Latin American and Related Sessions at the American Historical Association Meeting, December 28-30, 1980, Washington, D.C.

Initialed meeting and session reports were written by Thomas M. Davies (San Diego State University); Jaime E. Rodríguez (University of California, Irvine); Kenneth J. Grieb (University of Wisconsin, Oshkosh); Frederick M. Nunn (Portland State University); Stephanie Blank (Indiana University Southeast); Susan M, Socolow (Emory University); Peter J. Bakewell (University of New Mexico); Thomas Bender (New York University)-Jacques A. Barbier (University of Ottawa); John J. Johnson (University of New Mexico)-Nicolás Sánchez-Albornoz (New York University); A. J, R. Russell-Wood (The Johns Hopkins University); and Frank D. McCann (University of New Hampshire).

The Conference on Latin American History held its fifty-third annual business meeting at a breakfast on December 29, 1980, in Washington, D.C. Outgoing Chairperson Dauril Alden (University of Washington) presided.

Following the introduction of Conference officers and honored guests, Alden announced the results of the latest CLAH election. Professor Herbert S. Klein (Columbia University) will serve as 1981 vice-chairperson and Professors Joseph L. Love (University of Illinois) and Anna Macías (Ohio Wesleyan University) were elected to two-year terms on the General Committee.

The 1980 Conference prize winners were then announced. The Herbert Eugene Bolton Memorial Prize for the best book in English published in the field of Latin American history during 1979 was awarded to Jonathan C. Brown (Santa Barbara, California), for A Socio-economic History of Argentina, 1776-1860, published by Cambridge University Press. Honorable Mentions went to David A. Brading (Cambridge University) for Haciendas and Ranchos in the Mexican Bajío: Leon, 1700-1860 (also published by Cambridge University Press) and to William B. Taylor (University of Colorado) for Drinking, Homicide, and Rebellion in Colonial Mexican Villages, published by Stanford University Press.

The Conference on Latin American History Distinguished Service Award for significant contributions to the advancement of the study of Latin American history in the United States was presented to Woodrow Borah (University of California, Berkeley).

The Conference on Latin American History Prize for the best article published in a journal other than the Hispanic American Historical Review was awarded to Linda Lewin (Princeton University) for “Some Historical Implications of Kinship Organization for Family-based Politics in the Brazilian Northeast,” Comparative Studies in Society and History 21 (Apr. 1979). Honorable Mention went to John H. Coatsworth (University of Chicago) for “Indispensable Railroads in a Backward Economy: The Case of Mexico,” Journal of Economic History, 39 (Dec. 1979).

The James Alexander Robertson Memorial Prize for the best article published in the HAHR was won by Thomas F. O’Brien (University of Houston) for “The Antofagasta Company: A Case Study of Peripheral Capitalism,” HAHR, 60 (Feb. 1980). Honorable Mentions went to Ann Twinam (University of Cincinnati) for “Enterprise and Elites in Eighteenth-Century Medellín,” HAHR, 59 (Aug. 1979) and to Frans J. Schryer (University of Guelph) for “A Ranchero Economy in Northwestern Hidalgo, 1880-1920,” HAHR, 59 (Aug. 1979).

Following the announcement of CLAH prize winners, the chair introduced the guest speaker, Dr. William E. Carter (Chief, Hispanic Division, Library of Congress), who gave a highly informative talk entitled “The Hispanic Division of the Library of Congress and the Academic Community: Perspectives for the Future.” Dr. Carter briefly outlined the historical development of the Hispanic Division as well as plans for new projects. He called for increased cooperation with and input from the scholarly community as the Division seeks to broaden its role.

Dr. Leslie Bethell of University College, London, reported on the status of the Cambridge History of Latin America series, noting that several volumes are now completed, and that great progress has been made on the others.

The meeting ended as Chairman Alden passed the gavel to 1981 Chairman John TePaske (Duke University).



A panel in comparative history chaired by Thomas Bender (New York University) examined the role of family strategies in relation to economic development and class formation in the nineteenth century. Each of the three papers considered an American city, two in Latin America and one in North America. The material presented by Robert Oppenheimer (University of Kansas) on Santiago, Chile, that by Peter Dobkin Hall (Wesleyan University) on Boston, U.S.A., and that by Diana Balmori (State University of New York, Oswego) on Buenos Aires, Argentina, revealed substantial similarities in family strategies over three generations in the three distinct societies under consideration. There was strong evidence in each paper for the significance of testamentary practices, marriage patterns, and marriage choices in consolidating capital and maintaining family position. The emergence of new family and economic strategies in the third generation, when corporate economic activities change the relationship of the family to management and ownership, were also clear in each setting, as was the consolidation through formal social and cultural institutions of what Pierre Bourdieu calls “social capital.” Sociologist Rose Laub Coser (State University of New York, Stony Brook) in the role of commentator noted that these studies revealed that contrary to a too frequent assumption, classical anthropological theory of marriage and kinship is highly relevant to the analysis of modern societies and that the family is central to the development of capitalism and the class system. The audience of thirty or thirty-five persons responded quite favorably to the papers and the observations of the commentator. In general discussion, members of the audience offered additional examples suggesting that while the modernization of economies is apparently inextricably tied up with elite family strategies for reinforcing and enlarging advantages and privileges, there appear to be several possible variations that must be embraced by any adequate theory of economic “modernization.”


Ann H. Johnson’s (California State) paper on “Migration and the Making of a Dependent Economy in Chile, 1850-1920” presented an overview of internal migrations in Chile from the Conquest to the present, focusing on the period between 1850 and 1920. The estimated intercensal provincial and departmental rates of migration seem to indicate a high geographic mobility during the whole period. Professor Johnson related this primarily with the development there of a commercial agriculture. Rural people were uprooted while few opportunities were then open for a permanent settlement in minefields, frontier lands, or urban centers. This imbalance gave rise to a large underemployed floating population. While earlier views assumed that cities and industrial work pulled peasants out of the rural areas during the period of modernization in Latin America, from the Chilean evidence Professor Johnson posits the opposite.

The paper by James A. Sandos (University of California, San Diego) and Harry E. Cross (Battelle Memorial Institute) on “National Development and International Labor Migration: Mexico, 1945-1965” discussed the internal effects of the United States–Mexico bracero program. By allowing the Mexican government to concentrate more than half of the bracero allotments to the depressed agricultural areas of the North and the West (the sending region), a release for potential political and social unrest was found. Under these circumstances, the impoverished areas of rural Mexico could subsist and the government was able to mobilize its resources in developing a high productive agriculture and industry. Professors Sandos and Cross concluded that international migration provided Mexico with a security valve and an important amount of foreign income and also allowed the allocation of its limited funds to a faster modernization of the nation.

The challenging conclusions of both papers stirred a long and enlivened general debate. The session was chaired by N. Sánchez-Albornoz (New York University).


A session entitled “Colonial Elites and the Crisis of the Seventeenth Century in Spanish America” was held on the morning of December 28, 1980, at the Shoreham Hotel. The designated chairperson, Professor Charles Gibson (University of Michigan), was unable to attend, so the session was chaired by the commentator, Peter Bakewell (University of New Mexico). Rather over sixty people attended.

Three papers were read. The first was “Bureaucratic Responses to the Fiscal Crisis of Seventeenth Century Peru,” by Professor Kenneth J. Andrien (Ohio State University). The mam themes of this paper were the impoverishment of seventeenth-century Spain, the diversification of the Peruvian economy in that same period, Spanish attempts to extract more tax income from Peru, the ultimate failure of these efforts (in considerable part the result of penetration of the treasury by colonials to whom the Crown had sold offices in its efforts to raise cash), and the consequent severe decline in royal income from Peru after 1660.

Professor Luisa S. Hoberman (University of Texas, Austin) presented the second paper, Elites and the Commercial Crisis in Seventeenth-Century New Spain.” The paper first set out to define three important sections of the seventeenth-century Mexican elite: the merchants dominating the Philippine trade, financiers (especially those who extended credit to the colonial administration), and various leading political groups of Mexico City. Professor Hoberman gave considerable attention to the wealth of the members of these sections of the elite, and to the length of time during which they were active. A distinct fall in numbers among the merchants and financiers, with a consequent concentration of wealth, took place over the first half of the century. Professor Hoberman concluded from her examination of merchants, financiers, and political figures that their behavior suggested “neither depression nor dynamism but a firmly entrenched status quo” in the Mexican economy of the period from 1600 to 1660. The paper ended with brief accounts of the diverse economic activities of two important merchants—examples of an entrepreneurship of which, as Professor Hoberman rightly observed, much more must be known before any worthwhile judgment can be given on the questions of autonomy or diversification in the seventeenth-century Mexican economy.

Professor Miles Wortman (State University of New York, Geneseo) gave the third paper, “Elites and Hapsburg Administration: Adaptations to Economic Fluctuations in Seventeenth-Century Central America.” This was necessarily a more general paper than the first two, dealing as it did with a region of great economic and geographic variations. Professor Wortman raised many interesting points that there was insufficient time to examine in detail. The general picture presented of the seventeenth-century economy was one of considerable buoyancy, with a growing native population, a notable indigo industry (exporting to Mexico and the West Coast of South America), and a prosperous Church playing a central role in finance—all in all, a far more autonomous and prosperous Central America than previous accounts have portrayed.

Professor Bakewell’s commentary sought above all to identify themes common to the three papers—a task far more easily accomplished than is usual in such a session, since the papers complemented one another to a notable degree. The lack of stress on demography was remarkable, considering that discussion of seventeenth-century economic development so often takes population movement as its point of departure. Diversification, on the other hand, was strongly emphasized, especially by Professors Andrien and Wortman—both of whom also pointed to the existence of a strong West Coast trade in the seventeenth century, despite legal obstacles. All three papers brought out more or less directly the question of investment by elites, without focusing exclusively on that subject. Professor Bakewell ended by saying that any study of the role of elites in the economy of seventeenth-century Spanish America might well begin with an intensive examination of the processes of capital formation, both fixed and liquid, in the colonies.


This session on “Bureaucracy in the Spanish Colonial World” was designed to examine administrative life from the progressively more particular vantage points of peninsular patronage practices, social context of an administrative bureau, and individual careers. In the first paper, entitled “Bureaucratic Patronage: The High Courts and Spain and the Indies,” Mark A. Burkholder (University of Missouri, St. Louis) discussed procedures of patronage for audiencia positions, the composition of the cámaras of Castile and the Indies, and the alteration that took place in the colegiales and manteista appointments, all for the 1751-1800 period. His principal conclusions concerned the growing importance of the Spanish ministries in patronage procedures and the use of decree appointments to break up colegial domination of the high courts. In the second presentation, “The Bureaucrats of Buenos Aires: Family and Promotion,” Susan M. Socolow (Emory University) discussed patterns in the Tribunal de Cuentas from 1767 to 1810. Her principal concerns were salary, age, marital status, and time in rank of the various officials. Lastly, in a paper entitled “Bureaucratic Reality: Francisco de Paula Sanz in the Río de la Plata,” Chris Williams of the Central Intelligence Agency discussed that official’s relations with the Asunción cabildo as director of the royal tobacco monopoly and the travails of riding about the Platine countryside.


The three papers on political dimensions of kinship in Latin American history ranged widely in space, time, and the use of data bases, but shared a common focus on kinship in general, and on the family in particular, as a fundamental unit in society orientating interpersonal relations and allocating resources. Mark Wasserman (Rutgers University) chose elite families of Chihuahua state from 1900 to 1940 to test hypotheses concerning continuity between the pre- and postrevolutionary periods in Mexico. Evidence showed that power-during the Porfiriato, despite lost political power during the revolutionary years, nevertheless retained considerable economic clout. At the local level, Porfirian families and caciques preserved intact political and economic dominance and were largely unaffected by the revolution. Survivals of the old Porfirian elites were the result of a combination of factors, namely economic strength, family ties, and even geographical isolation. The revolution spawned new elites, but in many instances these were revealed to have close family ties to the Porfirian elites. The Terrazas-Creel family and financial empire was the most telling example of the resilience of the old order. Power (in this case the cabildo of Caracas) and kindred (twenty-two couples in the 1580s who were the progenitors of the elite kinship network in Caracas) occupied Stephanie Blank (Indiana University Southeast) whose quantitative findings confirmed preservation of power in the elite throughout the period 1595-1663, but revealed that whereas for the years 1595-1629 such power was vested in a core collection of kindred, for the later period power was more distributed throughout the elite class. Parochial records housed in the cathedral of Caracas posed severe problems of methodology, e.g., irregularity in spelling of names, and instability in use of multiple names for self-identification. But the author concluded that, probably in response to shifts in the economy, the structure of the Caracas elite underwent modification. Three families dominated the cabildo in the earlier period and these families confined their sons to members of the family in the choice of female marriage partners; in the later period no such restraints were imposed. In short, as the elite became more integrated, so too did power become more widely and evenly distributed within it. An interdisciplinary perspective on baptismal godparents in the slavocratic regime of colonial Bahia was adopted by Stephen Gudeman and Stuart B. Schwartz (University of Minnesota). The authors applied to four Recôncavo parishes the fruits of recent analytic accounts by anthropologists of godparenthood. Taking 264 baptisms as a data base, the authors found no evidence to uphold the traditional view that godparenthood reinforced or bound together the master-slave relationship. Choice of persons other than masters was a direct outcome of conflict between two different idioms and institutions: Church and slavery. The authors discussed factors leading to selection of godparents, concluding that the condition of slavery itself was critical. Slaves were god-parents for slaves, but not for the freeborn, whereas the freeborn were godparents for slaves and freeborn alike. An interesting fact was that the presence of a male sponsor was held more important than that of a female. The authors concluded that slavery and god-parenthood (the Church) were discourses of reality by which people lived. As commentator, David Robinson (Syracuse University) posed five general questions. First, how extensive is our knowledge of the variations of kinship networks, at what level of intensity do they function, and for how long? Second, what are the ranges of such networks? Do they afford financial opportunities, and is marriage used as a deliberate strategy in which wives were perceived to be “social capital”? Third, how significant are the parts of the system, who are the true brokers in the family context, and is the family a mechanism for recycling of personnel and of profits? Fourth, can there be established areas that are not affected by kinship? Fifth, what is the structure of relationships within the system (e.g., reciprocal, symmetrical/asymmetrical)? There was an ensuing lively discussion from the standing-room-only audience. It became evident that the study of kinship raises a host of investigatory and methodological problems, some of which defy quantification, and that the present state of the art has but touched the tip of the iceberg.


John J. Johnson (University of New Mexico), chaired the session “The Sociopolitical Role of the Colonial Latin American Military.”

Leon Campbell (University of California, Riverside) chose to speak to the “Social Structure of the Army of Túpac Amaru: Cuzco, 1780.” His paper focused on the social structure and objectives of the rebel army recruited by the cacique Tupac Amaru in Tinta in November 1780. He reported that a survey of the social and occupational structure of the rebel command and staff group indicates that the military leadership was ethnically diverse and drawn from non-Indian sectors, particularly mestizos and creoles. This finding brings into question the interpretation of the rebellion as a manifestation of Inca nationalism (since caciques formed only a minor part of the command structure). Although the rebel leadership does not appear to have been drawn from any particular occupational background, the presence, on the one hand, of small farmers, muleteers, and urban artisans, and, on the other hand, the absence of both laborers and tributary Indians provide some indication of rebel objectives and explain the predominance of a reformist ideology. The composition of the rebel forces also provides some understanding of the dynamics of society in southern Cuzco in the late colonial era.

Professor Allan Kuethe (Texas Tech University) presented a paper entitled “The Development of the Cuban Military as a Sociopolitical Elite, 1763-1783.” Professor Kuethe argued that the Bourbon military reform in Cuba was a success. By creating a disciplined militia, the reform provided a structure for involving directly the creole population in the challenge of defense. During the War of the American Revolution, the militia was able to assume responsibility for defending the island while the veteran garrison departed to drive the British from the Gulf of Mexico.

The high quality of the Cuban militia can be explained by a spirit of cooperation between the Crown and the elite. To induce the creole aristocracy to accept higher taxes and tighter administration to support the expanded army, Charles III delivered important commercial concessions, reserved high militia offices for the local patriciate, and bestowed extensive privileges on the militia. Cuba prospered, the elite cooperated, and Spain had sufficient trained manpower for success in the next war.

Christon I. Archer’s (University of Calgary) paper was entitled “The Army of New Spain and the Wars for Independence, 1790-1821.” Professor Archer argued that until 1810, the political and social organization of New Spain prevented the successful implantation of martial institutions. Faced by the prospect of ignominious defeat by revolutionary masses, army officers moved to fill the vacuum of leadership. Battlefield victories forged an esprit de corps, but the nature of the struggle required total commitment and the evolution of an effective counterinsurgency theory and policy. Regional commanders emerged to take control of their provinces and to decentralize power. The decade of conflict forged an effective army, but time and guerrilla warfare eventually sapped its dynamism. By as early as 1818, the royalist army had given up control over much of the countryside. In the final collapse, both creole and peninsular officers identified with the perceived victors so that they could protect position, privilege, and property.

The papers were commented upon by Lyle McAlister (University of Florida, Gainesville) and John TePaske (Duke University). Professor McAlister’s comments, which were read by Robert Potash (University of Massachusetts), stressed the essential points made in the papers. Professor TePaske emphasized those considerations that worked both for and against the unity of the principal papers.

The session was well attended and a lively discussion followed the formal presentations.



Committee on Mexican Studies—More than fifty persons attended the Mexican Studies Committee session chaired by Jaime E. Rodríguez (University of California, Irvine). The meeting opened with a brief business session in which the outgoing chair, Jaime E. Rodríguez, announced that Christon Archer (University of Calgary) had been elected chair and Paul Vanderwood (San Diego State University) secretary for two-year terms. Rodríguez then introduced Dr. Juan Ortega y Medina (Universidad Nacional Autónoma de Mexico) who discussed “The Contribution of Spanish Exiles to Mexican Historiography.” Professor Ortega y Medina argued that the arrival of a significant group of Spanish scholars after the Spanish Civil War profoundly affected the nature and direction of Mexican historiography. Although he discussed the contributions of many scholars, he placed special emphasis on the impact that intellectual historians, such as José Gaos, had on Mexico. A general discussion followed.


Committee on Caribe-Centro American Studies—The session opened with a brief committee business meeting in which Chairperson Kenneth J. Grieb (University of Wisconsin, Oshkosh) outlined the committee’s previous activities and future plans. The secretary-treasurer’s report was dispensed with in the absence of R. Michael Malek (University of South Alabama), the committee’s executive secretary, who was unable to attend the meeting. Professor Grieb reported continued progress on the committee’s major project, the “Research Guide to Central America and the Caribbean,” in his capacity as editor-in-chief. He reported that a publishing contract had been signed with the University of Wisconsin Press, and that the editorial process was moving forward, though being delayed by late manuscripts. He urged all members to complete manuscripts as soon as possible and forward them to the editorial team.

The Chairperson announced the results of the elections for officers for the next two-year term, 1981-83, indicating the election of Louis A. Pérez, Jr. (University of South Florida) as chairperson, and the reelection of R. Michael Malek (University of South Alabama), as executive secretary. Members were invited to submit programming and activity suggestions to the officers.

The program portion of the meeting focused on “The Nicaraguan Revolution in Historical Perspective.” The speakers, Professor Richard Millett (Southern Illinois University, Edwardsville) and Arturo Cruz, Jr. (Counselor, Embassy of Nicaragua in the United States), presented papers placing recent Nicaraguan events in the context of that nation’s history, and in the context of inter-American relations. Both speakers emphasized the rapid economic growth in Nicaragua during the 1960s, noting that such growth did not necessarily insure political stability; cited the problems of income distribution within the nation; and noted that alienation of the business and Church elites, the middle class, and the elite youth. Professor Millett indicated that analysts of the Nicaraguan revolution should focus on its implications for Central America, Latin America, United States policy, and the Third World, characterizing it as the first successful social revolution in Latin America in twenty years. Mr. Cruz cited the domestic implications of the Sandinista movement’s recognition of the Somoza regime’s loss of domestic legitimacy, and emphasized the coalition of forces that overthrew the old regime. He also stressed the importance of the United States, both in providing Somoza with external support, and in the future of Nicaragua. He contrasted the Carter administration’s accommodation of the Nicaraguan revolution with previous administrations’ rejection of the Cuban revolution, and sought to place the entire event in the context of Nicaraguan history, which involved extensive U.S. intervention in the past, a tradition of dictatorship, and domestic political reaction.

A lively and spirited discussion involving the panelists and the audience followed (focusing on future prospects in Nicaragua, the linkages to previous historical trends, and the implications for the United States and neighboring Central American countries), which continued well beyond the limit set for the conclusion of the meeting.


Andean Studies Committee—Professor Frederick M. Nunn (Portland State University) chaired the meeting, held on the afternoon of December 29. Professor John J. TePaske (Duke University), the 1981 CLAH chairman, announced that the long awaited “Andean Republics Research Guide” is in press at Duke and should appear in 1981. Professor Leon G. Campbell (University of California, Riverside), 1981-83 Andean Studies Committee chairman, asked that suggestions for the 1981 committee session be submitted to him or to Professor Brooke Larson (Columbia University), the committee secretary.

Professor Jaime E. Rodríguez O. (University of California, Irvine), Thomas M. Davies, Jr. (San Diego State University), and David Scott Palmer (Foreign Service Institute), each addressed the topic “Perspectives on Andean Studies.” A fourth invited panelist, Professor Richard W. Patch (State University of New York, Buffalo), was unable to attend.

Professor Ridríguez noted that Andean Studies constitutes a research field because of comparability of geographic and economic factors in the historical development of Ecuador, Peru, and Bolivia, but averred that to the north of Ecuador and to the south of Peru and Bolivia, comparative perspectives are less intellectually rewarding. He went on to emphasize the Highlands as the most significantly comparable area and the colonial period as the most fruitful for comparative, integrated research. The Highlands, he maintained, have greater relative historical continuity from Inca times to the present; and too much of national period historiography ignores this to focus on political developments depending on what happens either on the Ecuadorian or Peruvian coasts, or in Quito, Lima, and La Paz—the areas and centers most susceptible to exogenous influences.

Professor Davies discussed recent textbooks on Peruvian history, seeking to ascertain if they were: (1) major contributions to scholarships in Andean Studies, and (2) if they were useful for classroom purposes. He found that several were both. He concluded that Henry E. Dobyns and Paul C. Doughty’s Peru: A Cultural History (New York, 1976) made up for its Jack of political and economic information with a solid treatment of cultural, social, and environmental themes. Dobyns and Doughty, he said, provide a “refreshing counterpoise” to traditional works in the field. Fredrick B. Pike’s The United States and the Andean Republics (Cambridge, Mass., 1977) also found favor with Davies as a “brilliant synthesis” of Andean history and relations with North America. David Scott Palmer’s Peru : The Authoritarian Tradition (New York, 1980) merited praise as well, for its unique comparison and contrast of South American political trends and Peruvian political development in one volume.

Professor Palmer based his remarks on his expertise as a political scientist, and on conclusions reached in the volume noted above. He commented on the “differential impact” of the authoritarian tradition of the Iberian Peninsula on portions of the Spanish American empire, contrasting Peru with peripheral areas. He also noted the “weight of history on institutions” as one of the influences on recent political development and suggested that research in history as well as political science ought to take these into account, especially when the prevalence of military regimes, the elusiveness of democracy, policy formulation, or the role of the state are the foci of investigation.

Brief discussion and questions from the floor followed the presentations.


Committee on Brazilian Studies—After some confusion resulting from a last-minute room change, the forty or so members and guests came to order. Frank McCann (University of New Hampshire) announced that Kenneth Maxwell (Columbia University and Tinker Foundation) and Mary Karasch (Oakland University) had been elected chair and secretary for 1981-82. He also reported that due to a lack of interest among the members, the idea of a research guide for Brazilian history had come to nothing. Perhaps the new leadership can make another try.

The program consisted of a talk by Ambassador Antônio F. Azeredo da Silveira entitled “Brazilian Foreign Policy During the Geisel Years.” Because the ambassador had been foreign minister during that era—a time of considerable change and turmoil in Brazilian foreign relations—and because he had the reputation of being sharp-tongued, the members came prepared for a lively evening. The presentation was a boiled-down version of his farewell speech to the Itamaraty. Thomas Skidmore (University of Wisconsin, Madison) and Anani Dzidzienyo (Brown University) made comments seeking to set the Geisel years in perspective and to raise some questions for discussion. The members’ participation was hesitant.

The blandness was broken when Leslie Bethell (University College, London) rose to point out that the ambassador had not explained why the policy shifts that marked the Geisel years had taken place, noting that he had not mentioned oil supply, which undoubtedly was an important factor. Unhappily the exchange did not lead to much clarification. The diplomatic and academic perspectives never quite blended together.

An informal survey of the members indicated sentiment for a return to the more casual style meetings of the late 1960s, which gave members more opportunity to talk with one another. Unintentionally, the committee meeting has become just another CLAH session.


Committee on Gran Colombian Studies—The current chairperson Michael Hamerly was unable to attend the 1980 AHA convention. The meeting of the committee was organized by the incoming chairperson Stephanie Blank (Indiana University Southeast) with the assistance of Judith Ewell (William and Mary College), the new vice-chairperson. This year the members of the committee gathered over dinner in the Espresso Cafe of the Shoreham Hotel. The sixteen in attendance passed a convivial hour and a half together, preceding the CLAH cocktail party on Monday evening, December 29. This turned out to be an excellent forum for the informal discussion and exchange of information on the cost of living, research, living conditions, and scholarly developments in the Gran Colombian countries as well as events in United States universities.


Committee on Chile-Río de la Plata Studies—Professor Susan M. Socolow (Emory University) introduced the participants in the 1980 Chile–Río de la Plata Studies Committee meeting, which was devoted to a discussion of recent dissertation research. Mr. Jesús Méndez (University of Texas, Austin) presented a paper entitled “Argentine Intellectuals: Attitudes and Institutions, 1900-1943” to the committee. He explained the importance of the methods of social history for his discussion of the Argentine P.E.N. Club during this era. Ms. Judith Evans (New York City) also utilized the methodology of social history in her discussion of “Argentine Popular Culture, 1880-1910.” She argued that the evolution of both the sainete and the tango reflected class struggle in Argentine society. Mr. Hugo Castillo (University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill) discussed “Agrarian Structure in a Region of Recent Colonization: La Frontera, Chile, 1850-1920.” His analysis of tax lists and military archives revealed a continuity among elite families in frontier areas in the late nineteenth century. Questions and comments from the audience followed the presentation of the papers.