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.
CLAS provides a forum for the amplification of faculty findings, stimulates interdisciplinary intellectual exchange, nurtures regional inquiry among undergraduate and graduate students, educates the University community on vital regional issues, facilitates deep and sustained exchange with Latin American institutions, and creates a stimulating community for Latin American visitors, faculty, and students in Chicago.
Central to our work are our efforts to increase the scope of Latin American engagement at the University across departments, divisions, and professional schools and to facilitate intellectual exchange between our faculty and students—including those in departments without historical ties to the region or the Center—and their Latin American colleagues. Our goal is to cement Chicago’s reputation as a vital crossroads where the most dynamic Latin American thinkers can engage in meaningful collaboration and exchange with colleagues from across the University and around the world.
In fulfillment of our mission:
CLAS works closely with faculty to support their teaching and research and actively sponsors programs for visiting academics
- CLAS affiliates include more than 50 faculty members and instructors who focus at least 25% of their teaching and/or research on the region
- CLAS works with focused research groups/units, including the Katz Center for Mexican Studies, as well as groups working on Brazil and Colombia, slavery and visual cultures, and indigenous languages, helping to consolidate resources that promote scholarship around these areas
- CLAS hosts visiting professors, scholars, and researchers to teach and conduct research at the University of Chicago, including 3–4 Tinker Visiting Professors annually
CLAS offers interdisciplinary degree programs and certificates
- CLAS curriculum includes a BA major and minor in Latin American and Caribbean Studies (LACS) and CLAS provides certification of specialization through the LACS graduate certificate available to MA and PhD students across divisions and schools
- CLAS plays a strong role in administering, stimulating, and coordinating Latin American and Caribbean Studies (LACS) courses
- CLAS funds study/research and provides teaching opportunities for graduate students across divisions and programs
- CLAS funds preliminary field research in Latin America through CLAS Tinker Field Research Grants and doctoral fieldwork for students in the Social Sciences through the CLAS Mellon Research Travel Fellowship
- CLAS supports graduate student professional development through the Introduction to Latin American Civilization teaching assistantships, and Tinker Visiting Professor teaching/research assistantships
CLAS promotes interdisciplinary research, education, discussion, and debate around myriad topics relevant to Latin America, through scholarly and public engagement programs
- CLAS facilitates scholarship in all regions and disciplines of Latin America by organizing a regular calendar of events, including academic conferences, lectures, symposia, and graduate workshops
- CLAS partners with UChicago faculty, students/student organizations, and departments—as well as with external academic and cultural institutions—through the cosponsorship of events
- CLAS provides space and administrative assistance to two graduate student workshops focused on the region: Latin American History Workshop and Workshop on Latin America and the Caribbean
- CLAS has historically sponsored public engagement programs, including professional development workshops for K–16 educators, with online materials available free of charge