I am pleased to announce that Dr. Eric Hershberg has been appointed as the inaugural director for the campus-wide Center for Latin American and Latino Studies. We anticipate that the new Center for Latin American and Latino Studies will help position AU among the world’s leading research centers in the study of Latin America and Latino communities. Dr. Hershberg is currently Professor of Political Science and Director of Latin American Studies at Simon Fraser University in Vancouver, Canada. Previously, he taught at New York University, Southern Illinois University, Columbia University, Princeton University, and the New School University and served as a Program Director at the Social Science Research Council in New York. At AU, Dr. Hershberg will also hold a professorial appointment in the Department of Government in the School of Public Affairs.
Dr. Hershberg’s work focuses on the comparative politics of Latin America and on the politics of development. In these areas, he has published widely in leading journals and with prominent university presses. His current research projects analyze the state of democracy in South America, social sector reforms in the Andean region, and conflicts over accountability for human rights abuses under military regimes in the Southern Cone countries. Currently, he is chair of the Board of Directors of the North American Congress on Latin America and has served as the past president of the Latin American Studies Association.
The Center for Latin American and Latino Studies reports to the Office of the Provost. Under the Board of Trustees-directed priority of expanding research at AU, it is anticipated that the center and the strength of our current faculty will bring additional international recognition in this area. The center is envisioned to bring faculty together from across campus to engage in research, proposal development, and scholarly exchange. Therefore, we encourage faculty with interest in Latin American and Latino studies think about ways to engage the center and the new director.
Please join me in welcoming our new colleague, Dr. Eric Hershberg, who will come to AU on January 1, 2010. Details on a welcome reception are forthcoming.