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Center for Latin American & Latino Studies



Janice Machlovitz
Program Manager

About Us

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.

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Cover of a Spanish-language ebbok

CLALS Publishes Spanish-Language Edited Volume Sexo, Delitos y Pecados 

As part of the Religion and Democratic Contestation Initiative, generously funded by the Henry R. Luce Foundation, CLALS has published a Spanish-language Ebook. Available for free download, Sexo, Delitos y Pecados: Intersecciones entre religión, género, sexualidad y el derecho en América Latina brings together the insights of academics and advocates, many of whom are currently at the forefront of impact litigation across Latin America concerned with the rights of LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Trans) people and women’s reproductive rights. Chapters in the edited volume highlight the role played by religion in the region, in both promoting and limiting such rights. Coming to us from the front lines of these struggles in Latin America, this book offers timely clarity about how the law and particular rights with respect to gender and sexual identity are currently being interpreted, contested, and sometimes, transformed, by social justice and religious parties to such conflicts. Learn more 

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CLALS In the News

Man looking intensely into the future

Venezuela's Vice President Tareck El Aissami

CLALS Director Eric Hershberg was interviewed by the Christian Science Monitor on Venezuela's reaction to U.S. sanctions: "It’s not a particularly impactful measure, except that it could ironically reinforce unity among government officials in Venezuela… and be counter-productive to U.S. preferences." Hershberg also noted that Venezuela is "decidedly" moving away from a democracy towards a dictatorship, citing the ongoing political and economic crises. Whether Trump decides to take more of a hard-line approach toward Venezuela still remains to be seen.  

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AU News

AU Museum at the Katzen Arts Center

This spring, the American University Museum at the Katzen Arts Center will feature two exhibits highlighting artists from Latin America. Frida Larios: Maya Alphabet of Modern Times (presented by the Embassy of El Salvador) re-codifies a small part of the Maya mythic narrative, giving the artistic tradition new graphic form, and therefore preserving the Meso American script for a new generation. Carlos Luna: Black Bite features the latest work of one of Cuba’s leading contemporary artists, Carlos Luna. In this exhibition, painting, sculpture, and installation become one to portray Cuban stories and fables. A third exhibit, Foon Sham: Escape, explores the issues of immigration and refuge through an outdoor installation. For more information, please see the AU Museum webpage

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Grant Highlights

CLALS 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.

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