Gioconda Herrera

Gioconda Herrera

Sociology; FLACSO, Ecuador

Declaração

I first attended the LASA congress in 1995 as a graduate student from Columbia University. As an Ecuadorian woman completing her graduate studies in the US, my first experience at LASA represented an encounter with a mentoring community that offered me openness for intergenerational dialogues, a wealth of scholarly informational resources, and most importantly, vibrating interdisciplinary discussions on Latin American states and societies that deeply enriched my work as a junior researcher. Twenty three years later, LASA offers these and much more, the most prominent transformation being the active participation of Latin American scholars together with Latin Americanists not only from the US but increasingly from Europe, Asia, and hopefully soon, from Africa as well. The globalization of LASA is one of the most promising achievements of the Association, and this process should be strengthened through actions from below and above, offering both more exchanges, encounters and opportunities for graduate students, and a more profound dialogue among scholars from different regions on the pressing social and political issues that Latin America and the Caribbean are currently facing. As a globalization and migration scholar, I deeply value the mobility of people and the circulation of ideas as privileged pathways for the production of critical views on social reality, where different knowledge traditions connect, converge, and are confronted with each other.

En los últimos veinte años, mi trabajo académico se ha desarrollado en Ecuador. Mi campo de estudios ha sido particularmente propicio para fomentar conexiones, redes y trabajos colaborativos tanto dentro de América Latina como en Europa y América del Norte. Valoro mucho este tipo de intercambios sin por ello dejar de mantener una mirada reflexiva y crítica frente a las jerarquías, desigualdades y diferencias frecuentemente presentes en estas experiencias colaborativas. Han existido avances importantes en LASA al respecto. Es necesario, sin embargo, incrementar los esfuerzos para ofrecer a otros investigadores, especialmente a los y las jóvenes, la oportunidad de participar en la construcción de LASA como una comunidad global. El asegurar una participación más activa, robusta y horizontal de los actuales miembros de todas las regiones que actualmente componen LASA es parte importante de mi visión.

Los diálogos y diferencias entre el “Norte” y el “Sur” en la producción de conocimientos se reproducen también en las comunidades académicas locales en toda la región. Por ello,  iniciativas de LASA como Otros Saberesaportan a la discusión de distintas epistemologías y metodologías de trabajo colaborativo con diversos  actores sociales y deben ser fortalecidas. Cuando integré el Consejo Ejecutivo de LASA (2011-2013) tuve la oportunidad de apoyar estas iniciativas que contribuyen a cruzar las fronteras sociales de la producción de conocimiento.

Finally, bridging dialogues and debates between different knowledge traditions also means tackling issues of dissemination and publication. Specifically, LASA should not shy away from debating the relative devaluation of the region’s Spanish-language academic production vis-à-vis English-language publications in the region. My role as Associate Editor at LARR has led me to believe that LASA can become an important space for discussing the relevance of alternative ways of research dissemination.

In sum, my vision is to continue to strengthen LASA as a truly global space, with attention to the convergence of different knowledge traditions, creating more opportunities for collaboration between scholars from all around the world, and engaging with the diversity of ways research on Latin America is published and circulates.
I am deeply honored to be a candidate for vice president and president-elect of LASA.