The Evolution of Present Day Latin America Examined in International Lecture Series

The origins of Latin America and the role its colonial heritage played in shaping what it has become today will be examined in the second installment of Lawrence University’s 2011 Povolny Lecture Series in International Studies “Latin America: Past, Present and Future.”

Jake Frederick

Jake Frederick, assistant professor of history at Lawrence, presents “Discovered and to be Discovered — The Creation of Latin America” Thursday, April 14 at 7 p.m. in the Wriston Art Center auditorium. The event is free and open to the public.

With more than 20 countries speaking as many as five “official” languages and accounting for more than half the population of the Americas, defining Latin America and how it came to be is a question with a complex answer. Frederick will provide historical context to the processes that created the region. He earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of Massachusetts and his Ph.D. in history from Penn State University.

Frederick, whose scholarship includes Native resistance, the experience of Afro-Latinos in 18th-century Mexico and municipal infrastructure in colonial Mexican cities, joined the Lawrence faculty in 2006. He was the recipient of Library Scholars grant from the David Rockefeller Center for Latin American Studies at Harvard University in 2008.

In conjunction with this year’s lecture series, a Latin America-themed film series will be shown in the Warch Campus Center cinema beginning Tuesday, April 12 at 7:30 p.m. with the 2008 documentary “Walt y El Grupo” (Walt and the Group). The film is free and open to the public.

The film follows Walt Disney’s 1941 journey of investigation with a team of artists, writers and other employees to Argentina, Brazil and Uruguay as part of the United States’ “Good Neighbor” policy. The trip led to the creation of the animated movies “Greetings Friends” and “The Three Caballeros.”

The “Latin America: Past, Present and Future” lecture series is sponsored by the Mojmir Povolny Lectureship in International Studies. Named in honor of long-time Lawrence government professor Mojmir Povolny, the lectureship promotes interest and discussion on issues of moral significance and ethical dimensions.