About CLAS


Mission: Established in 1968, the University of Chicago Center for Latin American Studies (CLAS) brings together faculty and students across the University in interdisciplinary and interdivisional research, teaching, scholarly events, and public engagement related to this vital region of the world.

Since 1976, National Resource Center (NRC) and Foreign Language and Area Studies (FLAS) grants from the International and Foreign Language Education (IFLE) office of the US Department of Education have helped CLAS to support research, foreign language teaching and learning, and events and public engagement programs. Much of the programming described below is supported through these grants, in addition to generous endowment and gift support. Through these programs, the Center sponsors activities that contribute to the richness of Latin American Studies on the University of Chicago campus and beyond.

Academic Programs and Research

In addition to supporting students with interests in Latin America across the University, CLAS offers:

  • BA major and minor programs
  • One-year Master of Arts degree
  • Joint MA in Latin American Studies/Master of Business Administration with the Booth School of Business
  • Dual degree MA in Latin American Studies/MA in Public Policy with the Harris School of Public Policy Studies

With academic strengths across the region, CLAS has promoted the formation of focused research groups as new strengths emerge. The Katz Center for Mexican Studies was founded in June 2004 in honor of Professor Friedrich Katz, one of the world's leading scholars of Mexican history. In recent years, CLAS has supported faculty and student interests in Brazilian Studies, Haitian language and culture, and indigenous languages, helping to consolidate numerous resources that promote scholarship in these areas.

Events, Conferences, and Workshops

CLAS facilitates scholarship in all regions and disciplines of Latin America by organizing and cosponsoring academic conferences, lectures, special events, and graduate workshops on campus, working independently and in collaboration with other departments and institutions. Please visit our Events page for our calendar, and for information on how to submit proposals for cosponsorship.

Visiting Professors and Scholars

CLAS brings prominent professors, practitioners, activists, and writers to teach and conduct research at the University of Chicago through various programs and partnerships. The Tinker Visiting Professorship annually brings 3–4 senior scholars and professionals from Latin America and Iberia to teach at the University. CLAS also hosts visiting scholars and researchers from the region whose areas of expertise intersect with faculty and student interests.

Student Grants and Fellowships

CLAS funds both preliminary field research in Latin America and the intensive study of the region’s less commonly taught languages and the areas where they are spoken.

Public Engagement

CLAS presents opportunities for the campus and local community to engage in interdisciplinary discussion and debate around myriad topics relevant to Latin America. CLAS sponsors professional development workshops for K–16 educators, organizes the Latin American Briefing Series, and actively builds on- and off-campus relationships that promote the study and understanding of Latin America. To become involved with CLAS or to propose an off-campus activity, please contact us at clas@uchicago.edu.

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