Early on March 28, 2017, the UTM and entire University of Toronto community lost our dear colleague and friend, Professor Ana Maria Bejarano, to cancer. A deeply devoted teacher in the Department of Political Science, Ana Maria touched thousands of students through her courses on comparative politics and Latin America and even broader audiences through her research scholarship on democratization and constitutionalism in the Andes region. Hailing originally from Bogotá, Colombia, she remained deeply committed to collaborating with her research colleagues in the Andean region.
After obtaining her BA in Political Science at the University of Los Andes, Ana Maria completed her MA, MPhil and PhD, at Columbia University. She then returned to her alma mater, teaching in Bogotá for a decade before taking visiting fellowships at the University of Notre Dame (2000-1) and Princeton University (2001-3). She joined the Political Science faculty at UTM in 2003, authoring publications such as Precarious Democracies: Understanding Regime Stability and Change in Colombia and Venezuela (University of Notre Dame Press, 2011). She also co-edited (with S. Mainwaring and E. Pizarro), The Crisis of Democratic Representation in the Andes (Stanford University Press, 2006). She was an active participant in projects designed to analyze and monitor the quality of democracy in the Andes. Read More
Cubans have an international reputation for their spirited high-quality art, which is manifested in mediums such as paintings, sculptures, cinema, music, as well as the design of structures. This exhibition focuses on selected “thin shell” structures designed and built in the mid-20th century in Havana. Thin shell structures are long-span roof coverings, which in this case are built out of reinforced concrete and/or terracotta tiles. As a whole, these structures illustrate the creative artistic talent of Cuban architects and engineers.
Historical examples throughout the world illustrate that constraints enable creativity – some of the most creative structural designs are born of tight economic and/or physical constraints. It is therefore not surprising to see elegantly creative Cuban designs that were conceived of and built with limited resources. “Creativity in Cuban Thin Shell Structures” tells the story of select engineers and architects who shaped Havana’s architecture of thin shell structures and in some cases defined an authentic style that is creatively Cuban. Read more
What remains for Rio after the Olympics?
When cities host huge global events, they become the site of big dreams — and big disagreements. Last year’s summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro drew much criticism for large-scale development that displaced residents and exacerbated socioeconomic divides. It also spurred intense debate about what kind of city Rio should be. Those themes are explored in Occupy All Streets: Olympic Urbanism and Contested Futures (Terreform), co-edited by Rio native Bruno Carvalho, a professor in the Spanish and Portuguese department and co-director of the Princeton-Mellon Initiative in Architecture, Urbanism, and the Humanities. Carvalho spoke to PAW about last year’s Olympics and Rio’s past, present, and future.
In the book, you describe moments in history when different conceptions of Rio took hold. What were they?
We can think in terms of epithets: In the 1930s a Carnival song popularized Rio as the “Marvelous City,” and it became the city anthem in the 1960s. But the epithet had come about in the context of early 20th-century urban reforms that tried to reinvent Brazil in a more modern, elitist, Paris-inspired mold, and it excluded the majority of the city that didn’t conform to this image.
Another epithet, which became very dominant in the 1990s, is this idea of the “Divided City,” characterized by urban violence, political crisis, and a persistent socioeconomic abyss — symbolized by the favelas versus the upscale waterfront residential buildings. A more recent epithet, which City Hall tried to push in the last few years, is Rio as “Olympic City.” Read more