Since its founding in 1956, the Center for Latin American Studies has served as a bridge between the Bay Area and Latin America. In the past year, CLAS has undertaken a number of initiatives reorienting its work to emphasize the plurality and the complex geopolitics of what constitutes “Latin America.” Does it include territories subjected to colonization by England, the Netherlands, and France as well as Spain and Portugal? And communities who now live in the US but still have ties to Latin America or who, like Latinx Indigenous people, live border identities, are they Latin American?
In the past, the Caribbean has been treated as a liminal geography in studies of Latin America. This fall, the Center for Latin American Studies will become the Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies (CLACS). With this change in name, the Center commits to providing intellectual space to cultures, histories, politics, and languages of the entire region.
For more exciting updates about the upcoming year, see our Chair's Letter, here.
Natalia Brizuela, Julia Byrd, Greg Louden, and Janet Waggaman
The CLACS Team