As researchers are increasingly being called to account for their work to have an 'impact' beyond the academy, this panel addresses the relationship between academic research and public engagement in the context of Latin America in terms of research in the region or with the diaspora.
As researchers are increasingly being called to account for their work to have an 'impact' beyond the academy, this panel addresses the relationship between academic research and public engagement in the context of Latin America. It aims to address two core issues; first, it will examine the ways in which knowledge is created and how is can become misrepresented through the functioning of unequal power relations within and across borders. It will explore how 'responsible learning' (Jazeel and McFarlane, 2007) is an essential part of academic research; second, it will consider the practical ways in which academic research feeds into policy work in mutually constitutive ways. This might be engaging with the work of various organisations across the spectrum from large multilaterals to small grassroots groups as well as activities that raise awareness of issues beyond the academy which might entail working through the arts and media in relation to theatre, museums, literature and art. While the panel acknowledges that such questions have a very long history in relation to research on and with Latin America/Latin Americans, some continue to claim (e.g. Sundberg 2003, 2005) that a hegemonic Anglo-American attitude prevails. Therefore, in an academic environment that is increasingly focusing on the relevance of academic research both formally and informally, the panel welcomes papers on the nature of such public engagement and the potential lessons learnt from it. This might refer to research in Latin America itself as well as with the Latin America diaspora.