The Center for Latin American & Latino Studies, established in January 2010, is a campus-wide initiative advancing and disseminating state-of-the-art research. Our faculty affiliates and partners are at the forefront of efforts to understand economic development, democratic governance, cultural diversity and change, peace and diplomacy, health, education and environmental well-being. CLALS generates high quality, timely analysis on these and other issues in partnership with researchers and practitioners from AU and beyond.
CLALS and SIS Launch the Robert A. Pastor North America Research Initiative
American University’s School of International Service (SIS) and CLALS have launched an initiative to promote and disseminate cutting edge social science research focused on processes of North American integration. Starting in fall 2016, AU will convene a select group of early career scholars who will explore North American progress toward the ideal of integration championed by the late SIS Professor Robert A. Pastor. By supporting the production, exchange, and dissemination of innovative social science devoted to the region and its potential, the Robert A. Pastor North America Research Initiative (NARI) places AU at the forefront of a long term research agenda that will inform future policy on North America. Learn more
CLALS experts have been featured in several publications regarding the implications of Fidel Castro's passing and potential impacts of a Donald J. Trump presdiency in Latin America. CLALS Director Eric Hershberg told the Daily Signal that Trump has the authority to roll back many of the normalization advancements made by the Obama administration in Cuba. The Wall Street Journal quoted CLALS Affiliate Matthew Taylor: "It looks like Latin America is turning into a favorite punching bag for Trump’s tweets, and here we can include Mexicans, the wall, and now Cuba." And in an op-ed piece for the New York Times, CLALS Affiliate William LeoGrande argued that Trump's negotiating style won't work in Cuba, especially after Fidel's passing.
School of Communication Journalist in Residence and CLALS Affiliate Bill Gentile's Backpack Documentary en Español class was recently highlighted by University Communications. The class, taught entirely in Spanish, is a first for the School of Communication, and it allows students to connect with the larger DC community through the dynamic medium of videojournalism. Professor Gentile is also the Director of the Backpack Journalism Project at AU, and director of "When the Forest Weeps," a CLALS-sponsored documentary about the spiritual relationship between the Kichwa indigenous people and the Ecuadoran Amazon rain forest.
CLALS has received a grant from the National Science Foundation to convene a January 2017 workshop to enhance scholarship and better inform decision-making on asylum claims submitted by Central Americans.
AU's Office of the Provost has awarded CLALS a Faculty Research Support Grant to launch a pilot study of the school integration experiences of resettled migrant youth in the DC-metro area.
The Henry Luce Foundation has provided $425,000 in renewed support for CLALS to conduct a two-year project on religion and climate change in cross-regional perspective.