Harvard needs a Center for Latin American Studies, Juan Marichal, Professor of Romance Languages and Literatures said in an interview yesterday. "To Latin Americans," he said, "Washington is one thing and Harvard is another. They would trust policy formed at a Harvard Center."
Marichal is a member of the 6-year-old Committee on Latin American Studies that currently on Latin American Studies that currently administers funds and coordinates Harvard work in that area. He was born in the Canary Islands and came to the United States in 1946.
He also suggested that a Center would be able to help secure funds necessary to bring Latin American students here on fellowships. "Too often," he said, "these students study only their own countries and never look at Latin America as a whole."
No Sweeping Study
If a Center were created, he said, it should stress the application of various disciplines to Latin American affairs rather than a sweeping study of all the area's problems. "I don't think we should try to train 'Latin American experts,' the way many universities do," he said. "Instead, we should have economists specialize in the region's economy, historians in the history, and so on."
Marichal warned that an uncontrolled "inflation" of Latin American study at Harvard could be power," he explained, "many universities set up area studies without having the trained men to make them worthwhile." He noted, however, that the arrival at Harvard this year of men like Enrique Anderson-Imbert, victor S. Thomas Professor of Hispanic American Literature, and Albert O. Hirschman, professor of political Economy, provide a nucleus about which a Center can be built.
"In fact," he added "the only department that needs a full-time specialist in Latin American affairs that doesn't have one is Government."