Appalachian to host conference on economic history with panel from Cuba

The 11th Annual Appalachian Spring Conference in World History and Economics: "Institutions and Development," returns to Appalachian State University, Saturday and Sunday, April 15, 16 and 17th.

This conference is an interdisciplinary meeting aimed at bringing together scholars from Appalachian State University (Boone, NC) with scholars from other universities in North Carolina, the surrounding states, and abroad.

This year's keynote speaker is Dr. James Robinson, leading specialist in development economics and economic history at the Harris School of Public Policy at the University of Chicago.

Dr. Robinson's main research interests are in comparative economic and political development with a particular interest in Latin America and Sub-Saharan Africa. He is currently conducting research in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Sierra Leone, Haiti and in Colombia where he has taught for many years during the summer at the University of the Andes in Bogotá. He has written and co-authored numerous books and articles, including the widely acclaimed Economic Origins of Dictatorship and Democracy. Recent articles include "Institutions, Human Capital and Development," in the Annual Reviews of Economics; "Chiefs: Economic Development and elite Control of Civil Society in Sierra Leone," in the Journal of Political Economy.

In addition the conference will feature two roundtable discussions on the history of Cuba and speculation on the country's future economy with an emphasis on the recent diplomatic events between Cuba and the U.S.

The first panel, titled "December 17, 2014: The U.S.-Cuban Rapprochement in a Historical Perspective," will be chaired by Dr. Joseph Gonzalez on Friday, April 15, from 4:30-6:00pm in Raley Hall PH 1012. It will focus on Cuba's economic history within a global perspective, especially its diplomatic relationship with the U.S.

The second panel, "Cuba 2026: The Futures of Cuba" will be on Saturday, April 16, from 2:30-4:00pm. Dr. Jeffrey Bortz will serve as Chair and the discussion will focus on speculation about Cuba's economic future in light of the recent reparation of the relationship between the country and the United States.

Both round table panels will feature the following scholars:

  • Dr. Oscar Zanetti, Professor Emeritus, University of Havana and noted economic historian of Cuba.
  • Dr. Servando Valdés Sánchez, Professor and Researcher, Institute of Cuban History, Havana.
  • Dr. Louis A. Pérez, Jr., J. Carlyle Sitterson Professor of History, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill.
  • Dr. Joseph J. Gonzalez, Assistant Professor, Interdisciplinary and Global Studies Programs, Department of Cultural, Gender, and Global Studies.
  • Dr. Renee Scherlen, Professor and Curriculum Coordinator for the Appalachian State
  • Department of Government and Justice Studies.
  • Dr. Jeffrey Bortz, Professor of History at Appalachian State University
  • This conference is free for the Appalachian State University community and student participation is strongly welcomed. Registration is required and can be found here.
Published: Apr 7, 2016 12:00am