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LAII Honors Distinguished Alum Dr. Frederick Nunn

In a special event and surprise ceremony on Wednesday evening, Dr. Frederick M. Nunn was honored at the Latin American & Iberian Institute (LAII) for his remarkable career and continuous support to the LAII. The event started with a keynote presentation by Dr. Nunn on "Threads of History or, The Chile of the Arpilleras: Studies in Imagination, Perspective, and Intrigue", which showcased how times of stress or crisis produce vivid and dramatic examples of the perpetual relationship between history and politics, and the creative arts. The talk addressed the context in which appliqué became the medium of expression for the Chileans' appreciation of their past, present and future when, in 1973, Latin America's most professional armed forces and police deposed a democratically elected president in Chile and held power for 17 years. The presentation depicted not only how Chileans produced art literature, music, poetry, and theater in opposition to the regime, but also how they demanded change.

In the second part of the evening in a surprise heartfelt ceremony, Dr. Nunn was recognized with a plaque by Dr. Susan Tiano, Director of the LAII. "[Fred] You have been an inspiration to our students and junior faculty, modeling interdisciplinary research and helping them make connections through your elaborate professional networks. There is no way we can adequately express our deeply felt gratitude for all your contributions to the LAII over the years," Dr. Tiano stated.

Dr. Nunn was the first person to receive a Ph.D. in Ibero-American Studies, the forerunner of the Latin American Studies Ph.D. program at UNM. He has also been a generous donor to the LAII, contributing every year since 1999 when the Edwin Lieuwen Memorial Fund was established. The fund is intended to provide field research grants for graduate students in the Latin American Studies program. Dr. Nunn's research and distinguished scholarship exemplify the interdisciplinary education mission of the LAII. He is Professor Emeritus of History and International Studies at Portland State University, where he also played a strong leadership role in university administration, acting as Chair of the Department of History, Associate Dean and Acting Dean of the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences, Vice-Provost for International Affairs, and Special Assistant to the President for Internationalization. He has also been a visiting professor at Waseda University in Tokyo, and spent a recent year at the National Defense University in Washington D.C serving as Dean of Academic Affairs.

Dr. Nunn's award-winning work has deepened understanding of the role of the military in Latin America, particularly in Chile, Argentina, Brazil, Peru, and Mexico. He is the author of 9 published books and over 50, mostly single-authored, journal articles and book chapters. His research has earned him various accolades, including the Tomas G. McGann Book Award; the Hubert Herring Book Award; and, the Branford Price Millar Award for Faculty Excellence. Dr. Nunn's research has been funded by the American Philosophical Society, the Organization of American States, the Council of Learned Societies, the Social Science Research Council, the Guggenheim Foundation, the National Endowment for the Humanities, Fulbright Hays, Portland State University, and the Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation.

Posted Thursday, March 21, 2013.