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Social Justice Institute

2011 Jean Donovan International Social Justice Conference

2011 Jean Donovan International Social Justice Conference

Session I: “God, Power, and Revolution: Politics of Liberation Theology”

Joy R. Bostic (Facilitator) is Assistant Professor in the Department of Religious Studies at Case Western Reserve University. Her teaching and research focus on such areas as African American religion and culture, mysticism and activism, and womanist/feminist issues in religion and social justice.

Susan Fitzpatrick-Behrens is an associate professor of history at California State University, Northridge, and author of the forthcoming book, Transnational Faith and Transformation: The Maryknoll Catholic Mission in Peru, 1943 – 1980, Kellogg Institute Series with the University of Notre Dame Press (Fall 2011). Dr. Fitzpatrick-Behrens’ scholarship explores the intersection of missionary work and indigenous people and offers perspectives on liberation theology and progressive Catholicism. Her broad areas of research include 20th century Latin America; indigenous communities and ethnicity in Peru and Guatemala; Latin American-U.S. relations; religion, gender, sexuality, and militarism in Latin America.

Michael E. Lee is Associate Professor of Theology at Fordham University, where he also teaches in its Latin American and Latino Studies Institute. He serves on the governing boards of the Catholic Theological Society of America and the Academy of Catholic Hispanic Theologians of the United States.  Dr. Lee researches in the area of Latin American liberation theology, spirituality, and the intersection of religion and politics. His most recent book, the award-winning Bearing the Weight of Salvation, explores the life and theology of Ignacio Ellacuría, SJ, university president, theologian, and slain Jesuit priest of El Salvador. Currently, Dr. Lee is editing a translation volume of Ellacuría’s major theological essays into English. He lives in the Bronx, NY with his wife Natalia, and their sons William and Benjamin.

Sister Sheila Marie Tobbe (O.S.U.) is the executive director of the Thea Bowman Center in Cleveland.  The center is devoted to creating a safe community in Cleveland’s Mt. Pleasant neighborhood. An Ursuline sister, Sister Tobbe made her first trip to El Salvador in December 1979 to visit her friend Sister Dorothy Kazel. While there, she met Jean Donovan. In 1980, Kazel, Donovan, and two Maryknoll Sisters from New York, Maura Clarke and Ita Ford, were murdered. Ten years later, Sister Tobbe returned to the same parish where Dorothy and Jean conducted their mission work.

Session II: “Confronting History and State Violence, Then and Now”

Marixa Lasso (Facilitator) is Associate Professor of Latin American history at Case Western Reserve University. The author of the Myths of Harmony Race and Republicanism during the Age of Revolution, Colombia 1795-1831 (2007), she also has published articles in the American Historical Review and Historical Reflections, among other journals. She is currently working on a new project on the urban history of the Caribbean port-city of Colon.

Jeffrey L. Gould is the James H. Rudy Professor of History at Indiana University. From 1995-2008, he was Director of the Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies. His most recent book, co-authored with Aldo Lauria, is To Rise in Darkness: Revolution, Repression, and Memory in El Salvador, 1920-32 (2008).  He is the author of numerous other books, including To Lead as Equals: Rural Protest and Political Consciousness in Chinandega, Nicaragua, 1912-1979 (1990); El Mito de Nicaragua Mestiza y la Resistencia Indígena (1997); and To Die in This Way: Nicaraguan Indian Communities and the Myth of Mestizaje, 1880-1965  (1998). A 2002 Guggenheim fellowship recipient, Gould also co-directed and co-produced a documentary film, “Scars of Memory: El Salvador, 1932” (Icarus, 2003), which won an Award of Merit from the Latin American Studies Association. Currently, he is completing another documentary film entitled La Palabra en el Bosquethat deals with peasants in Morazán, El Salvador, during the 1970s.

Elizabeth Oglesby is an associate professor in geography and the Center for Latin American Studies at the University of Arizona. She has conducted research in rural Guatemala since 1986. She was a researcher with the Association for the Advancement of the Social Sciences in Guatemala (AVANCSO), editor of Central America Report, published by Inforpress Centroamericana, and Associate Editor of Report on the Americas, published by the North American Congress on Latin America. From 1997-1999, she was a consultant to the Guatemalan Commission for Historical Clarification (CEH, Guatemala’s Truth Commission) and a member of the writing team of the CEH’s final report. She has received research grants and fellowships from the National Science Foundation, Social Science Research Council, Woodrow Wilson Foundation, Inter-American Foundation, Carnegie Council on Ethics and International Affairs, Society of Women Geographers, and the Wenner Gren Foundation. She has published numerous articles on Central American development politics, state violence, historical memory, refugees and migration.

Adrienne Pine is an Assistant Professor of Anthropology at American University. She is a self-described militant medical anthropologist who has worked in Honduras, Mexico, Korea, the United States, and Egypt. Her latest book is Working Hard, Drinking Hard: On Violence and Survival in Honduras (2008). Dr. Pine has worked both outside and inside the academy to effect a more just world. Prior to and following the June 2009 military coup in Honduras, she has collaborated with numerous organizations and individuals to bring international attention to the Honduran struggle to halt the state violence (in its multiple forms). She has also conducted extensive research on the impact of corporate health-care and health-care technologies on labor practices in the U.S. She blogs at: