Penn in Latin America and the Caribbean PLAC 6th Annual Conference

Shared Narratives: Arts, Culture and Conflict in Latin America and the Caribbean 
Friday, September 23, 2022
Perry World House | University of Pennsylvania

Varied artistic expressions in music, painting, literature, graffiti, cinema, and others, have the potential to promote reflection and critical thinking. They can also be powerful tools for cooperation, healing and resilience. How do the arts reflect our shared narratives, and the most pressing issues of our times? What roles do the arts play in times of peace and conflict, progress and crisis?  The 6th PLAC conference will feature presentations from all disciplines, as they point to, or draw from, the intersections between the arts, social change, conflict and healing in Latin America and the Caribbean. 

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Conference Agenda

9:30 AM  |  Registration, Coffee, and Land Acknowledgement

Tulia Falleti, Class of 1965 Endowed Term Professor of Political Science & Director of the Center for Latin American and Latinx Studies

9:50 AM  |  Opening Remarks

Mércia Flannery, Chair of the PLAC 6th Conference Organizing Committee & Director of the Portuguese Language Program

10:00 AM  |  Welcome Remarks

Elizabeth "Liz" Magill, President of the University of Pennsylvania

Steven Fluharty, Dean and Thomas S. Gates, Jr. Professor of Psychology, Pharmacology, and Neuroscience, School of Arts and Sciences

10:20 AM  |  Opening Plenary: Penn in Latin America & the Caribbean

10:35 AM  |  Why Center the Arts in Latin American Studies?

Ashley Brock, Assistant Professor of Spanish and Portuguese

10:50 – 11:30 AM  |  Presentations : Social Change and Socio-Economic Impact in Latin America and the Caribbean

  1. Essentially Criminal: Examining America’s “Crimmigration” System Through Documentary Film
    Maya Pratt-Freedman (‘23), Arts and Sciences
  2. Culture-Shared Narratives of Healing and the Arts through Social Change in the Federation of Saint Kitts and Nevis
    Cherése Godwin, Social Policy and Practice
  3. The Disastrous Effects Of Leaders In Denial: Evidence From The Covid-19 Crisis In Brazil
    Leandro S. Pongeluppe, Wharton

    The Art of Social Change
  4. Jonathan Katz, Art / Arts and Sciences


11:40 AM - 12:10 PM  |  Presentations : Cultural Expression and Preservation in Educational Spaces

  1. Indigenizing the Classroom: Inclusive Teaching Through Storytelling
    Teresa Giménez, Spanish and Portuguese / Arts and Sciences
  2. Effective Communication for a Culturally Diverse Classroom: The Use of Gender Inclusive Language
    Carlos Pio, Spanish and Portuguese / Arts and Sciences
  3. The Library as a Place of Community: Bringing Together Researchers and Locals in the Yucatan
    Hannah Rutledge, Penn Libraries
  4. Cultural Stories and Cultural Heritage: Disrupting Maya Structural Inequality
    Richard M Leventhal, Anthropology / Arts and Sciences
  5. The Central American Political Poster Collection at Penn Libraries
    Brie Gettleson, Penn Libraries

12:10 PM  |  Lunch

1:00 - 1:30 PM  |  Presentations : Artists, Repression, and Resilience

  1. Artistic Colombian Resilience During COVID-19
    Juliana Bonilla, Nursing  
  2. Feminism in Latin American Film: Brazilian Women Directors 
    Simone Cavalcante, The Lauder Institute / Wharton

    Unsovereign Elements: Geological Poetics in Contemporary Caribbean Art
  3. (Art Exhibition: Spring 2023 at Kelly Writers House)
    Cecilia Gonzalez-Godino, Spanish and Portuguese / Arts and Sciences
  4. Employment Denial as Repression: Evidence from Argentina's Film Industry
    Jane Esberg, Political Science / Arts and Sciences

1:30 - 2:00 PM  |  Presentations : Narratives of Resilience Across the Region

  1. Promesas Rotas / Broken Promises
    Stephanie Rivera Fenniri, Design
  2. Situating Bad Bunny in Post-María Puerto Rico
    Selma Arroyo, Spanish and Portuguese / Arts and Sciences
  3. Art of Social Change
    Jonathan Katz, History of Art and Gender, Sexuality, and Women's Studies / Arts and Sciences
  4. The Plantation is not a Specter. The Persistence of the Plantation Complex in the Latin American Novel (and reality)
    Hugo Salas, Spanish and Portuguese / Arts and Sciences
  5. La Villa Inmigrante
    Obed Arango & David Villalvazo, Social Policy and Practice


2:15 - 3:00 PM  |  Panel : New Perspectives on Afro-Latin American and Afro-Caribbean Agency, Resistance, and Power

Moderator: Odette Casamayor-Cisneros, Spanish and Portuguese & Africana Studies, Arts and Sciences

  1. Armas y Comida Pa’l Pueblo: Food as Resistance in the Dominican Nation
    Bonnie Maldonado, Africana Studies / Arts and Sciences 
  2. Bomba Music and Resistance
    Alexandra Sánchez Rolón, Africana Studies / Arts and Sciences 
  3. Why Compare? Narratives of Slavery and State Formation in the Americas
    João Nery Fiocchi Rodrigues, Sociology / Arts and Sciences 


3:15- 3:45pm  |  Keynote : Playing Boring Games, Building Cross-Border Cooperation

Juan Llamas-Rodriguez, Assistant Professor of Communication, Annenberg School of Communication

3:45 PM  |  Closing Remarks

Mércia Flannery, Chair of the PLAC 6th Conference Organizing Committee & Director of the Portuguese Language Program

4:30 - 6:00 PM  |  Reception 

Featuring performances by Penn's premier Latin dance troupe, La Onda, and musician Richard Miller and singer Vanessa Falabella

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PLAC Conference 2022 Planning Committee

  • Cathy Bartch, Center for Latin American and Latinx Studies

  • Carlos Pio, Hispanic and Portuguese Studies Department

  • Cecília Gonzalez-Godino, Hispanic and Portuguese Studies Department

  • Chris Klaniecki, Penn Global

  • Jerri Bourjolly, School of Social Policy & Practice

  • Krista Cortes, La Casa Latina

  • Mércia Flannery, Hispanic and Portuguese Studies Department

  • Nancy Biller, School of Nursing

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Penn in Latin America & the Caribbean (PLAC)
About the PLAC Symposium

Each year, the PLAC Steering Committee, a cross-campus, interdisciplinary group made up of Penn faculty and administrators, partners with schools, centers, and departments across campus to organize an annual symposium that brings together the Penn community to highlight Penn work in Latin America and the Caribbean, and to promote interaction and collaboration among all who attend.