A Researchers' Mecca: The Joint Committee on Latin American Studies and Its Protegés

by Servando Ortoll

Jan 1, 2012
During the eight days I spent working at the Rockefeller Archive Center (RAC) prior to my submitting a research grant proposal, I was puzzled by a number of questions related to the functioning of the Social Science Research Council (SSRC) during the WW II period. How did its members justify their dual policy of supporting certain scholars' research on Latin America, while training others to pursue "intelligence" work on the region? Were both concerns part of the same academic endeavor, or was the SSRC merely a government agency promoting intelligence work through the work of its fellows? If, however, the SSRC was essentially a researchsponsoring institution, at what point in time did it become interested in Latin America? If this moment arrived while war was imminent, did the SSRC's interest subside after WW II, and if it did, what form or forms did it take?
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