Duke's global centers & initiatives

Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies

Mission Statement

The Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies (CLACS) mission is 1) to create a supportive, intellectually stimulating and interdisciplinary environment for students, faculty and community members interested in the study of Latin America and the Caribbean; 2) to bring together members of our local and worldwide community (K-16 schools, universities, scholars, artists, activists, civic organizations, etc.) in orde rto promote new ideas, research, and cultural awareness about Latin America and the Caribbean; and 3) to prepare better educated citizens and future leaders who may work in fields related to Latin America and the Caribbean in academics, business, arts, government and many other careers. We fulfill this mission through: 1) educational activities (guest speakers; course development; visiting artists; outreach to local schools; service-learning opportunities; certificate programs; etc.); 2) research support (research/travel grants; conference awards; publications; conferences); and 3) Creating Social Networks and Building Community (collaborations with other universities, student organizations and alumni; visiting professors; social events).

Summary of 2019-2020 Programs

During 2019-2020 we organized or co-sponsored at least 57 events. We had several more on-campus events planned for March, April and May but were forced to cancel or postpone them due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This included the state-wide NC Conference on Latin American Studies that was scheduled to meet in Charlotte, NC and had over 200 faculty and students registered from across the state. After we were required to work from home due to the COVID-19 pandemic, CLACS continued to organize virtual events, including film screenings, book club discussions, tertulias for graduate students, game nights, panel discussions with guest speakers, etc. We will continue our series of virtual events for at least the next year. The UNC-Duke Consortium supported 4 active interdisciplinary research and training working groups: Abiayala Working Group; Energy Sector/Environment in Latin America Working Group; Gender and Sexuality Working Group; and LatinAmerican Politics Working Group. In Spring 2020, CLACS hosted Mellon Visiting Professor Silvio Luiz de Almeida, Associate Professor of Law and Philosophy, Getulio Vargas Foundation and Mackenzie Presbyterian University, São Paulo, Brazil. Professor Almeida taught two courses on issues of race, racism and the law in Brazil and Latin America in general.

We awarded 6 certificates in Latin American Studies (1 undergraduate and 5 graduate) during our May 2020 virtual certificate ceremony. We held 9 competitions for fellowships, research awards and conference travel grants in support of Duke undergraduate and graduate students and Duke faculty. We also supported fellowships to faculty from community colleges and Historically Black Colleges and Universities.

Enthusiasm and interest in studying Latin America and the Caribbean continues to run high as we have actively recruited new Latin Americanist students and are seeing our highest enrollment figures in our certificate programs.

2019-2020 Notable Programs


Certificates & Degrees

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