Symposium: "Creating Freedom in the Americas, 1776-1826"

Notice to the Press
Office of the Spokesman
Washington, DC
November 17, 2010

On November 19, the Bureau of Western Hemisphere Affairs and the Hispanic Division of the Library of Congress will co-host a symposium titled “Creating Freedom in the Americas, 1776-1826.” Assistant Secretary for Western Hemisphere Affairs Arturo Valenzuela and Librarian of Congress James Billington will deliver opening remarks at 9:00 a.m. in the Mumford Room, 6th floor of the James Madison Building, 101 Independence Avenue, SE, Washington, DC.

The symposium celebrates the bicentennials of the independence of Argentina, Chile, Colombia, and Mexico and highlights the shared history and values of the United States and Latin America. Leading historians of the independence period – covering not only Spanish-speaking Latin America, but also Brazil, Haiti, and the United States – will participate in three panel sessions: The Americas on the Eve of the Independence Movements, Comparing Independence Movements in the Americas, and Constitution-Making in the Western Hemisphere. The full agenda is attached.

This event is open to the press. Pre-set time for cameras is 8:30 a.m.

The second panel, “Comparing Independence Movements in the Americas” at 11:15 a.m. EST, will be livestreamed in Spanish at

Presenters will deliver remarks in both English and Spanish. Simultaneous interpretation will be provided. The symposium is free and open to the public, but reservations are requested. To make a reservation, contact the Hispanic Division at (202) 707-6404.


Darla Jordan
Bureau of Western Hemisphere Affairs
U.S. Department of State
(202) 531-5678

Erin Allen
Library of Congress
(202) 707-7302


Mumford Room, Library of Congress

November 19, 2010

9:00 a.m. Introduction by James Billington, Librarian of Congress

9:05 a.m. Opening Remarks by Dr. Arturo Valenzuela, Assistant Secretary of State for
Western Hemisphere Affairs

9:15 a.m. Panel I: The Americas on the Eve of the Independence Movements

Chair: Paula Alonso, George Washington University
Commentator: Roberto Cortés Conde, Universidad de San Andrés, Buenos Aires, Argentina

Michael Kammen, Cornell University
Alfredo Jocelyn–Holt, Universidad de Chile, Santiago, Chile
Inés Quintero, Universidad Central, Caracas, Venezuela
José María Portillo Valdéz, Universidad del País Vasco, Vitoria, Spain

11:15 a.m. Panel II: Comparing Independence Movements in the Americas

Chair and Commentator: Franklin Knight, Johns Hopkins University
Leslie Bethell, Emeritus Professor of Latin American History, University of London
David Armitage, Harvard University
Alfonso Múnera, Universidad de Cartagena, Cartagena, Colombia
John Tutino, Georgetown University
David Geggus, University of Florida, Gainesville

2:45 p.m. Panel III: Constitution-Making in the Western Hemisphere

Chair: Georgette Dorn, Library of Congress.
Commentator: Ivan Jaksic, Stanford University Program, Santiago, Chile

José Carlos Chiaramonte, Instituto Emilio Ravignani, Universidad de Buenos Aires
Jack Rakove, Stanford University
Alfredo Avila Rueda, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, Mexico City
Manuel Chust Calero, Universidad Jaume I, Spain

PRN: 2010/1662