Founded 1956

SALALM - Seminar on the Acquisition of Latin American Library Materials


Encounter, Engagement and Exchange: How Native Populations of the Americas Transformed the World

The Seminar on the Acquisition of Latin American Library Materials (SALALM) is pleased to announce its 53rd annual meeting to be held May 30-June 3, 2008 in New Orleans, Louisiana. The theme for 2008 is "Encounter, Engagement and Exchange: How Native Populations of the Americas Transformed the World." The conference is sponsored by the Latin American Library, the Howard-Tilton Memorial Library, and the Stone Center for Latin American Studies at Tulane University.

Founded in 1956, SALALM is the premier international professional association of Latin Americanist librarians and library collections, with personal and institutional members representing the foremost repositories of library material from the region in the United States, Europe and Latin America.

Alfred W. Crosby, Professor Emeritus of History, University of Texas at Austin, will deliver the keynote address at SALALM LIII. His book, The Columbian Exchange: Biological and Cultural Consequences of 1492 continues to be a hallmark in the discipline, 35 years after its original publication.

Panels and workshops will focus on the mutual exchange that occurred during the encounter of the old and new worlds to explore how social, economic, culinary, agricultural, environmental, medical and scientific disciplines and practices were transformed on both sides of the Atlantic and how these transformations have been documented. In particular, the conference will underscore the unique contributions made by the indigenous populations of the Americas and the ways in which the outlook of the world was enhanced and broadened by the unique contributions of these cultures. Panels will include scholarly presentations related to the conference theme and will also include papers on practical issues of librarianship related to the topic.

Possible topics to be explored by panels include: indigenous cultures, societies and writings during the pre-contact era; European chroniclers and indigenous record keepers – documents and writing systems that have survived; mineral wealth of the Americas (silver and gold) and its impact on world economics; agricultural technologies and industrialization; new food crops and the rise of new societies; impact of new food crops on world culinary traditions; biology and disease transfer and their impact on old and new worlds; the influence of 19 th-century scientists and scientific expeditions in documenting and disseminating the architectural and monumental significance of these cultures to the rest of the world; the influence of native American languages in the past, present and future; the use of the internet as a political tool by indigenous groups such as the Zapatistas beginning in the 1990s; medical advancements and curative properties of indigenous plants; illegal and legal drug trafficking (tobacco to cocaine); native social movements, resistance and ideas of government; participation of indigenous groups in established political processes in Latin American countries; influence of populist and/or indigenous movements in the wake of the election of Hugo Chávez in Venezuela, Evo Morales in Bolivia, and Rafael Correa in Ecuador.

Meetings for SALALM LIII will take place in the Hotel Monteleone, in the historic French Quarter of New Orleans, one of only three hotels in the country designated a literary landmark by the Friends of Libraries, USA.

Interested presenters and panel organizers should contact the SALALM president with proposals:

John B. Wright
Brigham Young University
6742 HBLL
Provo, UT 84602

For the most up-to-date information about the conference, see the SALALM LIII website.

Last modified 01/30/08

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