Latin American Studies. This agreement will see the Society forge close links with the Department through a number of different collaborative initiatives. Building on the success of the conference Entangled Histories and Cultures: Remapping diasporas and migrations in June 2015 (https://www.ucc.ie/en/splas/newsevents/fullstory-551625-en.html), the agreement allows for closer links to be constructed through mutual support and shared projects.
Central to the partnership is the commitment to host an annual SILAS-UCC lecture. The first inaugural lecture was delivered by Professor Emeritus Peadar Kirby, University of Limerick, entitled Latin America in Irish Higher Education: New Paradigms?
Visit the Society for Irish Latin American Studies for more information.
Peadar Kirby is Professor Emeritus of International Politics and Public Policy at the University of Limerick from where he retired in 2012. Before joining UL in 2007, he was Associate Professor in the School of Law and Government at Dublin City University. He is a former journalist with The Irish Times and, from 1984-86, was associate editor of Noticias Aliadas in Lima, Peru. A former secondary teacher, Peadar Kirby now lives in Ireland’s only ecovillage in Cloughjordan, Co Tipperary. He also holds the positions of adjunct professor in the Centre for Small State Studies in the University of Iceland, adjunct professor in the Network for Power, Politics and Society in the National University of Ireland, Maynooth, and in the autumn of 2012 he held the UNESCO chair of South-North studies in the University of Valencia, Spain. He is currently writing a book on the political economy of climate change.
In his address, Peadar Kirby discussed the neglect of Latin American studies in Irish higher education. In developing a case for devoting greater attention and resources to them, he focused on the urgent need to contest the dominance of a technocratic and utilitarian view of the role of education. He drew on the rise and trajectory of the ‘new left’ in Latin America to illustrate how studying the region can provide fresh perspectives to address contemporary dilemmas in Ireland.