Join us for the presentation of the new book Fields of Revolution: Agrarian Reform and Rural State Formation in Bolivia, 1935-1964, with the author Carmen Soliz (University of North Carolina at Charlotte) who will be in conversation with historian Brooke Larson (SUNY Stony Brook). Moderated by Pamela Calla (NYU CLACS).
Presented by The Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies and the Department of History at NYU.
About the Book:
Fields of Revolution examines the second largest case of peasant land redistribution in Latin America and agrarian reform—arguably the most important policy to arise out of Bolivia’s 1952 revolution. Competing understandings of agrarian reform shaped ideas of property, productivity, welfare, and justice. Peasants embraced the nationalist slogan of “land for those who work it” and rehabilitated national union structures. Indigenous communities proclaimed instead “land to its original owners” and sought to link the ruling party discourse on nationalism with their own long-standing demands for restitution. Landowners, for their part, embraced the principle of “land for those who improve it” to protect at least portions of their former properties from expropriation. Carmen Soliz combines analysis of governmental policies and national discourse with everyday local actors’ struggles and interactions with the state to draw out the deep connections between land and people as a material reality and as the object of political contention in the period surrounding the revolution.
About the Speakers:
Carmen Soliz is an associate professor of Latin American History at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. She is the author of Fields of Revolution: Agrarian Reform and Rural State Formation in Bolivia, 1935-1964. Her book examines Bolivian agrarian reform and sees the role that Indians and peasants played in consolidating one of the most radical and redistributive reforms in Latin America. More broadly, her works focus on peasant politics, agrarian reform, rural state formation, nation building, and social movements in Latin America.
Brooke Larson is emeritus professor of Latin American History at the State University of New York-Stony Brook. She is the author of Cochabamba, 1550-1900: Colonialism and Agrarian Transformation in Bolivia (expanded edition, 1998) and Trials of Nation-Making: Liberalism, Race, and Ethnicity in the Andes, 1810-1910 (2004). She is currently completing a study of the struggles over education in twentieth-century Bolivia.