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Responding to the Twin Pandemics of COVID-19 and Racial Injustice

Arts and Humanities in a Time of Crisis

Image courtesy of Mayra Sierra-Rivera '20, Studio art major

Alberto Ribas-Casasayas

    Alberto Ribas-Casasayas is Associate Professor of Spanish and Director of the Interdisciplinary Minor in Latin American Studies at Santa Clara University.  His more recent scholarly work focuses on representations of finance in contemporary Spanish and Latin American narrative.

    For more information: You can read more extensively about Antonio Bolívar’s passing in this article published in The New Yorker. The Latin American section of offers this extensive report on the Covid-19 crisis in Leticia, capital of the Amazon district in Colombia.  More general reporting about the health crisis in the Amazon region can be found in this BBC news piece from early May. The new Spanish-speaking podcast El hilo offers excellent context-oriented coverage of a major weekly development in Latin America, like this episode on the management of the pandemic in Perú. For further reading, Patel and Moore’s A History of the World in Seven Cheap Things offers an excellent introduction to the intersections between colonial violence, extractivism, and human, labor, and environmental abuses. Charles Mann’s 1493 is a fascinating read on world system development following the European arrival to the Americas. For more in-depth reading, Ericka Beckman’s magnificent Capital Fictions represents a key to the extractivist mindset that developed amongst Latin American elites concurrently with the Second Industrial Revolution.