Quick Take:

A symposium at UC Santa Cruz this Wednesday will bring local scholars and Brazilian social scientists to talk about neoconservatism, Indigenous rights and what’s fueled the far right in Latin America’s most populous country.

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With the election of Giorgia Meloni’s government in Italy this week — and with Donald Trump’s presidency still in near memory in the United States — it bears asking: Where is far-right politics headed globally?

This question — through the lens of Latin America’s diverse and turbulent political landscape — will be the focus of a research symposium at UC Santa Cruz on Wednesday. Headlined “The Far Right and Democracy: Brazil and the Américas,” the all-day, public event will see UCSC faculty members and graduate students join six social scientists from Brazil’s State University of Campinas (UNICAMP) to discuss the “political and cultural effects of the rise of the far right in the Américas and its impacts on democracy.”

The symposium schedule is arranged in four successive panels, spanning topics from the influence of Indigenous peoples in Latin American politics to the political rights of marginalized groups in Brazil. Panelists hail from a wide range of academic backgrounds in the arts, humanities and social sciences.

Know before you go

Who: UC Santa Cruz’s Latin American and Latino Studies department organized the event, in collaboration with a long list of campus departments and student groups. It is free and open to the public. Registration is not required.

Where: UC Santa Cruz campus, Humanities 1 building, Room 210.

When: Wednesday, 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

To see a more detailed schedule and learn more about the symposium — including a full list of scheduled panelists — check out its event page.

Flora Lu, an ecological anthropologist and the provost of UCSC’s College 9 and John R. Lewis College, will appear on the event’s first panel, titled “Indigenous Rights and Resistance in the Américas.” An “Amazonist” whose research focuses on Indigenous groups in Ecuador, Lu says the event comes at a time when the lives of people who live in the Amazon rainforest hangs in a tenuous balance — one that could be decided next week, when Brazil holds its national elections.

“The stakes could not be higher — both for Brazil and the planet,” Lu said.

Thomas Sawano joins the Lookout team after two-and-a-half years at City on a Hill Press, the student-run newspaper at UCSC. While there, he reported on the university, arts and culture events, and the...