Crisis in Venezuela: Historical Perspectives and Potential Solutions
An event organized by NU’s Latin American and Caribbean Studies Center & UIC’s Institute for the Humanities
The death of President Hugo Chávez in 2013 and the fall of international oil prices produced a major political and socioeconomic crisis in Venezuela. The ensuing conflict between the government of President Nicolás Maduro, Chávez’s successor, independent Chavista sectors, opposition movements, and U.S.-backed conservative elites over issues concerning democratic rule and national sovereignty is still unfolding. The deepening of the Venezuelan conflict has potentially dire implications for the entire hemisphere. This event on current affairs in Venezuela—sponsored by the University of Illinois at Chicago’s Institute for the Humanities, and Northwestern University’s Latin American and Caribbean Studies Center—brings together a panel of prominent scholars of the South American nation to discuss the historical causes of the crisis, the current situation, and the potential outcomes. The one-day conference will address the crucial question: Is a political solution to the Venezuelan crisis possible?
The event is open to the public and the media, and will run as a conversatorio: panelists
present and the moderator takes the lead in establishing a dialogue with them and the public
Alejandro Velasco, Associate Professor of History, Gallatin School, New York University. He works on urban history and popular participation and mobilization in Venezuela. He is the Executive Editor of NACLA: Report of the Americas, a reputed publication on
Latin America that is celebrating its 50th anniversary this month. His book Barrio Rising. Urban Popular Politics and the Making of Modern Venezuela (University of California Press, 2015) won the LASA’s Fernando Coronil Book Award. He will offer a historical
analysis of Chavismo, the Bolivarian movement, and the crisis, which is what he has been doing for the English-speaking and Spanish-speaking press in the last years.
Verónica Zubillaga, Associate Professor, Department of Behavioral Sciences and Technologies, Universidad Simón Bolívar, Caracas.
She is a renowned sociologist and anthropologist who specializes on gender, urban violence, and drug trafficking in Venezuela. She has been a visitor professor at Brown University and at David Rockefeller Center for Latin American Studies, Harvard University. In recent years, she has combined academia with public impact, making her an important presence in mass and social media in her country. Her books in Spanish have contribute to define the field of social violence in Latin America. Her contribution to the event is her lucid analysis on the inner dynamics of escalation of the conflict.
David Smilde, Professor, Department of Sociology, Tulane University.
He is a sociologists and international relations scholar with decade-long work on social mobilization, human rights, and culture in Venezuela. He is a Senior Fellow at WOLA, Washington Office for Latin America, a leading research and advocacy organization on human rights. He is also the co-editor of Venezuela’s Bolivarian Democracy (Duke University Press, 2011), and has been publishing on Venezuela for the major newspapers
in the United States since the crisis began. His contribution to the event is an analysis of the crisis in a hemispheric perspective that considers the United States and neighboring countries, as well as their role in a political and regional solution.
302 SCE Student Center East
General public/Campus community/Faculty/Students/Alumni
Lectures, Seminars and Meetings/Conferences and Workshops
UIC Institute for the Humanities, Northwestern University, University of Chicago