Sunday December 21st 2014

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From the President

SALALM: A Big Extended Family

One of the reasons that SALALM is so unique is that we are like a big extended family.  When someone joins SALALM, she/he becomes a member of an extended family whose relatives are scattered all over Latin America, Europe, Canada and the United States.

When one of our members is ill or passes away, the whole family mourns.  Recently, two members of the SALALM family passed way: Howard Karno and tatiana de la tierra.  My personal connection with Howard Karno was somewhat sporadic and brief, mostly at SALALM receptions.  However, his warm and friendly presence together with his contagious laughter was always comforting and reassuring.   Our deep sentiments for this big loss are well expressed in David Block’s “Howard Karno – In Memoriam” post.

tatiana de la tierra.  Who will not remember her down-to-earth name and her affirming presence?  If you ever met tatiana once, you will never have forgetten her.  I met tatiana for the first time at the Buenos Aires book fair, where I learned that she was a compatriota bibliotecaria. However, she was much more than that.  She was an ingenious bi-cultural writer and activist, full of life. In her blog she described her own life as “a novel still being written.”   Adan Griego’s “Colombiana Salerosa – In memory of tatiana de la tierra” post, plus  her blog and this video on YouTube  gives tribute to the life of this remarkable multifaceted colombiana.

Another great loss for the SALALM family is Alan Moss.  Upon hearing of his passing, SALALM colleagues spoke of his camaraderie and described him as “a first-rate bibliographer with in-depth knowledge of publishing in the English-speaking Caribbean.”  These words were included in the “Alan Moss – In Memoriam” post written by Elizabeth F. Watson.

Ties Between Junior and Senior SALALM Members

Thinking about these losses made me reflect on the importance of the connection between junior and senior SALALM members.   Although we have always been proud of the strong ties between newer and older members of SALALM, I strongly believe that these ties need to be constantly nourished and strengthened.   Thus, I would like to make an explicit invitation to those members that have recently joined the organization to be active participants in SALALM.   Throughout the year, we might look for innovative ways of joining the talent and skills that new members are bringing to the organization with the experience and wisdom of senior members. At SALALM’s 58th conference we will include venues to strengthen junior-senior mentoring relationships.

The Theme for SALALM’s 58th Conference

Briefly, the general theme of the conference deals with the intersection of indigenism, pan-indigenism, and cosmovisionism within the context of indigenous studies in the Americas. We are interested in the exploration of indigenous peoples’ thought and action prior to, during, and after colonization.  We will attempt to approach this from indigenous peoples’ perspective.   The title of the conference, the description of the theme and the deadline for submissions can be found on the SALALM conference website.

The Venue

We are very fortunate to have been invited by the University of Miami Libraries and Florida International University Libraries to have the 2013 conference in Coral Gables.  I traveled to Miami in August, visited The Westin Colonnade Hotel, and met some members of the host institutions. I was amazed to learn about the rich history of this beautiful multicultural city. I also had the opportunity to see some of the unique collections held in the host institutions.  We will find ways to highlight some of these collections at the 58th SALALM conference in Miami.

New SALALM Officers

Congratulations to the newly elected SLALAM Officers, President-Elect Roberto Delgadillo and the Members at Large Paloma Celis-Carvajal and Daisy Dominguez.  I would like to thank Roberto Delgadillo for his invaluable six-year service as the Rapporteur General.  We welcome Suzanne Schadl  and  Craig Schroer who agreed to share the responsibilities of Rapporteur General.

Saludos para tod@s y mis deseos por un exitoso año académico,

Martha E. Mantilla
University of Pittsburgh

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