Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Dispatches from the Latin American Studies Association International Congress in Peru

By Kerry Webb, Senior Editor

Recently, my colleague Inés ter Horst and I attended the 2017 Latin American Studies Association meeting in Lima, Peru. We quickly got into the swim of things with a walk along the famed Malencón, situated on the edge of cliffs overlooking beautiful views of the beaches of Lima and the Pacific Ocean, and a lunch of some delicious ceviche. To set up our book exhibit, after lunch we made our way to Pontificia Universidad Católica del Perú, the site for most of the panels at the conference and which was also celebrating its 100th anniversary.

Despite the hustle and bustle of the city, it was hard not to be constantly reminded of the deep and rich history of Lima and Peru, from the archaeological sites of many little-known, pre-Incan civilizations to Lima’s unique history as a colonial stronghold of the Spanish Empire in South America. In fact, there was an Incan site right on the edge of campus and adjacent to the book exhibit hall. When I asked one of our authors who was from Lima what it was, he said that it was one of the Incan roads that was part of a massive transportation network that stretched the length of the Incan Empire at it’s height, from Colombia all the way down to Chile and Argentina.

It was the perfect place to showcase our books, including several recent additions to the list that are focused on Peruvian and Andean studies such as The Peculiar Revolution: Rethinking the Peruvian Experiment Under Military Rule, Kevin Young’s Blood of the Earth: Resource Nationalism, Revolution, and Empire in Boliva, and Gary Urton’s Inka History in Knots: Reading Khipus as Primary Sources. We were also happy to learn that three of our recent books won major awards at LASA: Barbara Mundy’s The Death of Aztec Tenochtitlan, The Life of Mexico City won the Bryce-Wood award and Mark Christensen’s book The Teabo Manuscript: Mayan Christian Copybooks, Chilam Balams, and Native Text Production in Yucatan won the Mexico section’s award, while Inez Hernandez-Avila and Norma Cantú’s anthology of Tejana cultural production Entre Guadalupe Y Malinche: Tejanas in Literature and Art won the prize for the Latino studies section, further highlighting published work from other important parts of our publishing lists for LASA.

This conference is always a special opportunity to meet with current and potential authors, and we were especially pleased to be one of the US presses that were able to showcase our books and meet with authors, many of whom reside outside of the States, at a conference that, more than ever, has a truly international flavor.

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