Graciela Di Marco
I started to attend LASA Congresses since 1994. I served in the committee of the Women´s Task Force (1994-1995), as co-chair of the Gender and Feminist Studies Section (2001-2003) and as committee member (1997-2001/2003-2008). I was member of the selection committee and co-organizer of the Elsa Chaney's Award 2003 (2007/2009/2010. In 2018 I served as one of the co-chairs of the track Civil Society and Social Movements.
Participating in LASA has been an invaluable source of knowledge, networking and the building of long-standing and deep relationships, both in my academic and in my personal life. In these twenty four years, engaging in LASA activities was a priority for me. I witnessed the continuous increase of the number of members and the enthusiasm of the young academics to present their research, and I always sensed that there was a feeling of belonging to a “LASA community” that I would like to emphasize. The variety of themes, approaches, people from diverse national and ethnic origins, make LASA a fruitful and exciting academic environment. Maintaining and increasing the participation of researchers is crucial. It could be desirable to explore more dispositives to enhance the outreach of LASA related activities and look for more funding opportunities for early career scientist to attend the conferences.
The political map of the Americas (and other countries in the world) has drastically changed in the last years, challenged by the present phase of capitalism and of all kind of injustices, the ways of understanding what democracies, populisms, feminisms and gender and sexualites are, in the context of the growing consciousness about women’s and LGBTQ’s rigths, and the simultaneous increased spreading of antigender and conservative movements.
Genders and Feminisms, Sexualities and LGBTQ Studies, Otros saberes and Alternative Methods, among others, that are the main subjects of specific sections, intersect in the panels and in the preconferences as we already observed in the later years. This way of research cross-cutting issues is extremely important and tells us about discourses and practices of a part of Latin-American social sciences, which resist to be confined inside certain limits. Furthermore, this puts upfront this Latin-American saberes that are here to be shared, improved, and to allow comparisons among different regions of the world, considering of course the different issues in specific contexts.
In the third millennium we need to consider responses in an intersectional, transnational and global approach. In the Congress 2016 statement, transnational processes and actors were included together with other priorities, and in the Congress 2018, the theme evolved to be Latin American Studies in a Globalized World. This is a precise idea on how LASA is facing new challenges. I would very much like to continue contributing moving forward towards this path, if I am honored with being chosen to be part of the Executive Council.