Over the past five years, the Penn International Relations Conference (PIRC) has developed from a single-day affair into a comprehensive semester-long program built around pertinent themes and issues in international relations. Started in 2009 as the Conference on International Affairs (CIA) and renamed as PIRC in 2010, previous sessions of the conference have touched on a variety of topics from global development to disaster relief, and focused on various regions of the world including Asia and the Pacific Rim, Africa, and Europe. In 2013, a process of restructuring led to PIRC coming under the University of Pennsylvania’s International Affairs Association’s Community Outreach and Engagement Branch, further empowering it to fulfill its core purpose of educating high-school participants on foreign current events and instilling in them a genuine interest in international affairs and politics.
This year, we are pleased to announce Latin America as our region of choice, given its long history of interactions with North America coupled with its growing presence on the world stage. PIRC 2014 allows us a multifaceted look into the cultural and political diversity of the region, the current struggles and successes, and the dynamic relations Latin America holds with the United States and rest of the world. Our presenters will introduce a varied overview of the enveloping academic discussions of Latin America, as model for the future, as a historical enigma, and a surging economic power challenged by violence and corruption.
We hope that this regional focus will serve as a framework to better understand international affairs. To aid in processing such information, students will participate in hands-on discussions integrating what the students have learned from the speakers with their own creative problem-solving skills regarding the current situation in Latin America. PIRC is run completely by University of Pennsylvania undergraduates and it is our way of connecting with the students in the surrounding community. We hope that students who attend PIRC 2014 leave with a deepened desire to learn more about the politics and global events encompassing our ever-changing world.
This year, PIRC is expanding its outreach through social media and direct school visits. Please take the time to explore our website to learn more about PIRC and the people behind it. In the coming months, we will be uploading videos and other media to the site to provide a better preview of the conference and to allow you to try simulations at your school. A sample agenda will appear soon, as will important information regarding registration and arranging a school visit with members of our secretariat. If you are a business looking to sponsor PIRC, please contact our business directors directly for further information. For any inquiries, do not hesitate to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or check out our FAQ section.
We look forward to seeing you at PIRC!
The PIRC 2014 Secretariat