Thursday, January 5, 2012: 3:00 PM
Wrigleyville Room (Chicago Marriott Downtown)
This paper explores the largely unknown history of civic Pan-Americanism-the mobilization of men and women, boys and girls, around the elusive ideal of inter-American solidarity and friendship. A far cry from the more equal playing field of Bolivarian Pan-Americanism, the new inter-American ideal spearheaded by the U.S. government was one that came to be defined along tropes of superiority and inferiority, but that also recognized the urgent need for hemispheric cooperation. According to scholars like Sara Castro-Klarén, Pan-Americanism became a strategy for U.S. hegemony in the region, both economic and political under the guise of peace and unity. This paper examines two of the earliest civic associations formed in the United States to promote Pan-Americanism: the all-men’s Pan American Society (1912) first founded in New York City with an active club in San Francisco (1930), and the all-women’s Pan American Round Table (1916), founded in San Antonio, TX with clubs throughout the Southwest and eventually Latin America (first club established in 1928 in Mexico City). Both organizations carried out their work in typically male and female ways. While men of the PAS sought to perform Pan-Americanism through their efforts to build commercial and political networks with Latin America, women of the PART developed and funded scholarships to bring Latin American girls to Texas universities and hosted luncheons and teas with visiting Latin American dignitaries to build their networks. In both cases, I argue, their positionality both in terms of where they lived in the United States and in contrast to Latin America shaped their understanding and performance of the Pan-American ideal.
 Sara Castro-Klarén, “Framing Pan-Americanism: Simón Bolívar’s Findings,” CR: The New Centennial Review, 3:1 (Spring 2003), 43.
[i] Sara Castro-Klarén, “Framing Pan-Americanism: Simón Bolívar’s Findings,” CR: The New Centennial Review, 3:1 (Spring 2003), 43.