The year 1966 witnessed two important events in Latin American and Caribbean studies: New York University launched its inter-disciplinary regional-studies center (which became NYU/CLACS), and the Latin American Studies Association (LASA) was founded. Political scientist Kalman H. Silvert (1921-1976) played a central role in both developments – as founding director of CLACS and as first president of
LASA. To begin to celebrate fifty years of Latin American and Caribbean studies at NYU, CLACS sponsors a festive observance of Kalman Silvert’s career as an international leader in promoting scholarship, education and democratic society. Four Latin Americanists who knew Dr. Silvert well, including during his years at NYU, will assess his many contributions:
is a Senior Research Scholar at the School of International and Public Affairs of Columbia University. He first met Kalman Silvert as an undergraduate student in sociology at the University of Buenos Aires in the early 1960s, and then again when he joined the sociology department at NYU immediately after receiving a Ph.D. degree from the University of Texas at Austin in 1968. His research focused initially on internal migration and urbanization in Mexico, Brazil, and Bolivia, later moving to the sociology of the new professions and of higher education. Between 1998 and 2007 Balán was a senior program officer with the Ford Foundation in New York City. His recent publications include
World Class Worldwide: Transforming Research Universities in Asia and Latin America
(Johns Hopkins University Press, 2007), and
Latin America New Knowledge Economy
(Institute for InternationalEducation, 2013).
Abraham F. Lowenthal
is Professor of International Relations Emeritus at the University of Southern California and President Emeritus of the Pacific Council on International Policy. Lowenthal was founding director of the Latin American Program of the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars and of the Inter-American Dialogue, Washington’s premier think tank on the Americas. He has published 18 books including
The Dominican Intervention; Partners in Conflict: The United States and Latin America; Global California
Democratic Transitions:Conversations with World Leaders
(co-edited with Sergio Bitar). Among his numerous published articles are 8 in
. He audited Kalman Silvert’s course at Harvard summer school in 1963, thus beginning a close relationship as mentee and then colleague, eventually working together at the Ford Foundation, the Council on Foreign Relations and the Commission on United States-Latin American Relations (the “Linowitz Commission”).
is Professor Emeritus of Politics at NYU. He received his Ph.D. from Harvard, and was Kalman Silvert’s colleague in the NYU Politics Department from 1971 until Kal’s death in 1976. During those five years, he knew Kal well as an academic organizer, department member and friend. Chris Mitchell served as director of CLACS from 1979 until 1997, and as a teacher he received NYU’s Golden Dozen award twice. His research has focused on politics in Bolivia and in the Dominican Republic, and on the diplomacy of inter-American migration. His publications include
Western Hemisphere Immigration and U.S. Foreign Policy
(editor/contributor, Penn State Press) and
Decentralization and Party Politics in the Dominican Republic
is Professor Emeritus of Political Science at William Paterson University of New Jersey. He received his Ph.D. from NYU where Kalman Silvert was his dissertation advisor and later his friend and colleague. After Silvert's death he was invited to teach several of Silvert's courses for CLACS and the Politics Department at NYU, which he did for nearly two decades. His research focus has been on Uruguayan politics, human rights in Latin America, and U.S.-Latin
American relations. His scholarship includes two volumes on Uruguay, one on Cuba and numerous book chapters and articles focusing mainly on Uruguay. In 2003, a former student at William Paterson University, Michael Perry, established a scholarship in his honor.
All four speakers contributed to the just-published book, Kalman Silvert: Engaging Latin America, Building Democracy (Lynne Rienner Publishers). Paperback copies of this joint study will be available to purchase (cash or check).
The book presentation will be preceded by the CLACS 50th Anniversary Inaugural Reception at 4:30pm.
This event is free and open to the public. ID required for entry.