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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — The University of Tennessee is bringing a slice of Latin American culture to East Tennessee.

UT-Knoxville’s Latin America Semester includes films, lectures, music and special events related to South America, Central America, Cuba and other countries.

“It’s the best way to learn about Latin America without going there,” said Dr. Todd Diacon, UT-Knoxville associate professor of history and director of Latin American Studies. “This semester offers the campus and community cultural experiences which could never be found in the classroom.”

The program begins Jan. 20 at the International House on Melrose Avenue. The opening session will include lectures on the Amazon region, Latin American democracy and the first of four Culture Nights this semester.

More than 25 events are scheduled, ending with a Latin Dance Party April 24, Diacon said. Most events are free and all are open to the public.

This is the fourth in UT-Knoxville’s cultural semester series, which also has included China, India, and the Middle East.

“The environment, the economy, and other important issues connect East Tennessee and the United States to Latin America,” Diacon said. “This is a chance to learn more about that region of the world and also have fun doing it.”

The program is sponsored by the College of Arts and Sciences, the International House, and the Office of the

Vice Chancellor for Administration and Student Affairs.

For more information, contact Diacon at (423)974-9867, or Dr. Joseph Flory of UT-Knoxville’s Center for International Education at (423)974-3177.

The Latin America Semester schedule includes:

Jan. 20, noon, “Spring Break in Amazonas” Dr. Frank McCormick, UT-Knoxville ecology professor, at the International House); 4 p.m., “The Military and Democracy in Latin America” Dr. Wendy Hunter, Vanderbilt University political science professor, 1210 McClung Tower; 6 p.m., Culture Night I: northern South America, International House.

Jan. 21, 8 p.m., Latin American music concert, guitarist David Burgess, Music Hall.

Jan. 25, 3 p.m., “Tomas Gutierrez Alea: Auteur for a Revolution,” Dr. Ana Lopez, Tulane University communications professor, 252 Hodges Library; at 7 p.m., the 1997 Cuban film “Guantanamera,” library auditorium, with discussion by Lopez.

Jan. 28, 4 p.m., “Neoliberal Reform and Populism in Latin America and Eastern Europe,” Dr. Kurt Weyland, Vanderbilt political science professor, 1210 McClung Tower.

Feb. 3, noon, “Ex-votos: Religions and Social Commentaries of Northeast Brazil,” Lindsey King, Ph.D. student in Anthropology, UT-Knoxville, International House.

Feb. 4, 7 p.m., Slide Lecture by Maria Elena Alvarez, a Venezuelan artist who lives in New York City, 109 Art and Architecture.

Feb. 8, 7 p.m., 1990 Columbian film “Rodrigo D.: No Future,” library auditorium.

Feb. 10, 6 p.m., Culture Night II: southern South America, International House.

Feb. 17, noon, “Sustainable Forestry in Amazonas,” Dr. Jim Kahn, UT-Knoxville economics professor, International House.

Feb. 22, 7 p.m., 1996 U.S. and Dominican Republic film “Bitter Sugar,” library auditorium.

Feb. 25, 7 p.m., “Brazilian Carnival,” Fatima Buchert, UT-Knoxville Portuguese instructor, International House.

March 3, 6 p.m., Culture Night III: Central America, International House.

March 4, 2 p.m., Multicultural Symposium on “Indigenous People’s Politics in Ecuador,” Dr. Kenneth Mijeski, who chairs East Tennessee State University, and Dr. Scott Beck, who chairs ETSU sociology and anthropology department; “Indigenous Peoples and Constitutional Reform in Bolivia and Colombia,” Dr. Donna Von Cott, UT-Knoxville political science professor, International House.

March 8, 7 p.m., 1997 Brazilian film “Four Days in September,” library auditorium.

March 24, noon, “Resolving Water Pollution Conflicts–The Case of Ecuador,” Dr. Denise Stanley, UT-Knoxville economics professor, international House.

March 29, 7 p.m., “The Current Situation in Chile,” Dr. Juan Allende, political science professor at Agnes Scott College, followed by the 1997 film “Chile, Obstinate Memory,” library auditorium.

March 30-Apr. 1, 8 p.m., Theatre Troupe from Mexico: Compania De Teatro–Angeles Sanchez, Carousel Theatre.

Apr. 5, 7 p.m., 1997 Brazilian film, “Tieta,” library auditorium.

Apr. 6, 7 p.m., “Brazilian Art,” Dr. Moema Furtado, UT-Knoxville art professor, International House.

Apr. 7, 6 p.m., Culture Night IV: Brazil, International House.

Apr. 8, 7 p.m., “Spiritist Healing in Brazil,” Daryl Lynch, UT-Knoxville Ph.D. student in Anthropology, International House.

Apr. 24, time to be announced later, Latin Dance Party, International House.

Exhibits held Jan. 15-Feb. 8 include Contemporary Cuban Art at the Ewing Gallery curated by Carlos Ancalmo Hodges; Latin America Displays at Hodges Library by Jim Minton and Sandy Leach; “Rio 40C–A Photographic Exhibit” by Moema Lacerda Furtado at the International House.

Contact:    Dr. Todd Diacon (423-974-9867) / Dr. Joseph Flory (423-974-3177)