Editor’s Letter

Transitions

by | Dec 19, 2019

There is no smell of pungent printers ink permeating my office. My interns—Sylvie, Isaac and Marc—are not scrambling to find FedEx boxes to send out ReVista issues to authors and photographers all over the world. I cannot feel the silken touch of the printed page, gaze at the cover—always the cover—we have chosen with our creative designer, Jane Simon. I look for the boxes and feel an emptiness.

This issue of ReVista, the Harvard Review of Latin America is entirely online.

We’re trying in this transition. Marc made a wonderful video of our Visiting Scholar Flavia Piovesan who wrote an article about the human rights of senior citizens. We’re adding sections on travel (please contribute!) and student perspectives (please contribute also!), as well as a multimedia section. And we’ll have more “room” for book reviews.

And yet as an editor, a journalist and an older person, I can’t help but feel that universities have an obligation to the printed word, to the archives, to the permanence of thought. I can’t help but think that the printed word must be preserved—particularly in academia.

You, our readers and contributors, will be receiving a survey (if not, here’s the link here: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSdSEazfCch4cDBl0R1eqSN0_t4n60-GX5PdZlEVq2TcUYn_0g/viewform?vc=0&c=0&w=1). Please let us know what you think…it will help decide ReVista‘s transition.

I ask myself if my attitude is one of aging—the theme of this issue. No one laments the loss of typewriters except as a somewhat artistic object to put on display in the study. But then again, records are coming back, and I know millenials (and younger) who have invested in vintage record players and records. Is print like the typewriter or the record player? We have no way of knowing without the wisdom of the future.

Traditionally a continent of young people, Latin America and the Caribbean face new challenges as people live longer. In this issue on aging, we look at senior citizens as human beings in transition—just like ReVista.

Winter 2019, Volume XVIII, Number 2

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