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Modern Revolutions in Latin America

by Robert Austin on January 29, 2018

Examine the history and influence of six iconic revolutions: Mexico (1910-1920), Bolivia (1952), Cuba (1959-continuing), Chile (1970-73), Grenada (1979-83) and Nicaragua (1979-1990), and finally the “Pink Tide” movement led by the Bolivarian Revolution in Venezuela from 1998-present at the WEA Sydney.

In addressing themes such as popular culture, women revolutionaries, internationalism, imperialism, neocolonialism and indigenous societies, the course will integrate poetry, novel, music and film, as well as primary sources and secondary texts.

Guest speakers inter alia include Adam David Morton on Mexico (6 February), Antonio Nava on Bolivia (13 February), Viviana Ramírez on Chile (27 February), Bernard Coard on Grenada (6 March), and Dora María Téllez on Nicaragua (13 March).

Mexico (6 February, 4-6pm): Adam Morton, Professor of Political Economy, University of Sydney, author of Revolution and State in Modern Mexico, translated into Spanish in 2017 and published with Siglo XXI, HERE.

Bolivia (13 February, 6-8pm): Antonio Nava, young witness to the 1952 Revolution and now Sydney consul for the Plurinational State of Bolivia, see

Cuba (20 February, 6-8pm): Eurídice Charón-Cardona, Cuban scholar and conjoint research fellow, School of Humanities & Social Science, University of Newcastle.

Chile (27 February, 6-8pm): Viviana Ramírez, Popular Unity government activist, member of the Chilean Resistance.

Grenada (6 March, 6-8pm): Bernard Coard, deputy prime-minister in the Revolutionary Government of Grenada, unjustly imprisoned for 25 years as a member of the “Grenada 17”, see

Nicaragua (13 March, 6-8pm): Dora María Téllez, iconic Sandinista “Comandante 2” and feminist historian. In 1978, at age 22, Téllez co-led the Sandinista takeover of the National Palace and was later Minister of Health in the Sandinista government. Prohibited from a Harvard visiting professorship as a “terrorist”, see

Venezuela (20 March, 6-8pm): Amaranta León Salazar, First Secretary, Embassy of Venezuela (principally Spanish, some English).

Anyone not enrolled but who wishes to attend any session is welcome, on a pro rata basis.

Please contact the WEA on (02) 9264 2781 or email via

Robert Austin
Robert Austin holds a Ph.D in History & Latin American Studies (La Trobe). His books include The State, Literacy and Popular Education in Chile, 1964-1990 (2003); (ed.) Diálogos sobre Estado y Educación Popular en Chile: de Frei a Frei, 1964-1993 (2004); (ed.) Intelectuales y Educación Superior en Chile: de la Independencia a la Democracia Transicional, 1810-2001 (2004, 2005); and (ed.) Imperialismo Cultural en la Historiografía Latinoamericana: Teoría y Praxis (2007). Over the past decade and with invaluable collaboration from Viviana Ramírez, he has been developing, inter alia, a history of Australian-based solidarity movements with Latin America since the 1970s.

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