Our colleague Dr Marieke Riethof (IBLAS) is this year actively involved in the organisation of the regional Seminar Series of the Centre for Latin American Studies (University of Manchester, in collaboration with University of Lancaster and University of Liverpool). The theme of the seminar series is Latin America, Dependent No More? As the organisers explain, dependency theory is associated with debates of the 1960s and 1970s and was often criticised for its mechanical and simplistic models of the structural relations between the global North and South. The political and economic clout of countries such as Brazil defy simple definitions of dependency, yet the issues of inequality and political, cultural and economic flows that dependency theory raised are still very topical, albeit more complex now than ever.

The aim of this series is to revisit the question of Latin American “dependency”, in the light of the last twenty years of social change, encompassing:
·         intensified neoliberal reforms
·         the emerging global economic status of Brazil (and Mexico)the region’s prominence in what UNDP describes as the Rise of the South and growing South-South relations
·         multiculturalist legislation
·         increased transnational migration
·         the rise of “pink tide”
·         Latin America’s leading role in truth and reconciliation processes
·         the importance of climate change politics
·         the consolidation of “Latin” as a cultural brand.

Contributions will address dependency not only as a set of political and economic processes, but also as a cultural phenomenon, revisiting cultural critiques that debated “cultural cannibalism”.

A number of papers have already been given; details of forthcoming events at the three partner institutions can be found here. Dr Riethof herself will be giving the final paper in the series in Manchester on 30th April 2014.