April 23, 2020: China Latin America Research Initiative Inaugural Meeting
On April 23, 2020, we had the first meeting of the China Latin America Research Initiative Interest Group at the University of Pittsburgh. We discussed the current and planned future research projects that Pitt faculty are working on; ways to expand on current class offerings; the current resources and support that Pitt faculty have at their disposal; and finally, the resources and support that Pitt faculty would be needed in the future.
Professors from GSPIA, Economics, Anthropology, History, Political Science, and Hispanic Languages and Literatures shared their current and planned future research projects. Dr. Martha Mantilla (Librarian for the Latin American Studies Collection) and Dr. Haihui Zhang (head of the East Asian Library Collection) have begun to collect and organize resources (such as technical support, databases, and lists of institutions and scholars that do similar work) for the faculty. Their aim is to prevent redundant research that has already been done by scholars located in other regions and to create a central space where unique datasets on China & Latin America can be accessed.
To integrate graduate students, we will orient incoming graduate students on the class offerings and resources available to them. We will also find ways to support students in making cross-discipline connections to foster innovative research.
The current resources available to us include: specialized library collections that focus on China and Latin America, support from the Asian Studies Center and the Center for Latin American Studies at Pitt, and the cooperation agreement that the University of Pittsburgh and the Renmin University of China signed.
Lastly, the Asian Studies Center and the Center for Latin American Studies at the University of Pittsburgh re-iterated their commitment to working together, finding creative ways of engaging with students and the subjects at hand, and developing the project.