LASA Conference -- Come to Washington!

September 25, 2007

On April 16-19, 1970, the Latin American Studies Association (LASA) is holding its biennial Conven-
tion, at the Hilton Hotel in Washington, D.C. As usual, the LASA Establishment and "professional"
Latin-Americanists will be there (most of them travelling on fat university or foundation grants and
staying at the Hilton for $18 a day). They look forward to a genial, back-slapping weekend. They
are securely in control of their elitist, undemocratic Association (in which, for example, only "full
members" -- i.e., NO students -- may vote for officers, and even full members must choose from among
candidates pre-selected by the LASA Nominations Committee; in which, according to the Executive Coun-
cil decision of November 14-15, "only bona fide members, i.e., voting members in good standing, will
be admitted to the business meeting" at the Convention).
They come to Washington to exchange gossip and ideas -- ideas, that is, about more effective co-
optation or repression of revolutionary movements in Latin America, about keeping the research grants
flowing from the government and the big foundations, about the latest miniscule modifications in "mod-
ernization" theories. And finally they come to look over the latest crop of graduate students, to
recruit the more docile and malleable to transmit to future generations of students the received wis-
dom of Latin American studies.
BUT something will be different this year. No longer will we sit at home, leaving the field to
the "professionals." This year radical students and young faculty -- as many of us as possible -- are
going to converge on the Convention. We will demand the total democratization of LASA. We will chal-
lenge LASA in its own panels and business meetings. We will hold our own Clearinghouse for Radical
Research, where radical Latin-Americanists will have an opportunity to exchange new ideas. Most im-
portant, we will organize our own permanent anti-imperialist organization or caucus. And this is only
the beginning.
In order to present an effective challenge, however, we must be a large "presence" at the Conven-
tion. And in order to function in a representative manner ourselves, we need everyone's suggestions
and active participation.
THEREFORE, we call upon radical "Latin-Americanists," both inside and outside of the universities,
-- PLAN TO COME ON THURSDAY, APRIL 16: beginning at around dinner time (or earlier) Thursday, we
will meet (place to be announced) to make final plans for the Convention;
-- PLAN TO STAY THROUGH SUNDAY, APRIL 19 for an all-day meeting to set up a permanent anti-imperi-
alist organization;
-- EFFORTS WILL BE MADE to arrange housing (but do bring your own sleeping bags and try to arrange
housing yourselves if possible);
-- Meanwhile, spread the word. To transmit your ideas, and to obtain further information,
N.Y. NACLA Radical Caucus of Latin Americanists
P.O. Box 57, Cathedral Sta. c/o Edelstein, 3420 Kentucky Street
New York, N.Y. 10025 Riverside, California 92507
- Radical Caucus of Latin Americanists

Tags: Imperialism, military research, Vietnam

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