Professor Spaccarelli traveling in South America

Professor Spaccarelli is on sabbatical leave Easter semester, 2010. He is currently in Buenos Aires and Cordoba, Argentina helping Sewanee alum Grant Burrier (C '05) in a research project involving "empresas y fábricas recuperadas". Burrier is finishing a PhD in Latin American politics and culture at the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque.

During the Menem years (1989-1999) and with the economic crisis of 2000-01, many businesses in Argentina closed. Unemployment reached extremely high levels. In many sectors workers occupied their former factories and offices and created collectives and cooperatives and went back to work. Naomi Klein's 2004 documentary "The Take" presents many of the issues involved in this phenomenon. Spaccarelli and Burrier are in Argentina to look into these issues. They are visiting factories and businesses, interviewing members of the collectives, and collecting data concerning these businesses. In some cases the former owners want to recover their businesses after seeing that the workers can make them successful. There are countless law cases involved in this phenomenon. Of course, politicians are also involved since pitted against one another are the rights of citizens to have work and the rights of private property. In many cases the recovered businesses have received subsidies from both the state and federal levels since the cooperative movement is capital poor.

In addition, during this period of sabbatical, Professor SpaccarelliI hopes to expand on a student/faculty collaborative project that will edit select works of the Uruguayan writer Eduardo Galeano. He is working with current Sewanee student Lindsay Lanois and alum Grant Burrier in producing a student reader of Galeano's works. They hope to interview Galeano during Spring Break in March.