Society for Irish Latin American Studies
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 saw the Society forge close links with the Department through a number of different collaborative initiatives. As part of this collaboration, UCC hosts an annual Society for Irish Latin American Studies public lecture.
January 2017 saw the inauguration of the Irish in Latin America exhibition, a joint initiative between SILAS and the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. On this occasion, we welcomed President Michael D. Higgins, Patron of the Society for Irish Latin American Studies, to open the exhibition.
Visit the Society for Irish Latin American Studies for more information.
President Michael D. Higgins launches Irish in Latin America Exhibition
The Department of Spanish, Portuguese and Latin American Studies was proud to host a visit by President Michael D. Higgins when he presided over the opening of a major exhibition on the Irish in Latin America last Thursday (26 January 2017), a project undertaken by the department in collaboration with the International Office, UCC and the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.
The exhibition is a celebration of those Irish figures who helped to shape art and cultural heritage, intellectual tradition, scientific scholarship as well as politics and foreign policy throughout Latin America. Celebrating the role of Irish immigrants in the region, the exhibition highlights Ireland and Latin America’s shared history of colonialism and subsequent independence and revolutionary struggles. It features prominent Irish figures involved in independence and revolutionary struggles across the Latin American continent including Cork man, Daniel O'Leary, hero of Venezuelan independence and Charleville-born Eliza Lynch, the unofficial Queen of Paraguay.
A Spanish-language version of the exhibition was inaugurated in Mexico in October 2016 and Professor Nuala Finnegan will travel to Havana, Cuba in February for the opening of the exhibition there - again in the presence of President Michael D. Higgins.
2nd Annual SILAS Lecture at UCC – Professor Cath Collins
Professor Cath Collins, from Ulster University, Northern Ireland, gave the 2nd Annual SILAS Lecture on January 25th 2018. The talk, entitled "Living Memory: Law, Politics, and Forensics in the search for Latin America’s Disappeared" focused on enforced disappearances in Latin America, highlighting the role of grassroots and state initiatives in the Latin American context and discussing the current challenges arising from mass disappearances perpetrated in the recent past.
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.
Latin America in Irish Higher Education: New Paradigms?
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.