[April 30th marks the 75th anniversary of the formal founding of the Organization of American States (OAS). So this week I’ve offered some AmericanStudies contexts for that important community and a handful of other hemispheric histories, leading up to this weekend post highlighting some of the many awesome scholars doing hemispheric studies!]
1) Elena Lahr-Vivaz: Full disclosure, the first two scholars I’m highlighting here are good friends of mine—but that doesn’t change in any way the strength and importance of their work, nor its relevance to this week’s subjects. Lahr-Vivaz, a fellow Charlottesville, Virignia product, is doing some of the most thoughtful Latin American Studying I’ve encountered, and I’d highlight in particular her excellent recent book Writing Islands: Space and Identity in the Transnational Cuban Archipelago (2022).
2) Diego Ubiera: Elena I only get to see occasionally; but Diego, who is my Fitchburg State University English Studies colleague as well as a good friend, I’m fortunate enough to see and work closely with (I consider chairing the job search that brought Diego to FSU one of my career highlights!). His co-authored 2022 Latin American Research Review article, “Caribbean Exceptions: The Problem of Race and Nation in Dominican Studies,” reveals a scholar who is both deeply connected to Dominican Studies yet investigating questions that cut across the hemisphere’s histories and current events alike.
3) Greg Grandin: These last few folks I don’t know personally, but I sure know their exceptional work on such hemispheric histories and topics. Grandin’s book Empire’s Workshop: Latin America, the United States, and the Rise of the New Imperialism (2006, but that’s a link to the 2021 updated and expanded edition) remains a gold standard for thinking about the U.S. and empire, which of course is far from the only way to approach hemispheric studies but is certainly one of particular interest to this AmericanStudies blog.
4) Britta Crandall and Russell Crandall: Two-for-one here in the #4 slot, as this paired of married Latin American Studies professors and scholars co-authored one of the best post-Grandin books on the U.S. and Latin America, “Our Hemisphere”?: The United States in Latin America, from 1776 to the 21st Century (2021). While I’m slightly worried about replicating that “our hemisphere” notion by including a couple U.S.-centric books in this list, that is of course the focus of this blog—and I greatly welcome suggestions for non-U.S.-centric works, along with my own more genuinely hemispheric entry…
5) Felipe Fernández-Armesto: … The Americas: A Hemispheric History (2006), Felipe Fernández-Armesto’s magisterial and to my mind entirely successful attempt to bring Glissant’s concept of creolization to bear on the history of the Western Hemisphere. Not sure I need to say much more than that, other than, y’know, read the book!
Next series starts Monday,
PS. What do you think? Histories, contexts, and/or scholars you’d highlight?