Augusta University will host the 22nd Conference on the Americas Feb. 22 and 23. The annual conference is a University System of Georgia international studies meeting that promotes Latin American research and scholarship, study abroad and international programming and allows researchers to talk about challenges and opportunities facing Latin America, the Caribbean and the Hispanic, Latinx and Caribbean communities in the United States and Canada. It is hosted by the Augusta University Department of History, Anthropology and Philosophy and Department of English and Foreign Languages.
During the conference, undergraduate and graduate students will present their research along with sessions from USG faculty and invited speakers. Panels will include health, nursing, political science, anthropology, geology, philosophy and history, as well as literary and linguistic sessions from Spanish-speaking faculty.
“It is an interdisciplinary conference that will have presentations relevant to history, political science and health science,” said Dr. Heather Chiero, associate professor of history. “We will have people talking about study abroad experiences and pedagogy. It will also include a musical showcase of a four-hand duet on the piano with a Latin flair.”
On Friday afternoon the conference opens with Plenary speaker Dr. David O’Hara of Augustana College with his talk, “Swimming Home: Why Alaskan Salmon and Guatemalan Vines Matter in Georgia.” Saturday’s Keynote speaker for the conference is Dr. Sergio Quasada, senior anthropology professor at the University of Georgia. His talk, “The True Cost of Mexican and United States Immigration” examines the Mexican communities influenced by the World Bank-financed hydroelectric projects that were constructed before North American Free Trade Agreement was enacted and how it has affected the current issues at the United States’ southern border with Mexico.
Chiero, conference chair and host, has been a part in the conference since 2008 and appreciates the impact it has not only for her own research, but for her students as well. This year, one of Chiero’s Honors Program students, Jasmin Lopez, a sophomore political science major, will present her research paper about Mexican American activism in Texas during the 1960s and 1970s.
“I started with presenting my own papers, and over the years I brought undergraduate students with me when it was hosted in Atlanta and Milledgeville,” Chiero said. “I got so involved because the people are great and it’s one more way I get to promote what I do as a researcher and historian. It’s also a great funnel for my senior students when I ask them to write their research papers, as they have the chance to be accepted into this conference.”
The conference will take place in the Jaguar Student Activity Center on the Summerville Campus. Register online, or for information about the conference, visit the Americas Council or contact Heather Chiero.