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LARC's Annual Report 2018-2019 is here!

Message from the Director, Pablo Policzer

The LARC is a multi-sector forum for research and dialogue, whose mission is to help the University lift up its eyes, broaden its horizons, and see farther. Any great university needs not only strong departments and disciplines, but also places where disciplines connect and collaborate. Making those connections is at the core of what the LARC is about.

We’ve had a busy year working toward these goals. We welcomed a number of international visitors, hosted many events, and strengthened our local and international partnerships. Latin Americans are asking many of the same questions we are in Canada. Our job at the LARC is to help bring people together toward answering them.

In this sense, we are strongly committed to the Faculty of Arts’ goals of engaging, inspiring and discovering. Our activities engage large numbers of people on issues of both local and global relevance. We were honoured in October to welcome former Secretary-General of the Organization of American States José Miguel Insulza, to speak about the challenges to democracy in the Western Hemisphere. We closed the year with a similarly insightful discussion by Ben Rowswell, President of the Canadian International Council and former Canadian Ambassador to Venezuela, on the threats of populism.

Our film series, an audience favourite, showcased award-winning classic cinema and powerful documentaries. In February we also partnered with the Colombian and Mexican consulates to put on the first-ever Colombian-Mexican film series. Our Dialogues Series, held in the spectacular new Central Library building, brought together writers who are changing the perspective of Canadian Literature. Why did the LARC put on an event focusing on Canadian literature? One of the writers featured, Carmen Aguirre, is Chilean-Canadian, and the kind of cross-boundary conversation that emerged with Larissa Lai and Liz Howard, two writers with very different backgrounds and voices, is exactly what the LARC aims to spark. We also hosted events with a broad range of local and international partners, on subjects as diverse as Brazilian defence and security policy, reconciliation and the rights of indigenous peoples, the politics of migration, and the crisis in Venezuela. Our publications also reflect our broad horizons, on issues ranging from internationalization of education in Venezuela, to democracy in Mexico under president López Obrador, to art and shamanism in ancient Central America.

The LARC has deep roots in the University, and will continue to grow, connecting across borders, disciplines, cultures and sectors. We do so through support from the Faculty of Arts, our Fellows and Executive Committee, our Advisory Board, and our vibrant community of stakeholders. Our roots, breadth and diversity are our strengths.

Engage with us. We want to hear from you.

Pablo Policzer


See the full report here