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The project 'Building a Transnational Community of Practice: Writing and Researcher Development in Latin America and the Caribbean' brings together Latin American and Caribbean early-career researchers in the humanities and social sciences with mid-career and senior scholars and journal editors. Through in-person workshops, a one-to-one mentoring scheme, hands-on training on publishing international articles, and the acquisition of valuable research and career-building skills, participants develop working papers into manuscripts publishable in leading international journals. Through the process, the project also aims to facilitate transnational networking and collaborations and to reflect critically on the structural barriers to the dissemination in international journals of knowledge production in Latin America and the Caribbean.

This project is funded by the British Academy’s International Writing Workshops 2022 Programme, supported under the UK Government's Global Challenges Research Fund. 

For enquiries about this project contact the project Principal Investigator Dr Ainhoa Montoya (ainhoa.montoya@sas.ac.uk) or Project Officer Sarah Capes (s.capes@sas.ac.uk) 
 

About the Project

‘Building a Transnational Community of Practice’ is a collaborative programme that takes early-career humanities and social sciences researchers from Latin America and the Caribbean through the process of writing a journal article, working with feedback, turning a draft into a journal manuscript, and submitting it to a high-impact journal. With the support of mid-career and senior scholars and journal editors, they gain valuable research and career-building skills through hands-on training in in-person workshops and a one-to-one mentoring scheme. The training, although focused primarily on publishing in international journals, also incorporates collaborative writing, proposing and writing up research in other formats (books, short research articles, press articles, blogs, etc.), disseminating research through formats other than text (podcasts, illustrations or graphic design, etc.), and applying for grants and international fellowships.

The wider programme seeks to address the significant gaps in inclusive representation and diverse knowledge that currently exist in high-impact international journals. An open-access digital training module will be produced and made available by the School of Advanced Study, University of London, providing ongoing opportunities for a wider representation of early-career researchers. Networking and mentoring embedded in the project will facilitate greater capacity-building for collaborative international grant capture in the participating countries, as well as forging intra-regional connections and collaborations. The workshops will encourage critical reflection on the political economy of publishing and inform recommendations for how international journals aiming to include knowledge production from beyond Anglo-European regions may address structural barriers to publication. 

The project will be delivered by the Centre for Latin American and Caribbean Studies and the Doctoral Centre at the School of Advanced Study, University of London, in partnership with the University of the West Indies in Jamaica, Universidad Centroamericana José Simeón Cañas in El Salvador, Universidad de los Andes in Colombia, and Pontificia Universidad Católica del Perú.
 

Project Team

Principal Investigator and Co-Applicants

Dr Ainhoa Montoya is Reader in Latin American Studies and founding Director of the Centre for Latin American and Caribbean Studies (CLACS) at the School of Advanced Study, University of London. She is currently Ramón y Cajal Senior Research Fellow at the Spanish National Research Council (CSIC). Her current research focuses on practices of care over transboundary watersheds and spans social anthropology, geography and environmental humanities. She is co-editor of the Bulletin of Latin American Research and the 'Latin American and Caribbean Studies' book series published by the University of London Press, and a member of the editorial board of the journal Disparidades. Revista de Antropología

Dr Pablo Jaramillo (PhD, Manchester) is an anthropologist of natural resources whose ethnographic work has surrounded relationships with gold, coal and renewable energies. He is Associate Professor of Anthropology at Universidad de los Andes (Bogotá) and Visiting Fellow at CLACS (ILCS, School of Advanced Study, University of London). His work has been published in journals such as Cultural Anthropology, Geoforum, Revista Colombiana de Antropología, Extractive Industries and Society.

Dr Naomi Wells is Senior Lecturer in Italian and Spanish with Digital Humanities at the Institute of Languages, Cultures and Societies and the Digital Humanities Research Hub at the School of Advanced Study (University of London). She is also currently Acting Director of the Digital Humanities Research Hub and Associate Director of the School’s Doctoral Centre. Her recent research focuses on multilingualism on the internet and social media, and sits at the intersection of digital humanities, sociolinguistics, migration studies, and translation and cultural studies. She has a wider interest in supporting cross-languages digital research in her role as joint editor of the Digital Modern Languages section of the Modern Languages Open journal.

Dr Joseph Ford is Senior Lecturer in French Studies and Director of the Centre for the Study of Cultural Memory at the University of London's Institute of Languages, Cultures and Societies. He specialises in contemporary French and Francophone Literature and Culture, with specific interests in Algeria and what has become known as the Algerian Civil War of the 1990s. His wider research interests are in post/colonial studies, decolonial theory, world literature, literary translation, and literary criticism. He is General Editor (with Charles Burdett) of the Journal of Romance Studies and, together with Emanuelle Santos (Birmingham), co-leads the Decolonising Languages Network.

Dr Doreen Gordon is a Lecturer based in the Faculty of Social Sciences, University of the West Indies, Mona Campus. She is an anthropologist with experience in carrying out qualitative research in African diaspora communities (Brazil, South Africa, the Caribbean). Her research areas include social inequality and social stratification, gender and the body, religion, kinship/family, climate change and health. Her book, Blackness and Social Mobility in Brazil: Contemporary Transformations (Palgrave Macmillan, 2022), contributes towards understanding the cultural and socio-structural conditions that make life challenging for some people, with a view towards social change.

Dr Guillermo Salas Carreño (PhD, University of Michigan) is Professor of Anthropology, director of the MA program in Anthropology and the MA program in Visual Anthropology at the Pontificia Universidad Católica del Perú. His research is focused on the semiotics of practices concerning the landscape, particularly feeding sentient places, pilgrimage, and devotional dance; the relations between mining and rural communities as well as the processes of indigenization of politics in the Peruvian highlands. His work has been published in journals such as Anthropological Quarterly, Journal of Material Culture, Journal of Latin American and Caribbean Anthropology, Signs and Society, Estudios Atacameños. He received the 2022 José María Arguedas Prize from the LASA Peru Section. 

Dr Amparo Marroquín Parducci has been a Professor in the Department of Communication and Culture of the José Simeón Cañas Central American University (UCA) since 1997. She has specialized in Cultural Studies (narratives of memory, migration and violence in El Salvador); and Communication Studies from Latin America (narratives of political communication and media literacy). She has been a Visiting Professor at different universities in the region. She is currently dean of the Faculty of Social Sciences and Humanities of the UCA.

Project Officer

Sarah Capes is a PhD candidate at the Centre for Latin American and Caribbean Studies, Institute of Languages, Cultures and Societies, School of Advanced Study, University of London. Her research interests include international coloniality, human and Indigenous rights, and environmental (in)justice.
 

Other Collaborators

University of the West Indies (UWI), Jamaica

Kavita Johnson
        
Francesca Lloyd-McDavid
        

Universidad Centroamericana José Simeón Cañas (UCA), El Salvador

Mario Zetino Duarte

Jenny Lisbeth Lozano Parra


Pontificia Universidad Católica del Perú (PUCP)


Universidad de los Andes (Uniandes), Colombia

Mentors

Workshop at UWI, Jamaica

Sarah Arens (University of Liverpool)

Jessica Bradley (University of Sheffield)

Halimah DeShong (University of the West Indies)

Lisa Panford (St Mary's University, London)

Jessica Sklair (Queen Mary University of London)

Ana Cristina Suzina (Loughborough University London)

Charles Thomas (University of the West Indies)

Canute Thompson (University of the West Indies)


Workshop at UCA, El Salvador


Workshop at PUCP, Peru


Workshop at Uniandes, Colombia

Workshops

University of the West Indies, Jamaica (10–12 January 2024)

Mural in the UWI Mona Campus
Mural in the UWI Mona Campus (photo by Ainhoa Montoya)

The first in the series of three-day intensive workshops took place at the University of West Indies Mona Campus in Kingston, Jamaica. Co-facilitated by Drs Doreen Gordon (UWI Mona), Ainhoa Montoya and Joseph Ford (SAS), the workshop welcomed ten participants from the Caribbean region. The three days included a mix of structured and participant-led sessions, from the practical ‘Journal Selection’ and ‘Structuring a Paper’ to the more reflective ‘Structural Challenges to Publishing’ and ‘Creative and Decolonial Research Methods’. These latter sessions were co-led by Dr Gordon with contributions from Dr Schuyler Esprit and Professor Diana Fox (UWI Mona), both of whom offered deeply inspiring talks about what it means for Caribbean researchers to challenge the dominance of so-called international journals that exist behind paywalls, as well as the need to embed decolonial feminist principles in project work and publishing. The main takeaway from the workshops was the commitment and intensity of participation from those researchers in attendance, with an emphasis on the importance of learning from and sharing honestly with one another. As the facilitators left at the end of the week, it was clear that a strong and connected community had emerged during those three days, which, together with the ongoing mentoring built into the workshop programme, will further strengthen the capacity of these researchers to challenge and find ways of overcoming the structural barriers identified during the sessions.