Argentinean scholars Join Fisher Center – Hobart and William Smith Colleges \
The HWS Update

Argentinean scholars Join Fisher Center

To the 2009-2010 Fisher Center lecture series, Hobart and William Smith Colleges will welcome Argentinean scholars Graciela Monteagudo, a human rights activist and community artist, and Marcelo Vieta, a social and communications researcher and technology theorist, on Wednesday, Sept. 23.

In keeping with this year’s Fisher Center theme of “Engendering Crisis,” Monteagudo and Vieta will deliver a talk titled “Neoliberal Crisis: Gender and Self-Management in Argentina” at 7:30 p.m. in the Geneva Room of the Warren Hunting Smith Library. They will use their fields of expertise to discuss how people responded to Argentina’s economic crisis in 2001, which left half of its population below the poverty line.

Monteagudo is a community artist, scholar, and intellectual, born and raised in Argentina. She holds an MFA in interdisciplinary arts from Goddard College and has a background in philosophy from her graduate and undergraduate studies at the Universidad de Buenos Aires, Facultad de Filosofía y Letras. She is presently a doctoral candidate at the University of Massachusetts and holds a graduate studies certificate in women’s studies. She has published several articles on her research for which she has received prizes and awards. She is presently the Cesar Chavez Fellow at Dartmouth College.

Monteagudo’s research is focused on social movements in Latin America, from a gender and class perspective. She has been collecting empirical and theoretical data on Argentina social movements since 1980’s while still in Argentina. Since 2002, Monteagudo has coordinated the Argentina Autonomista Project (AAP), an exchange program designed to enhance communication between scholars, students and activist from the United States, Canada and Europe with social movements in Argentina. The AAP hosts delegations and organizes residencies for undergraduate and graduate students in recovered factories, as well as presentations with Argentinean workers in the United States, Mexico and Canada. Some of her work has included coordinating puppet and street theater actions at protests in Buenos Aires, Vieques in Puerto Rico, the UK, and throughout the US. As a member of Bread and Puppet Theater Since 1994, Monteagudo has performed and coordinated units in parades and marches throughout the U.S. and Latin America.

Vieta teaches in the division of social science and is a Ph.D candidate in the graduate programme in social and political thought, both at York University (Toronto, Canada). He is currently completing his fieldwork with various worker-recuperated enterprises in Argentina and is also a researcher with the University of Toronto’s Social Economy Centre on a project titled “The Social Economy and Economies of Solidarity: Emerging Initiatives from Latin America.” Vieta’s academic interests include theories and histories of workers’ control and self-management, alternative economic arrangements, cooperativism, Argentine political economy and history, media theory, critical theory of technology, social interactional aspects of Internet sociability, and existential phenomenology.

In recent years, Vieta has published book chapters and journal and magazine articles in both Spanish and English on the following themes: Argentine and Latin American worker-recuperated enterprises, workers’ co-operatives and workers’ control, Argentine political economy, prefigurative politics, the philosophy and sociology of Internet-mediated communication, phenomenological methods for researching technologically-mediated practices, the phenomenology of multiplayer video games, the media theory of Marshall McLuhan, e-mail surveillance, the corporatization of the university, and critical perspectives on online education. In the past two years, Vieta has helped co-organize, together with the extension program of the Faculty of Philosophy and Letters at the University of Buenos Aires and several other research and activist organizations from the Americas, two conferences in Buenos Aires, Argentina on the theme of the possibilities and realities of the workers’ economy attended by progressive academics, workers, and workers organizations from five continents. He is also currently guest-editing on the theme of the next issue of Affinities Journal on the “new cooperativism” and has recently taught a graduate seminar on the “genealogy of autogestión (self-management)” at the Centre for Advanced Studies at the National University of Córdoba in Argentina. Vieta is also a co-founder and current member of the autonomous educational project Toronto School of Creativity and Inquiry (TSCI), which organizes critical education events, exhibits, and reading groups exploring concrete, conceptual, and artistic ways out of the enclosures of contemporary life.

The Fisher Center was endowed with a $1 million gift from Emily and the late Richard Fisher, whose son Alexander graduated from Hobart College in 1993. Creation of the Fisher Center for the Study of Women and Men reflects a perfect intersection of the Colleges’ coordinate history and trends in the study of gender throughout academe.

For more information about this year’s Fisher Center lineup, check out the news release here.