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Lauren Frances Turek

The category of “evangelical” is a broad one, encompassing a range of different Christian denominations, nondenominational groups, and subcultures. Evangelicalism in the United States has evolved considerably over time and varies greatly by geographic region as well as by ethnicity and race. Although the evangelicals of the First Great Awakening in the 18th century have a genealogical connection with the neo-evangelicals of the post–World War II years and the Pentecostals preaching out of strip mall churches in urban and suburban areas of the United States in the early 21st century, much has changed in terms of evangelical practices, demographics, and even beliefs over the intervening centuries. This diversity and evolution notwithstanding, evangelicals share a basic faith in Biblical authority, a conversion or “born-again” experience, and a commitment to evangelism according to sociologist Mark Shibley. The latter commitment, which derives from Jesus Christ’s Great Commission to his followers in Matthew 28:19 to “make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,” has long spurred evangelicals to undertake missionary work throughout the world. The first evangelical missionaries arrived in Guatemala in the 19th century, and since then, the country has seen a steady influx of evangelists of all stripes. While some US missionaries worked in Guatemala on a short-term basis, many resided there for extended periods of time—decades in some cases—planting churches, building schools and medical facilities, and providing aid to alleviate suffering brought on by natural disasters or poverty. Evangelical missionaries also forged close relationships with some Guatemalan leaders, at times involving themselves in local and national politics and interacting with diplomatic officials and intelligence agents from the United States. The relationship between US evangelicals and General José Efraín Ríos Montt, a right-wing evangelical dictator who came to power in 1982 and oversaw a brutal genocide against the Indigenous Maya, has attracted particular attention. The evangelical presence in the country contributed to a dramatic shift in Guatemala’s religious demographics. In the 19th century, the country was (at least nominally) almost exclusively Catholic, though many Guatemalans also continued to practice indigenous faith traditions. As of 2019, Guatemalan Protestants, most of whom are evangelicals, made up approximately 35 to 42 percent of the population according to estimates from the Pew Research Center and the United States Department of State Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor. The ongoing relationship between US evangelicals, their counterparts in Guatemala, and Guatemalan leaders has influenced Guatemalan politics as well as relations with the United States into the present day.

Article

Canadian cultural diplomacy has been inconsistent in recent decades. In the specific case of Mexico, the visibility of Canada is the result of the sum of public and private initiatives within independent and commercial circuits, as well as academic collaborations. In certain periods of the last few decades of Canadian history, it is possible to recognize policies aimed at projecting a specific image of Canada, which is constantly modified by precise political and economic conditions. In the twenty-five years of the North American Free Trade Agreement, three moments of cultural diplomacy toward Mexico can be recognized: a first intense period of creation of binational ties, a time of restrictions that affected strategic collaboration programs, and a renaissance characterized by interest in rethinking and systematizing the strategies of cultural exchange.

Article

Chicle is a thick and odorless natural latex that comes from the Chicozapote tree (Manilkara sapota), which is indigenous in Mexico and Central America. When the sapodilla tree is cut into with a blade or infested with insects, it produces latex as a protective response. The ancient Maya and Aztec used this latex as chewing gum, a habit that Mexican president General Antonio López de Santa Anna continued in the 19th century. While in the United States, he introduced chicle to US inventor Thomas Adams, Sr., who in the 1870s produced the first mass-produced chicle chewing gum. However, it was William Wrigley, Jr. who in the 1890s entered a highly competitive gum market and innovated new marketing campaigns that appealed to a broad audience. These advertisements often proclaimed the benefits of gum chewing for digestion, dental hygiene, and the ability to improve mental focus. Wrigley used these qualities to encourage the US military to adopt chewing gum into rations starting in World War I. As military personnel shared chewing gum with children in war zones, this “American habit” spread around the world. Public officials complained about the expense of cleaning up gum-littered sidewalks, the Women’s Temperance Union even argued that chewing gum was a slippery slope that could lead to smoking, gambling, or drinking, and many cultures have strong social norms regarding gum chewing in public. Despite these challenges, William Wrigley spent millions of dollars promoting a favorable image for gum and the habit of gum chewing, and other marketers launched collectables such as baseball cards to encourage sales. Chicle-based chewing gum ultimately became a victim of its own popularity, and while researchers sought out other sources of latex, such as jelutong, balata, and gutta-percha, US manufacturers ultimately resorted to synthetic substitutes. Although the chewing gum industry of today is dominated by the use of a synthetic gum chewing base, it is worth more than $25 billion annually.

Article

Throughout the 20th century, Central America experienced two key waves of communist-party formation. The first wave lasted from 1923 to 1931 and the second from 1949 to 1954. The first-wave parties actively participated in four fundamental historical processes: in El Salvador, in the rebellion of 1932; and in Costa Rica, in the banana strike of 1934, in the reforms of 1940 to 1943, and in the civil war of 1948. The second-wave parties participated decisively in the radicalization of the Guatemalan social reforms (1951–1954) and in the 1954 Honduran banana strike. These parties had a differentiated impact on Central American societies. In Costa Rica and Panama, the communists promoted social changes whose success worked against the communists themselves. In Belize, an active Labor party prevented a communist party from developing there. In Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, and Nicaragua, repression neutralized the role that communist parties could play as institutional modernizers. In the mid-1940s, the military assumed this modernizing role: in Guatemala, with the collaboration of the communists; and in El Salvador, Honduras, and Nicaragua, against the communists. The most radical of these reformist experiences was the Guatemalan, which ended in 1954 due to a US-backed coup. In the other countries, the military endorsed socially limited reforms without political democratization. In this context, the communist parties began to be displaced by guerrilla movements from 1959 to 1963. In Honduras, the military managed to stop this displacement in the early 1960s through broader reformist policies, but the guerrillas in the other countries led a successful revolution in Nicaragua (1979), fought lengthy civil wars in El Salvador and Guatemala, and turned Central America into one of the main battlefields of the Cold War in the 1980s. Beginning in the 1990s, these guerrilla movements became political parties, electorally strong in El Salvador and Nicaragua, and marginal in Guatemala, but different from the communist parties that preceded them. At the beginning of the 21st century, the communist parties that still exist in Central America barely maintain a presence on Facebook.

Article

The Laboratory of Oral History and Images (LABHOI), a division of the history department of the Universidade Federal Fluminense, Brazil, celebrated thirty years of work in 2012. Since its creation in 1982, the LABHOI has been developing projects on the history of memory of different Brazilian communities, based on both oral and visual sources and the relationship between them. Despite its academic origin, the main purpose of the LABHOI’s projects is to engage communities in the production of their own history through visual and oral records. One of the results of this work has been the organization of a digital database accessible to the public at large. The LABHOI has become an important source for theoretical and methodological debates about the uses of visual representations of the past, and its members have published books and articles in this field. Recently, the LABHOI turned to the production of experimental videos based on the idea of the “videographic writing” of history, a modality of historical text that can perfectly mix sounds and images of recollections.

Article

Brazil’s political imagination under the monarchy sought to associate the grandeur of its territory with an idealized image of the national state under construction. Whether they praised or deplored Brazil’s natural setting, representations of the establishment of an enormous country in the tropics tended to be generic and superficial. Some men of science, however, followed a more pragmatic path, seeking to understand Brazil’s environmental diversity and criticizing the destructive use of its natural resources. A significant effort was made to distinguish among the various types of forests and savannas found within Brazil’s borders. As regions developed at different rates of economic and demographic density, this variety of natural formations influenced their growth in complex ways. The interaction was marked by four basic modes of socioeconomic activity: export agriculture; agriculture to supply local markets; ranching; and the extraction of flora, fauna, and minerals. Each of these modes entailed environmental problems. For the elites who controlled the pace and direction of regional occupation, however, the immensity of the territory produced a sense of unlimited frontier and abundance that made any concern for the conservation or cautious management of natural resources appear unnecessary. Meanwhile, the growth of cities, with their attendant problems of insalubrity and access to water, opened up a cosmopolitan space for intellectual and scientific debates. Several environmental themes such as climatic determinism and the relationship between slave-based agriculture and the destruction of soils and forests figured prominently in the cultural and political concerns of that age.

Article

The Laws of the Indies forbade non-Spaniards from settling in the Spanish territories of America. Nevertheless, foreign immigration to the provinces of the Río de la Plata, with its capital, Buenos Aires, was frequent and fostered by trans-imperial trade relations. Owing to the proximity of Brazil, the Portuguese were the most numerous foreign migrant group during the whole colonial period, although migrants from other European nations also came to the Río de la Plata. In the mid-17th century, there was a small Dutch presence. British, French, and particularly Italian immigration increased particularly during the 18th century. Until the appointment of the Viceroyalty of the Río de la Plata in 1776, the Cabildo of Buenos Aires largely controlled the migration regime in Buenos Aires. Its position toward foreign presence was one of tolerance. However, when merchants with monopolist interests gained control of the Cabildo during the second half of the 18th century, the Cabildo urged the governors and viceroys to expel foreigners and reduce trade with them. Montevideo, where merchants of Portuguese origin were more influential than in Buenos Aires, remained more tolerant toward foreigners until the end of the colonial period. After the North American and French revolutions, foreigners—especially the French—were suspected of being supporters of republican ideas or independence, and their residence was seen as a problem in terms of security. The perception of foreigners as a security threat had a deep impact on the colonial migration regime because foreigners were being surveilled and expelled to Spain. In the last decade of colonial rule in Buenos Aires, the conflict between monopolist merchants in the Cabildo and landholders (hacendados), who favored free trade with foreigners, put the colonial order under pressure. The Spanish government was unable to resolve this conflict, and hence the question of free trade undermined viceregal power and ultimately led to its final removal.

Article

Following independence in the early 19th century Argentina went through decades of internal political and social turmoil. During this time the sciences traversed a dormant period and operated at the amateur level, such as through collectors and hobbyists. Beginning in the 1850s and continuing through the 1860s, many of Argentina’s internal problems eroded. The newly consolidated state undertook a process of extending its influence throughout the nation and fostering a closer and collaborative association with the nation’s interior to foster national unity. Under the banner of ‘civilization, order, and progress’, ruling liberal elites looked for ways to herald social and economic development. The sciences, through practice and institutionalized places, played a critical role for the state. By the beginning of the 20th century, the state had invested in scientific ventures into Patagonia and other areas of the nation to collect and catalogue materials, such as fossils and plants, and had supported the construction of museums to display scientific collections to the public as a means to develop a national identity. Beyond museums and naturalists, the state financed the maturation of the medical sciences to respond to the waves of epidemic diseases that assaulted the nation and the numerous regional endemic diseases that elites presented as evidence of underdevelopment, such as malaria in the northwest and recurrent cholera and smallpox outbreaks throughout the nation. Fields such as meteorology and engineering provided the physical infrastructure to further integrate the nation, through railroads, the standardization of national time, and a space for local Argentine scientific actors to establish national and international careers. With the increased professionalization of numerous scientific fields, the bond between the state and scientists matured. Many used this as a platform to enter into politics, such as Eduardo Wilde, hygienist and Minister of the Interior. Others provided their services to the state to form public policy, as happened for example with the work of psychiatrists, criminologists, engineers, and hygienists. Collectively, these fields demonstrated that the sciences witnessed significant growth into the first quarter of the 20th century.

Article

Between 1811 and 1870, policies of gradual abolition of slavery were deployed in Hispanic South America. They consisted of two fundamental measures: the prohibition of the transatlantic slave trade and the enactment of free womb laws that prevented the enslavement of newborn children. These antislavery policies were adopted in contemporary Argentina, Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador, Paraguay, Peru, and Uruguay in an implicit and explicit Interamerican and Atlantic dialogue as well as with strong doses of experimentation. The processes also unfolded as the second slavery expanded in Brazil and the Caribbean. A first set of antislavery policies was deployed between 1811 and 1830, and the wave of definitive abolitions occurred mostly in the 1850s. There were exceptions to this periodization with very early examples of complete abolition (such as Chile in 1826) or very late examples of gradual abolition (Paraguay in 1842). In any case, a common feature in these processes was the extension of the dependency of persons of African descent through the creation of different kinds of freedmen’s status, tutelages, or patronatos. Laws declared the right to freedom but established conditions that extended unfree labor and subjection for years and even decades, othering and stigmatizing the free and freed offspring of the African diaspora in Spanish South America.

Article

Born in the small Andean city of Andahuaylas on January 18, 1911, the Peruvian writer and anthropologist Jose María Arguedas put a dramatic end to his life on December 2, 1969, by committing suicide after a long and ultimately unsuccessful battle with depression. At the time of his death in Lima, Arguedas was writing his most ambitious novel, El zorro de arriba y el zorro de abajo, in which the writer’s tortured chronicle of what ultimately came to be his last days stands in powerful counterpoint with a narrative set in the coastal port and boom town of Chimbote. Bilingual in Spanish and Quechua, Arguedas penned narrative fiction, poetry, and anthropological works bridging the predominantly criollo coast and the Andean hinterland. He was respected and admired as a writer in Peru since the publication of his first book, the short story collection Agua (1934), a watershed in Peruvian indigenismo. Broader recognition in Latin America came with Los ríos profundos (1958), a novel of formation whose narrator-protagonist is a memorable alter ego of the author himself. His ethnographic studies of peasant communities in the Central and Southern Central highlands, as well as his numerous translations of Quechua poetry and folktales, established Arguedas as a leading figure in the nascent field of Andean anthropology. Arguedas’s stature as both a writer and cultural icon has grown enormously in his home country and abroad since his demise. Along with the avant-garde poet César Vallejo and the socialist thinker José Carlos Mariátegui, Arguedas stands as an exemplar of the radical mestizo intellectuals who have played a decisive role in shaping modern Peruvian culture. Given the subject matter of his short stories, novels, and poems, Arguedas is commonly described as an indigenista writer. Arguedas spent his formative years in the Peruvian highlands, and endeavored to do justice in his fiction, poetry, and ethnological writings to the complexity of a rural hinterland in which a vast majority of the population was made up of Quechua-speaking peasants, whose worldview and cultural traditions permeated the views, tastes, and everyday lives of those who, like Arguedas’s own father, harbored racial prejudices. In the first decades of the 20th century, a growing concern about the so-called Indian question prompted an array of critical, political, and artistic responses, which came to be grouped under the umbrella term indigenismo. Visual representations of Indian peasants and Andean landscapes were prominent in paintings and frescoes by José Sabogal (1888–1956), who frequently collaborated with Amauta, the left-wing and avant-garde magazine founded by José Carlos Mariátegui in 1926. Arguedas’s favorite indigenista painter was Julia Codesido, whom he lavishly praised in Canto Kechwa (1938), a bilingual anthology of Quechua songs. Other journals and magazines, like Boletín Titikaka and La sierra, were also part of the indigenista ferment. In the longest of his Siete ensayos de interpretación de la realidad peruana (1928), Mariátegui, whom Arguedas credits with his embrace of socialist ideas while still a high-school student, advocated indigenismo as the driving force of a genuinely national literature, even though the actual number of novels and short-story collections set in the Peruvian highlands was still quite meager at the end of the 1920s.