Nicaragua 1920 x 830


International, transnational, and global histories of the Nicaraguan Revolution, 1977-1990

Hosted by the Latin America and Caribbean Centre (LACC)

Fawcett House, room 9.05

Almost forty years ago, on 19 July 1979, Nicaraguan guerrillas from the Frente Sandinista de Liberación Nacional (Sandinista National Liberation Front, or FSLN) overthrew the regime of Anastasio Somoza. Their victory ended the decades long dictatorship and ushered forth revolutionary change.

After the revolution triumphed, solidarity and support for the FSLN grew further still, as human rights groups, labour unions, and church organisations cooperated with the Sandinistas to make the revolution a success. The latter became increasingly difficult when Ronald Reagan obtained power in 1981 and decided he needed to ‘roll back communism’ in Central America. Throughout the 1980s, Nicaragua became a focal point of a destructive Cold War struggle to determine the future of that country. This battle was fought not only by Nicaraguans on a local level but also by diplomats, solidarity activists, musicians and artists on a global stage.

And yet we still know surprisingly little about the global, international, and transnational dimensions of the Nicaraguan Revolution. To encourage scholarly collaboration, take stock of what is known to date, and to delineate new areas of research in the future, this one-day workshop will bring scholars together to engage dialogue and debate with each other. It aims to advance understanding of the international, transnational, and global dynamics of the Nicaraguan Revolution.

Workshop programme:

9.30 - 11.00 Solidarity and Revolutionary Diplomacy

  • Chair: Tanya Harmer (LSE)
  • Daniel Palm Cisne, Concepts of Solidarity amidst the Cold War: German Solidarity Groups and the Revolution in Nicaragua, 1979-1989
  • Eline van Ommen (LSE), Challenging the Monroe Doctrine: Sandinistas in Western Europe, 1977-1990
  • Friederike Apelt (Leibniz Universität Hannover), ‘Sandino’s Daughters’: Women, gendered politics and the mobilization of transnational solidarity during the Sandinista Revolution
  • William Michael Schmidli (Leiden University), ‘The grindstone on which we sharpen ourselves’: Solidarity Activism and U.S. War on Nicaragua, 1981-1990

11.00 - 11.30: Coffee

11.30 - 13.00 Revolutionary Culture 

  • Chair: Eline van Ommen (LSE)
  • Emily Snyder (Yale University), Cuba, Nicaragua, Unidas Vencerán: Considering Official Collaborations between the Sandinista and Cuban Revolutions
  • Samuel Troy Shepherd (University of Pittsburgh), Literacy & Legitimacy: The International Dimensions of Nicaragua’s 1980 Literacy Crusade
  • Ileana L. Selejan (UCL), Image Wars and Photographic Solidarities: Nicaragua in the Crossfire, 1978-1990
  • Sophie Esch (Rice University), A People Born Between Rifle and Singing: The Latin American New Song Movement and International Solidarity in Nicaragua

13.00 - 14.00: Lunch

14.00 - 15.30 The Revolution Contested 

  • Chair: Anna Cant (LSE)
  • Felix A. Jimenez Botta (Boston College), Tropical Totalitarianism or Revolutionary Human Rights? West Germans and the Nicaraguan Revolution, 1977–1990
  • Evan D. McCormick (Simmons University), Democracy Beyond Rhetoric:Competing Models of Political Development in the U.S.-Nicaraguan Crisis, 1979-1990
  • Kim Christiaens (KU Leuven), The Red Dictatorship: Anti-Sandinista Solidarity Movements in Europe
  • Molly Avery (LSE), Chile, Argentina and Transnational Latin American Anti-communist Networks in Guatemala and El Salvador in the Wake of the Nicaraguan Revolution

15.30-16.00: Coffee

16.00-18.00: Legacies and Crisis 

  • Chair: Gareth Jones (LSE)
  • David Lee (Temple University), ¡Devórame otra vez!: Sandinista Afterlives in Contemporary Nicaragua.
  • Jose Manuel Agreda Portero (Universidad de Santiago de Compostela), La solidaridad española con Nicaragua post 1990. Del cierre de filas a la crítica al FSLN
  • Julie Cupples (University of Edinburgh): Patria libre para vivir: Discursive articulations and disarticulations in the 2018 Nicaraguan uprising
  • Samira Marty (University of Oslo): Revolution Revisited. Temporalities of Transnational (Hi)Stories of German Activists between Nicaragua and Berlin
  • Holly Ryan (Queen Mary University): UK/Nicaragua twinning: the politics of translocal friendship thirty years after the Sandinista Revolution 





Image credit: Lon&Queta CC BY-NC-SA 2.0