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History Department's Holden Is Guest Speaker at University of Calgary

Robert Holden, professor of history at Old Dominion University, was an invited participant last week at two events sponsored by the University of Calgary.  On April 24, he spoke on one of his areas of special focus - public violence in Latin America. 

His talk, "A Culture of Impunity? Violent Conflict in Central America," was part of a public symposium called "Why Is Latin America Trapped in Violence?"

At a private, one-day workshop on "Arms, Violence and Politics in Latin America," Holden was one of 10 invited scholars from the United States, Canada, Latin America and Great Britain to give a paper, "By What Authority?  Public Violence and the Rule of Law in Latin America Since Independence." He was one of two historians; the other eight participants were political scientists.

Holden noted that the organizers of the University of Calgary project are breaking new ground. "This is the first serious, scholarly effort I know of to try to understand the roots of public violence in Latin America. It is also a rare example of a deliberate effort to combine the perspectives of two different disciplines, political science and history," he said.

The University of Calgary is planning a larger conference for May 2009; it will be followed by a published collection of essays.

For a report about the symposium, go to http://www.ucalgary.ca/news/uofcpublications/oncampus/online/april17-08/symposium.

Details about the workshop can be found at


This article was posted on: April 29, 2008

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