Robert G. Mead Jr. Lecture Series

Robert G Mead, Jr.

1913-1995

Robert G. Mead’s career was marked by his dedication to improved Latin American-U.S. cultural understanding. The first manifestation of this life-long endeavor might have occurred in Mexico, where as a teenager, he wrote a satirical essay on national stereotypes. Thereafter, throughout a long and distinguished career, he strove to educate the public about Latin American, notably through the letters he wrote to the Washington Post and the New York Times between 1944 and 1992, on topics ranging from U.S. diplomacy to Latin American Literature.

Less than twenty years into his professional career, Professor Mead was singled out as one of the twenty most influential Hispanists in the United States in recognition of his service as a consultant to the government, foundations, publishers, universities and national organizations. Convinced of the centrality of foreign language study to international understanding, Dr. Mead worked tirelessly with teachers of Spanish and Social Studies to expand opportunities for learning about Latin America. As a professor of Spanish and the University of Connecticut from 1947 to 1983, he was instrumental in increasing course offerings in Latin American literature and area studies. Author of six books and hundreds of articles and reviews, a visiting professor at six universities and a lecturer at many more, Professor Mead also was the recipient of numerous prestigious honors and awards.  His colleagues at the University of Connecticut honor his memory through the annual Robert G. Mead, Jr. Lecture.

 

2015

Javier Auyero

Joe R. and Teresa Lazano Long Professor in Latin American Sociology, University of Texas-Austin

“Violence and Everyday Ethics at the Urban Margins”

 

2014

Jossiana Arroyo-Martinez

Professor of Latin American and Caribbean Literatures

Univ. of Texas at Austin

“Cities of the Dead: Performing Life in the Caribbean”

 

2013

Roberto Tejada

Endowed Professor of Art History, Southern Methodist University

“Outside the Window: Art Stories in 1990s Mexico City”

 

2012

Silvio Torres-Saillant

Professor of English and Director of Humanities Council, Syracuse University

“On the Racialization of knowledge: Intellectual facets of the Columbian Legacy “

 

2011

Carmen Diana Deere

Distinguished Professor, Latin American Studies and Food & Resource Economics, University of Florida

“Property Rights, Asset Accumulation, and Patrimonial Violence in Ecuador”

 

2010

Timothy Wise

Director, Research and Policy Program, Global Development and Environment Institute, Tufts University

“Corn, Migration, and the Cheapening of Everything”

 

2009

Frances Hagopian

Professor of Political Science and Fellow, Helen Kellogg Inst. for International Studies, Notre Dame University

“Neoliberalism and Democracy in Latin America: A Look Back, the Challenges Ahead”

 

2008

Jorge Bustamante

Eugene P. and Helen Conley Professor of Sociology

Notre Dame University

“Special Rapporteur of the Commission on Human Rights on the Human Rights of Migrants Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights”

 

2007

 Kay Warren

Professor, International Studies Anthropology, Brown University

“When Numbers Count: The Practice of Combating Human Trafficking from Colombia to Japan”

 

2006

June Nash

Distinguished Professor Emerita, The City University of New York

“Consuming Interests: Water, Liquor, and Coca Cola: From Ritual Integration to Corporate Expropriation in Highland Chiapas”

 

2005

Charles Tilly

Sociologist and Professor of Social Sciences, Columbia University

“Trust Networks in Transnational Migration”

 

2004

Alicia Partnoy

Assistant Professor, Loyola Marymount University

“I Lived to Tell: On Writing, Justice, and the Disappeared”

 

2003

Janice Perlman

 President, Mega-Cities Project, Trinity College

“Rio’s Favelas and the Myth of Marginality Revisited.”

 

2002

Jean Franco

Professor Emerita, Columbia University

“Literacy and Literature for a New Era”

 

2001

Sylvia Molloy

Professor of Spanish, New York University

“Natural Parts and Unnatural Others:  A Reflection on Patrimony and National Collections at the turn of the 20th Century”

 

2000

Josefina Vázquez

Centro de Estudio Históricos, El Colegio de México

“A Mexican Perspective on the War Between the U.S. and Mexico, 1946-1848”

 

1999

Lars Schoultz

William Rand Kenan, Jr. Prof. of Political Science, UNC-Chapel Hill

“Teaching Latin Americans to Elect ‘Good Men’: The U.S. Crusade for Democracy in Latin America”

 

1997

Peter Earle

Professor of Spanish, Emeritus, The University of Pennsylvania

“Figure and Function in Latin American Literature