Video feature: The Teaching Museum

The Princeton University Art Museum since its founding in the late 1800s has aimed to provide students with exposure to original works of art and to teach the history of art through the many objects they have from around the world. Princeton University faculty members use objects in the museum as teaching tools to give students a deeper understanding of ancient cultures and people.

Last semester, Christina Halperin, then a Cotsen Fellow in Latin American Studies and now a lecturer in the art and archaeology department, taught a course titled “Mesoamerican Material Culture.” In this video, students in the course study ancient Maya artifacts in the museum and then reproduce Mesoamerican pottery techniques in the Wilson College Ceramics Studio on campus.

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Class snapshot: ‘Health and the Social Markers of Difference’

Description: This new course examines the role of social markers of difference — such as race, class, nationality and gender — in issues of global health. For example: How can racial or gender discrimination affect access to health services and life expectancy? “Studying health paired with markers of difference lets us address the social and political determinants of vulnerability and disease,” said João Biehl, the Susan Dod Brown Professor of Anthropology, who helped develop the course. “It is somewhere in the middle of social lives that the work of critique always begins, and we need integrated approaches that recognize the profound interdependence of health, economic development, good governance and human rights,” said Biehl, who is also co-director of the Program in Global Health and Health Policy.

Instructors: Peter Locke, a lecturer in the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs; Lilia Moritz Schwarcz, a professor of anthropology at the University of São Paulo (USP) and a Princeton Global Scholar; Laura Moutinho, a professor of anthropology at USP; José Ricardo Ayres, a professor of preventative medicine at USP; and Didier Fassin, the James D. Wolfensohn Professor at the Institute for Advanced Study. “Collaborating with our colleagues from the University of São Paulo has affirmed how essential it can be to explore complex issues from the vantage point of different intellectual traditions and social and historical contexts,” Locke said. “As we constructed the syllabus, the faculty from USP challenged us to broaden our sense of what materials could be relevant and to bring literatures and scholarly debates produced in other parts of the world into an equal conversation with our own bodies of knowledge.”

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Student Trip to Guatemala – December 2012

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During December 2012 five Princeton undergraduate students enrolled in LAS 401 Latin American Studies: The Politics of Ethnicity in Latin America traveled to Guatemala.  This trip, led by Professor Timothy J. Smith (Visiting Research Scholar in PLAS and Visiting Assistant Professor in the Department of Anthropology and PLAS), was sponsored with the generous support of PLAS, the Department of Anthropology and the Fred Fox Fund.  Continue reading

Dale winner, Flora Thomson-DeVeaux ’13, to follow writer’s footsteps across the Americas

Flora Thomson-DeVeaux

Flora Thomson-DeVeaux

Princeton University senior Flora Thomson-DeVeaux has met Santiago Badariotti Merlo again and again, in her courses and in her travels, though their paths have never crossed in real time.

Now Thomson-DeVeaux, the 2013 winner of the Martin Dale Fellowship, will spend the next year tracing the butler and writer’s footsteps across the Americas. She will delve deeper into his life and writing, which intersect with several themes over the course of the 20th century — the rise and decline of two of Latin America’s biggest cities, economic and class history, and attitudes about homosexuality. She plans to turn her senior thesis on Badariotti Merlo, who was born in 1912 and died in 1994, into a full-length book.

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Three students win Labouisse Prize for projects in Sierra Leone and Brazil

Courtney Crumpler

Courtney Crumpler

Three Princeton University seniors have been awarded the Henry Richardson Labouisse ’26 Prize to spend one year pursuing international civic engagement projects after graduation. The $30,000 prize will support a joint initiative by Shirley Gao and Raphael Frankfurter in Sierra Leone, and a project by Courtney Crumpler in Brazil.

The award to Gao and Frankfurter will aid their work to develop a maternal health coordination center in eastern Sierra Leone. Crumpler’s prize will support her efforts to bolster community organizing in underserved communities in Rio de Janeiro in advance of the 2014 World Cup finals and 2016 Olympics there.

The Labouisse Prize enables graduating seniors to engage in a project that exemplifies the life and work of Henry Richardson Labouisse, a 1926 Princeton graduate who was a diplomat, international public servant and champion for the causes of international justice and international development. The prize was established in 1984 by Labouisse’s daughter and son-in-law, Anne and Martin Peretz.

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Exciting Spring 2013 Course by James Green

James N. GreenJames N. Green is Professor of History and Brazilian Studies and a specialist on modern Brazilian history. As a young adventurer he traveled to Latin America with the plan to stay in Brazil for six months and ended up staying six years. There he participated in the opposition to the military regime and was a founder of the LGBT movement. After many other careers, he returned to academia to get a doctorate in Latin American history at UCLA. He has published two award-winning books, Beyond Carnival: Male Homosexuality in Twentieth-Century Brazil and We Cannot Remain Silent: Opposition to the Brazilian Military Dictatorship in the United States. He has served as the President of the Brazilian Studies Association and is currently working as a consultant with the Brazilian National Truth Commission that is investigating the State’s violation of human rights during the military dictatorship. He is currently working on a biography of Herbert Daniel (1946-92), a former guerrilla fighter, alongside Brazil’s current president Dilma Rousseff, political exile, and AIDS activist.

In Spring 2013 he will be teaching:
LAS 403 Latin American Studies Seminar – Politics/Culture During the Brazilian Military Dictatorship
This seminar focuses on the political, social, economic, and cultural changes that took place in Brazil during the civilian-military dictatorship that ruled the country from 1964-85. Using primary and secondary sources, as well as films and documentaries, we will examine why and how the generals took power, the role the U.S. government played before and after the coup d’etat in Brazilian affairs, the multiple political and cultural forms of opposition that emerged to challenge authoritarian rule, the process that led to democratization, and Brazil’s new role as a global player and an economic powerhouse. Prerequisites and Restrictions: This course is open to undergraduate students and graduate students who fulfill one of the following requirements: (a) the student has intermediate knowledge of Portuguese; (b) the student has taken at least one previous course in modern Latin American history or a class related to Brazil; (c) the student has spent time in Brazil; (d) the student is convincingly motivated to learn about recent Brazilian history.
Schedule: S01 1:30pm-4:20 Th.

PLAS Home Page
PLAS Spring ’13 Course List

Princeton’s João Biehl explores consequences of Brazil’s constitutional right to health

In 2010, Edgar Lemos, a retired bus driver in Porto Alegre, Brazil, sued his government for failing to provide medication to treat his neurological disorder. It was his privilege to do so: Brazil and more than 100 other nations grant the right to health, which in Brazil has given rise to numerous lawsuits against the government for access to medicines of all kinds.

Princeton University anthropology professor João Biehl has documented the emergence of right-to-health litigation in that country over the past decade. Through visits to courtrooms and clinics to meet patients and record their stories, combined with rigorous evaluation of medical and legal data, Biehl, a native of Brazil, and his research team have created a detailed picture of who sues for treatment and why in this country of about 200 million people and an economy on the rise.

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Princeton University establishes strategic partnerships to enhance international research and learning

Princeton University has established a strategic partnership with the University of São Paulo that will offer faculty and students at both institutions increased access to research and learning opportunities across disciplines and across borders.

The move comes on the heels of the signing of a similar agreement with Humboldt University in Berlin, and Princeton also is finalizing an agreement with the University of Tokyo. The University is establishing these strategic partnerships with peer institutions around the world as it continues its internationalization efforts, outlined in the 2007 “Princeton in the World” report. These strategic partnerships are in addition to the many institutional relationships that Princeton already has in place including faculty fellowships, student exchanges and study abroad programs.

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