On 26 April 2016, the UNU Library will host a book launch for Memories of Citizenship: A journey back into an ongoing play — the life and times of a besieged ‘Polis’ as told by the Uruguayan Experience (Memorias de Ciudadanía. Los Avatares de una Polis Golpeada. La Experiencia Uruguaya) by Amparo Menéndez-Carrión (Editorial Fin de Siglo, Montevideo, 2015).
A three-volume series, Memories of Citizenship offers a comprehensive reading on the relationship between forms of citizenship and culture(s) of the public across time. The recovery of the idea of the polis — as an enabling discourse for the pursuit of concrete projects of collective well-being — is the underpinning theme of this inquiry. By tracing its trajectory from ancient times to the present, this series shows that far from representing a nostalgic yearning for “things past”, the idea of the polis warrants the considerable staying power it commands.
Summoning “the Uruguayan experience” and working at the intersection of theory and experience, the author pursues a genealogy of citizenship which moves from the first decade of the twenty-first century to the nineteenth century, and then “back” to the present. This extensive reflection unpacks inter-generational travails at different moments of the polis trajectory: “configuration”, “stabilisation”, “de-stabilisation” and “defense” under unprecedented stress.
Without losing sight of the interconnections between the different moments of world order and Uruguay’s political itinerary, and through an interdisciplinary approach and extensive field research, this multi-volume work covers a myriad of public sites ranging from city streets, corners, neighbourhoods and squares, public schools, parents’ committees, mutual-aid housing cooperatives, factories and cultural cooperatives to an independent theater. In the process, a typology of citizenship is offered. The anchoring properties of the spatial configuration of the polis — namely plurality and egalitarianism — are shown at work; received-knowledge about the place of political parties, the State, the middle class in the configuration of the quality and texture of Uruguay’s public space at its heyday is challenged.
This Library Talk is open to the public. It will be in English only; Japanese interpretation will not be provided. Advanced registration is required (by 4:00 PM on 25 April 2016). Please click on the REGISTER button above to access the online registration page.
You may also register by contacting the UNU Library by email (firstname.lastname@example.org), phone (03-5467-1359) or fax (03-5467-1360).
Amparo Menéndez-Carrión is a specialist in comparative politics and political theory whose research focuses on Latin America. She studied Political Science and International Relations (University of Minnesota, BA, 1973; The Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies, MA, 1975) and received her PhD from The Johns Hopkins University (1985). Born in Uruguay and naturalized Ecuadorean, she has held positions throughout the Americas and Europe. She has published 10 books as author or co-author, and as editor/co-editor, and more than 60 chapters and articles in collective volumes and professional journals.
Dr Menéndez-Carrión was Director General of FLACSO (Facultad Latinoamericana de Ciencias Sociales, Sede Ecuador) in Equador (1987–1995), Visiting Fellow at the Instituto de Estudios Peruanos (1980–1986) in Peru, and Professor of Comparative Politics at the University of Chile’s Graduate School of International Studies (1996–2001) and at the Graduate School of Political Science (1998–2001) where she received the “Best Teacher of the Year Award” three times. Among other visiting professorships, she was Distinguished Visiting Professor at the University of Gothenburg’s Doctoral Program in Political Science, and held The Hubert H. Humphrey Distinguished Chair of International Studies at Macalester College (2000–2004). She has also served as consultant to international development agencies and foundations including UNESCO, UNDP, ILO, and the Ford Foundation. In August 2008 President Michelle Bachelet made her the recipient of ‘The Order of Bernardo O’Higgins’ with the rank of Comendador, Chile’s highest award for foreign citizens.
Currently based in Tokyo, Dr Menéndez-Carrión combines her international activities as scholar and consultant to non-profit organizations with the performing arts. In November 2014 she teamed up with Concertmaster Kazuhiro Takagi to offer an evening of chamber music at Tokyo’s Suntory Hall, the entire proceeds of which benefitted the non-profit organizations moreTrees and The Tohoku Youth Orchestra, both chaired by Ryuichi Sakamoto.
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