Book launch: Cowards Don't Make History

Prof. Joanne Rappaport and Prof. Pilar Riaño-Alcalá
Event date
Event time
17:00 - 19:00
Online via Zoom
Event type
Lectures and seminars
Event cost
Disabled access?
Booking required

Embrace Dialogue Academia Seminars are dialogues bridging academic research with policy implications for contemporary peacebuilding challenges in Colombia.

Book launch. Cowards Don′t Make History: Orlando Fals Borda and the Origins of Participatory Action Research (Duke University Press, 2020) by Joanne Rappaport.

Author: Professor Joanne Rappaport, Department of Spanish and Portuguese, Georgetown University

Discussant: Professor Pilar Riaño-Alcalá, the Social Justice Institute, University of British Columbia

Convener: Dr Gwen Burnyeat, Junior Research Fellow in Anthropology, Merton College (University of Oxford) and member of Embrace Dialogue

About the book:

In the early 1970s, a group of Colombian intellectuals led by the pioneering sociologist Orlando Fals Borda created a research-activist collective called La Rosca de Investigación y Acción Social (Circle of Research and Social Action). Combining sociological and historical research with a firm commitment to grassroots social movements, Fals Borda and his colleagues collaborated with indigenous and peasant organizations throughout Colombia. In Cowards Don’t Make History, Joanne Rappaport examines the development of participatory action research on the Caribbean coast, highlighting Fals Borda’s rejection of traditional positivist research frameworks in favour of sharing his own authority as a researcher with peasant activists. Fals Borda and his colleagues inserted themselves as researcher-activists into the activities of the National Association of Peasant Users, coordinated research priorities with its leaders, studied the history of peasant struggles, and, in collaboration with peasant researchers, prepared accessible materials for an organizational readership, thereby transforming research into a political organizing tool. Rappaport shows how the fundamental concepts of participatory action research as they were framed by Fals Borda continue to be relevant to engaged social scientists and other researchers in Latin America and beyond.

Book available here.

Online session via Zoom - link provided upon registration.