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  • Inter-American Notes Conferences
  • Bridget María Chesterton

Between July 23 and July 25, 2014, the University of Montevideo hosted the Fourth Jornadas Internacionales de Historia del Paraguay, with sponsorship from the Universities of Georgia, Köln, and Rennes 2. Organized by Thomas Whigham and Juan Manuel Casal, the conference included 45 presenters and 70 attendees traveling to the Uruguayan capital from the United States, Germany, Spain, Italy, Paraguay, Brazil, Chile, Uruguay, and Paraguay. Students from both the National and Catholic Universities of Asunción also took part with one of their number, Claudio José Fuentes Armadans (Universidad Católica), providing an interesting presentation on the history of the Liberal Party. First-time contributors to the conference included Carlos Gómez Florentín (SUNY Stony Brook), who discussed the environmental history of the hydroelectric complex at Itaipú, and Justin Michael Heath (University of Texas, Austin), who traced the evolution of frontier security in the early Jesuit missions. The Jornadas also benefited from repeat contributors, including Ignacio Telesca (Universidad Nacional de Formosa/CONICET), who analyzed the historical content of Paraguayan textbooks in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, and Bridget María Chesterton, who discussed how the “sweet herb” ka’a he’e (stevia) has affected markets and habits of consumption in more recent times.

Barbara Potthast (Universität zu Köln) explained how political catechisms shaped concepts of citizenship in Paraguay during the nineteenth century. Liliana Brezzo (Universidad Católica de Argentina-Rosario/CONICET) detailed the life of Juan E. O’Leary, whose interpretations—or revisions—of Paraguayan history first drew attention during his stay in Paris in the 1930s. Jennifer French (Williams College) gave a particularly insightful and well-received presentation on trauma in both the historical works and the fiction of one-time Paraguayan president Juan Natalicio González. Paraguayan [End Page 149] participants included Mary Monte de López Moreira (Academia Nacional de Historia), who presented on women during the Francia dictatorship (1814–1840).

As with the three preceding Jornadas Internacionales, the 2014 meeting was generally judged a success. Ex-president Julio María Sanguinetti of Uruguay, himself in attendance, expressed great support for such international conferences. This year’s Jornadas were dedicated to the memory of Jerry Cooney, a founder of the conference; A panel discussion was dedicated to remember and honor his many contributions to the study of Paraguayan history.

Planning is already underway for a fifth Jornadas, to take place in 2016. Meanwhile, the organizers are assembling the talks from 2014 for publication as a book of proceedings with the title Tiempo de Historia in Asunción. [End Page 150]

Bridget María Chesterton
SUNY Buffalo State
Buffalo, New York


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