November 15, 2010 Conference on Creating Freedom in the Americas to Be Held Nov. 19

Press Contact: Erin Allen (202) 707-7302
Public Contact: Catalina Gómez (202) 707-6404

Most of the countries of the Americas gained their independence from Europe in the wake of the Age of Enlightenment. This halcyon period continues to fascinate historians on both sides of the Atlantic.

The Library’s Hispanic Division and Arturo Valenzuala, assistant secretary of state for Western Hemisphere Affairs, will sponsor a day-long conference, “Creating Freedom in the Americas, 1776-1826,” on Friday, Nov. 19, from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., in the Mumford Room on the sixth floor of the James Madison Building, 101 Independence Ave. S.E., Washington, D.C.

The conference is free and open to the public, but reservations are requested. Contact the Hispanic Division at (202) 707-6404.

Renowned scholars will present results of recent research on the age of independence in North America and South America.

The panel on “The Americas on the Eve of Independence Movements” will feature Alfredo Jocelyn-Holt (Universidad de Chile), Michael Kammen (Cornell University), Inés Quintero (Universidad Central, Venezuela), José M. Portillo Valdés (Universidad del Pais Vasco, Spain) and Roberto Cortés-Conde (Universidad de San Andrés, Argentina).

Presentations on “Comparing Independence Movements in the Americas” will be given by Leslie Bethell (Oxford University, United Kingdom), David Armitage (Harvard University), John Tutino (Georgetown University), Alfonso Múnera (Universidad de Cartagena, Colombia) and David Geggus (University of Florida).

The panel on “Constitution-Making in the Western Hemisphere” features Jack Rakove (Stanford Universrty), José Carlos Chairamonte (Universidad e Buenos Aires), Alfredo Avila Rueda (Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México) and Manuel Chust Calero (Universidad Jaume I, Spain).

Speakers will present or comment in either English or Spanish, and simultaneous translation will be provided. Ear phones will be available upon request.

The Hispanic Division, established in 1939, is the Library’s center for the study of the cultures and societies of Latin America, the Caribbean, the Iberian Peninsula and other areas where Spanish and Portuguese influences have been significant. The collections comprise more than 13 million items in all formats about the Luso-Hispanic world. “The Handbook of Latin American Studies” is prepared annually in the Hispanic Division and is published by the University of Texas Press. For more information about the Hispanic Division, visit

The Library of Congress, the nation's oldest federal cultural institution, is the world's preeminent reservoir of knowledge, providing unparalleled collections and integrated resources to Congress and the American people. Many of the Library’s rich resources can be accessed through its website at and via interactive exhibitions on a personalized website at


PR 10-258
ISSN 0731-3527