Official Blog of the Latin American, Caribbean and Iberian Studies Program at the University of Wisconsin-Madison

Fall 2013 Welcome Letter from LACIS’ Director Francisco Scarano

August 22, 2013

Dear members of the LACIS community,

Another academic year is about to start and at LACIS we are quite excited. Over the summer months we have taken stock of the many valuable assets we have in our diverse and growing community. We are especially pleased to see that the number of undergraduates, graduates, faculty, and staff interested in Latin America, the Caribbean, Spain, and Portugal continues to grow; that two Tinker Visiting Professors honor us with their presence in the fall semester; and that the Brazilian Initiative continues to upgrade the quality and quantity of Brazil-related activities on campus.

As always, LACIS staff is eager to work with you to maintain the excellence of our program and the vibrancy of our affiliated community. The staff includes Alberto Vargas (Associate Director and Faculty Associate); Sarah Ripp (Outreach Coordinator and Undergraduate Advisor); Angela Buongiorno (Financial Specialist); Darcy Little (Front Desk and Student Services Coordinator); and, of course, myself.

LACIS Director Professor Francisco Scarano
LACIS Director Professor Francisco Scarano

We are gearing up for another Title VI application round. It is our hope that, as in the past, the opportunity to take a look at ourselves will help us better achieve our mission:

→ Train Latin Americanist (and Caribbeanist and Iberianist) specialists for academic, government, and private sectors;

→ Support Latin Americanist et al. students and faculty in their intellectual development so that they can become and remain superior teachers and scholars;

→ Serve as a local, regional, and national resource center that provides outreach, support services, and information to other university units, K-16, government, civic, community and business constituencies.

Because it is a “Title VI year,” we will be asking many of you for updated information about your research, teaching, and service activities. We pledge not to fill your inbox too often-only often enough. In exchange, we ask you to respond quickly to our requests for information. It is the only way we know to write a proposal that reflects our strengths and shines a bright light on what we hope to do better in the future.

Ah, the Tinker program! What a great asset! I invite you to get to know our Tinker visitors this semester and, if possible, to attend their seminars (see the fall course list on the LACIS website). They are Mauricio García Villegas and Francisco Pilotti. Here’s a short biosketch of each:

Mauricio García Villegas – Doctor in Political Science of the Université Catholique de Lovain-la-Neuve in Belgium with post-doctoral studies in the University of Wisconsin-Madison (USA); lawyer specialized in the teaching and study of Legal Theory, Sociology of Law and Constitutional Law in Colombian and international universities. Fellow of the Institute for Legal Studies (University of Wisconsin- Madison), and also of the CERDHAP (Center for Study of Law, History, and Public Administration of the Université de Grenoble- France). From his experience as a visiting professor in both France and the UnitedStates, professor Garcia-Villegas has been working on comparative sociology of law over the last years. He is also doing research on the culture of disobedience of norms in Latin America form an historical, and also a sociological perspective. Currently, he works as a professor at the Universidad Nacional de Colombia, as a researcher at the Centro de Estudios de Derecho Justicia y Sociedad (DEJUSTICIA), and as a columnist in the Colombian journal El Espectador. Some of his books are:La eficacia simbólica del derecho (1994); Sociología jurídica (2001); Jueces sin Estado (2008); Normas de papel (2009); Mayorías sin democracia (2009), and Sociología y crítica del derecho (2010). He is currently preparing the final version of a book on comparative sociology of law that will be published in France under the title of Les pouvoir du droit, in the book collection of Droit et Société (Paris, 2013).
Mauricio García Villegas
Mauricio García Villegas

Francisco Pilotti – Licenciado en Sociología, Universidad de Chile; estudios de post – grado en sociología y demografía, Universidad de Fordham, New York, USA. Ha sido profesor e investigador en la Universidad de Chile, City University of New York, Universidad Diego Portales y Clemson University, así como Consultor de la CEPAL y UNICEF. Entre 1987 y 2012 fue funcionario de la Organización de los Estados Americanos, donde desempeñó diversos cargos directivos, incluidos los de Director del Departamento de Desarrollo Social y Secretario Ejecutivo Adjunto para el Desarrollo Integral. Es autor y coautor de numerosos libros y artículos sobre políticas sociales, infancia y juventud, tales como A arte de governar crianças (con Irene Rizzini, Editora Cortes) y Globalización y convención sobre los derechos del niño (CEPAL). Recientemente coordinó un estudio conjunto OEA-CEPAL-OIT sobre graduación de programas de transferencias condicionadas: Protección social y generación de empleo (CEPAL, 2011). Desde 1997 se ha especializado en la implementación de redes para la cooperación Sur-Sur en materia de polìticas sociales, siendo responsable de la gestión conceptual, política y estratégica de la Red Social de Fondos de Inversión Social (REDLAC), Red Puente en el Caribe y Red Interamericana de Protección Social (RIPSO).

Francisco Pilotti
Francisco Pilotti

Please get to know them personally and come to their public lectures (Pilotti, Tuesday, October 22; García Villegas, Tuesday, October 29). To both we say, ¡bienvenidos!



Francisco A. Scarano

Professor of History and Director