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2016 LeoGrande Award and Prize Winners Announced

CLALS and the School of Public Affairs announced the 2016 recipients of the William M. LeoGrande Award and Prize for scholarship on U.S.-Latin American relations.

  • 2016 William M. LeoGrande Award Recipient: Austin Hart, Assistant Professor of Quantitative Methods and Coordinator of the Graduate Methods Program, AU's School of International Service, Economic Voting: A Campaign-Centered Theory (Cambridge University Press, 2016)
  • 2016 William M. LeoGrande Prize Recipient: Aragorn Storm Miller, Lecturer, Department of History, University of Texas-Austin, Precarious Paths to Freedom: The United States, Venezuela, and the Latin American Cold War (University of New Mexico Press, 2016)

AU Museum Highlights Art from El Salvador and Cuba

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) and Carlos Luna: Black Bite (from Cuba). A third exhibit, Foon Sham: Escape, explores the issues of immigration and refuge through an outdoor installation.

Backpack Documentary Class Taught in Spanish

School of Communication Journalist in Residence and CLALS Affiliate Bill Gentile's Backpack Documentary en Español class was highlighted by University Communications. The Fall 2016 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.

Todas Las Manos at the American University Museum

Todas Las Manos, an interdisciplinary public art project at the American University Museum at the Katzen Center, celebrated human rights and global justice, commemorating the 40th Anniversary of the deaths of former Chilean Ambassador Orlando Letelier and co-worker Ronni Karpen Moffitt in Washington, DC on September 21, 1976. Muralist Francisco Letelier, son of Orlando Letelier, worked in collaboration with youth participants from the Latin American Youth Center to create a large-scale mural in the Museum's sculpture garden. The exhibit was officially dedicated by Chilean President Michelle Bachelet, and ran from September through October, 2016.

International Art and the U.S. Immigrant Experience at the American University Museum

This summer, two exhibitions at the American University Museum at the Katzen Arts Center focused on Latin America and Latinos in the United States.

  • Bandits & Heroes, Poets & Saints: Popular Art of the Northeast of Brazil explored how the ancient cultures of Africa blended with indigenous and colonial Portuguese traditions to form the vibrant and complex cultural mosaic of modern Brazil.
  • The Looking Glass: Artist Immigrants of Washington featured the work of 10 artists who immigrated to the DC metro region from Latin America over the past 60 years. Since then, these artists' artistic traditions have taken root and borne fruit here in the United States.

WCL Offers First Session of "Introducción al Derecho Migratario de los EE.UU."

During summer of 2016, the Washington College of Law (WCL) offered for the first time in Spanish the online course " Introducción al Derecho Migratorio de los EE.UU." (Introduction to U.S. Immigration Law). This web-based program was designed to familiarize the international community with the structure and operations of the U.S. immigration system, including work and family visas, humanitarian protections, and the deportation process. The course was directed by Professor Jayesh Rathod, an expert in immigration law and Director of the WCL's Immigration Justice Clinic (Clínica Jurídica de Justicia Inmigrante) at American University.

2015 LeoGrande Award and Prize Recipients

The School of Public Affairs and CLALS announced the 2015 recipients of the William M. LeoGrande Award and Prize for scholarship on U.S.-Latin American relations. More information on the recipients and their work can be found in the official media announcement.

  • 2015 William M. LeoGrande Prize Recipient: Andrew Torget , Seeds of Empire: Cotton, Slavery, and the Transformation of the Texas Borderlands, 1800-1850 (University of North Carolina Press, 2015)
  • 2015 William M. LeoGrande Award Recipient: Macarena Sáez , "Transforming Family Law through Same-Sex Marriage: Lessons From (and To) the Western World" ( Duke Journal of Comparative and International Law , 2014)

AU Announced 2016 Faculty Award Recipients and Honorees

In March 2016, American University announced its 2016 University Faculty Award Recipients and Years of Service Honorees. CLALS congratulates our affiliates for their outstanding service to the university:

  • Eileen Findlay (College of Arts and Sciences) was selected as 2016's Outstanding Teacher in a Full-Time Appointment.
  • Philip Brenner (School of International Service) received recognition for his 35 years of service at the university.

AU Advanced in Carnegie Research Rankings

AU has been reclassified by the Carnegie Commission on Higher Education, moving up to "Doctoral: Higher Research Activity" from "Doctoral: Moderate Research Activity." The reclassification is the result of strategic decisions at AU to expand the number of doctoral programs, as well as the increase in externally-funded research productivity. This places AU in the company of institutions such as Dartmouth College and the College of William and Mary. For more information see here.

Metropolitan Policy Center Launches DC Area Survey

Change occurs constantly in metropolitan areas. Yet there is surprisingly little research infrastructure to measure how people make sense of and react to those changes. The Metropolitan Policy Center has launched the first DC Area Survey to study neighborhood diversity and wellbeing. The 2016 pilot survey will focus on the experiences of DC area residents in two relatively new types of neighborhoods: Latino neighborhoods and "global neighborhoods."

WCL Launched First Hybrid Spanish LL.M.

The Washington College of Law has launched the country's first Spanish LL.M. taught in a hybrid format. The program, LL.M. en Derechos Humanos y Derecho Humanitario - aimed at native speakers who would otherwise lack access to an American legal education - welcomed its first cohort in Spring 2016. The program follows the same online and residential hybrid curriculum as WCL's recently launched LL.M. in International Human Rights and Humanitarian Law, taught in English.

Graddy Named Founding Member of CUSAN

CLALS Faculty Affiliate and SIS Associate Prof. Garrett Graddy-Lovelace was named a founding member of the Cuba-U.S. Agroecology Network (CUSAN), launched on July 8 by the Schumacher Center for a New Economics. The Network will provide a vehicle for connecting sustainable food systems practitioners and advocates in the U.S. with their counterparts in Cuba. Graddy's involvement was a direct result of a Reynolds Foundation-funded research trip in 2014.

WCL Offered Program on Judicial Reform in Latin America

From July 13-24, 2015, the Washington College of Law offered its Program on Judicial Reform in Latin America and the United States, co-organized by the Justice Studies Center of the Americas. The program introduced participants to the challenges and skills necessary for those who actively practice in the new justice systems, and helped them gain insights into aspects of the U.S.'s system that may be applicable in Latin America. More information about the program is available here.

SIS Hosted "Cooperatives in Cuba: Foundation for a Stronger Economy" Event

On May 4, the School of International Service: Global Environmental Politics hosted a panel discussion for the US-Cuba Cooperative Working Group. Distinguished guests included Alfonso Valentín Larrea Barroso, Luis Alberto Dueñas Casal, Lumirt de la Cruz Arocha, Nancy Varela Medina, Osmaglis Savineg Martinez, Amy Coughenour, and Eric Leenson.

WLC Poetry Festival

On April 9, the World Languages and Cultures Department of American University was proud to present the 2015 Festival Latino Americano de Poesía. The event brought together ten poets from eight countries, including Chip Gerfen, Consuelo Hernández, Ada Vilageliu, Alejandro Urizar, Carlos Parada Ayala, Gladys Ilarrequi, Karla Coreas, Luis Alberto Ambroggio, Rei Berroa, and José Ballesteros.

2015 Annual Hispanic Law Conference

The American University Washington College of Law held its 18th Annual Hispanic Law Conference on April 2, 2015. Featuring keynote speaker Don Francisco, longtime host of Univision's Sábado Gigante, this event brought together inspiring and successful individuals and institutions devoted to the progress of Latinos in the U.S. and the region.

AU Museum Presented "Identidad" Collection

From January 24 to March 15, 2015, the American University Museum at the Katzen Arts Center exhibited the " Identidad" collection, which showcased the work of Argentine glassmaker Silvia Levenson and featured 116 intricate pieces of cast glass baby clothing as an homage to the social movement the Grandmothers of the Plaza de Mayo.

Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting at American University

As part of our project on religion and democracy in Latin America, CLALS has joined the School of Communication in its partnership with the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting. Of the two students selected for fellowships, one will focus on subject matter related to the Center's work.

Robert Pastor Featured in Documentary Film

The late Robert Pastor of American University is featured prominently in this documentary film that draws lessons from his experience negotiating with Cuba during the 1970s, while serving in the Carter administration, for humanitarian efforts to secure the release of prisoners in the two countries today.

Kay Spiritual Life Center Hosted Talk by Claudia Paz y Paz

On Wednesday, November 12, the Kay Spiritual Life Center welcomed human rights defender and the former Attorney General of Guatemala, Claudia Paz y Paz. Ms. Paz y Paz assumed the position in 2010 and presided during the trial of General Efraín Ríos Montt.

AU Museum Presented Exhibition by Cuban artist Sandra Ramos

American University Museum was proud to feature an exhibition by Cuban artist Sandra Ramos, entitled " Bridging the Past, Present, and Future: Recent Works by Sandra Ramos." Through a collection of prints, video, collage, and installations, Ramos reflects on the conflicting experiences of living in her beloved homeland with all of its many challenges.

Beth Giglia Launched Website for Documentary Film

Beth Geglia, a CAS doctoral student in anthropology, has launched the website for her documentary film Revolutionary Medicine: A Story of the First Garifuna Hospital. The film chronicles the origins and construction of a free, community-based preventative health care system on Honduras' Caribbean coast.

Q&A with Dr. Daniel Esser

Thousands of Central American children have arrived at the U.S.-Mexico border in recent months, creating a humanitarian, judicial, and political crisis, as the Obama administration struggles to manage the situation. SIS Assistant Professor and CLALS Faculty Daniel Esser, an expert on aid effectiveness who has conducted field research in Mexico, explains the root causes of the influx and suggests ways to slow the flow of people to the United States.

SIS Hosted Practicum on Rural Development in Brazil

The School of International Service offered a unique practicum and course in Brazil, led by Assistant Professor and CLALS Faculty Eve Bratman. The program allowed ten SIS graduate students to explore many facets of Brazilian society, politics, and environmental issues while also working with a research and educational center in Brazil's Atlantic Forest. Read the article by Rachel Teter, a participating student.

WCL Hosted Program on Judicial Reform in Latin America and the United States

From July 14-25, 2014, the Washington College of Law offered its Program on Judicial Reform in Latin America and the United States, co-organized by the Justice Studies Center of the Americas. The two-week program gave participants an overview of the reform processes taking place in the judicial systems of Latin American countries, with special emphasis on criminal justice reform. More information about the program is available here.

WCL Hosted Dialogue on Women and Politics in the Americas

On Monday, June 9, the Washington College of Law hosted "Women and Politics in the Americas: Advances and Challenges." Congresswomen and representatives from political advocacy organizations from Argentina and the U.S. were present for a dialogue on the challenges faced by women seeking and holding political office in the Americas. The event flyer is available here.

AU Welcomed President of Uruguay

On Tuesday, May 13, American University had the honor of welcoming Uruguayan President José Mujica to campus. A video of the conversation with President Mujica is available here. Read more about his visit here.

AU Latino Alumni Alliance Hosted Second Annual Brunch

The Latino Alumni Alliance hosted its second annual brunch on April 27, 2014 at the Dacor Bacon House. The annual gathering offered a unique opportunity for Latino alumni to celebrate their unique contributions to the university and to society. Special remarks were be made by Miguel Bustos, Senior Vice President of Community Relations and Outreach Regional Director with Wells Fargo.

WCL Hosted 17th Annual Hispanic Law Conference

On Tuesday, April 15, WCL hosted the 17th Annual Hispanic Law Conference, held each spring as part of the law school's Founders' Celebration. The Apr. 15 event brought together inspiring and successful individuals and institutions devoted to the progress of Latinos in the U.S. and the region. The 2014 conference focused on the impact of immigration reform on access to justice, featuring a keynote address from Felicia Escobar, senior policy advisor for immigration at the White House Domestic Policy Council. The program flyer is available here.

SIS Hosted Chico Vive Conference

On April 4-6, 2014, SIS hosted the Chico Vive conference, bringing together grassroots activists, NGOs, students, engaged scholars, policymakers, journalists, and others to discuss the development of the global grassroots environmental movement in the 25 years since Chico Mendes' assassination. The full program, including information on the keynote address by Brazil's former environment minister Marina Silva, is available here.

WCL Researchers Released Report on Migrant Worker Abuses

Taken for a Ride, a report by researchers at AU's Washington College of Law, uncovered significant abuses of migrant workers in the U.S. Fair and Carnival Industry and advances comprehensive recommendations. Further information and a link to the full report can be found here.

SPA Professor Evaluated Cure Violence Program

SPA Professor Ed Maguire has secured a three-year contract from the Inter-American Development Bank to evaluate the effectiveness of Cure Violence in Trinidad and Tobago. Cure Violence is a program created in Chicago that applies a public health approach to the reduction of gun and gang-related violence.

AU Partnered with National Association of Hispanic Federal Executives

AU's Key Executive Leadership Program has formed a partnership with the D.C. chapter of the National Association of Hispanic Federal Executives to assist it in developing leadership training workshops. More information is available here.

Election Passport Database Launched

Election Passport, a free-access database of constituency election results from over 80 countries, was launched by SPA Professor of Government David Lublin. Election Passport was launched over the summer with support from CLALS and the German Marshall Fund of the U.S.

Tapestry as Testimony: Arpilleras of Chile

September 11-22, 2013

From September 11-22, 2013, the Katzen Arts Center presented "Tapestry as Testimony: Arpilleras of Chile," an exhibit designed in commemoration of the 40th anniversary of the military coup in Chile. The exhibit was sponsored by the Kay Spiritual Life Center and the Institute for Policy Studies.

Painting Borges: Art Interpreting Literature

April - May 2013

The Katzen AU Museum hosted an exhibit entitled "Painting Borges: Art Interpreting Literature" from April 6 to May 26, 2013. Sponored by the Department of Philosophy and Religion, the exhibit showcased the work of sixteen visual artists offering interpretations of twelve of the Argentinean author's most famous short stories.

WCL Observed Rios Montt Trial in Guatemala

April 2013

The AU Washington College of Law's Center for Human Rights and Humanitarian Law sent a delegation of students and faculty to observe and report on the Rios Montt trial in Guatemala. Read more here.

Security Issues in Honduras

March 19, 2013

The Ambassador of Honduras to the U.S., Jorge Ramón Hernández Alcerro, spoke about security issues in Honduras. This event was sponsored by the AU organization Students Helping Honduras.

AU - Top Producer of U.S. Fulbright Scholars

January 2013

American University was named a "top producer" of U.S. Fulbright Scholars. With 14 awardees and one alternate this year, AU ranks 18th nationwide and is tied with Duke, Georgetown, North Carolina, Wisconsin, and Maryland.

SIS Summer Abroad Program in Ecuador

November 14, 2012

Students in the 2012 SIS Summer Abroad Program in Ecuador discussed their original research at a faculty-moderated roundtable at SIS.

Southern Exposure

November 1, 2012

Coinciding with the DC tour of the Mexican theater company Teatro Línea de Sombra, CAS hosted "Southern Exposure: A conversation about creation, identity, and journeys through Latin American theater."

National Association of Hispanic Journalists Conference

October 13, 2012

Hosted by the AU School of Communication, the National Association of Hispanic Journalists convened a Regional Conference, "Cultura at the Capital: Covering Latin America's growing influence in the nation."

Fifth International Commercial Arbitration Competition

September 27 - October 1, 2012

The AU Washington College of Law hosted the Fifth International Commercial Arbitration Competition, organized by the law school's Center on International Commercial Arbitration alongside the University of Buenos Aires (Argentina) and the University of El Rosario (Colombia). It was held entirely in Spanish and featured 300 participating students from more than 40 law schools. Competition results can be found here.


Summer 2012

Mexico: Expected/Unexpected was on exhibit at the American University Museum at the Katzen Arts Center - it defied commonly held stereotypes about Mexico and its art, exposing unexpected images and perspectives created and communicated by some of Mexico's most influential contemporary artists.

Inter-American System and Freedom of Expression Conference

March 26-27, 2012

On March 26-27, 2012, the American University Washington College of Law (WCL) held The Inter-American System and Freedom of Expression Conference. Please download the program here.

Inter-American Human Rights Court

March 12, 2012

Macarena Sáez, Washington College of Law Professor and CLALS Faculty Affiliate, successfully represented Karen Atala in the Inter-American Human Rights Court case Karen Atala v. Chile. A summary of the decision is available in both Spanish and English.

AU Professor's Video Featured in Time Magazine

March 2012

AU Communications Professor, Bill Gentile, published a video piece in Time Magazine, "Reading While They Roll: Cuba's Cigar Factory Tradition".

WCL Hispanic Law Conference

March 6, 2012

The AU Washington College of Law hosted the Fifteenth Annual Hispanic Law Conference, with a focus on Latinos and elections on March 6. Local high school students were invited to the conference to engage in lessons about the Constitution with the Marshall-Brennan Constitutional Literacy Project. Afternoon panels made up of members of the legal community covered the state of electoral politics in the U.S., recent redistricting cases, voter registration, and representation.

World Bank Reporting on Latin American and the Caribbean

February 28, 2012

SIS hosted "Financial Development in Latin America and the Caribbean: The Road Ahead" on February 28. Major research findings from the World Bank were presented by Sergio L. Schmuckler and Tatiana Didier.

Caribbean Gang Research Symposium

February 17, 2012

The Inter-University Consortium for Caribbean Gang Research held an international symposium in which participants examined the latest findings related to gangs and responses to gangs to improve the knowledge base on the Caribbean region's gang-related problems; and their potential threat to democratic governance and human security in the Caribbean. Please click here for more information on the event.

Kogod School of Business in Argentina and Chile

January 2012

Kogod's International Dimensions in Management course journeyed to both Santiago, Chile, and Mendoza, Argentina to observe the growth of both domestic and multinational firms in the region in January, 2012.

AU Abroad in Cuba

December 2012

Follow Professor Bill Gentile through AU's Backback Journalism course held in Cuba this winter on the class blog.

Louise Rosskam Exhibit - Katzen Arts Center, AU Museum

September 3 - December 14, 2011

This major retrospective examined the work of Louise Rosskam (1910-2003), an elusive pioneer of the "golden age" of American documentary photography. It featured her poignant photographs of a Southwest, Washington, D.C. neighborhood before its destruction for urban renewal projects. It highlighted her compelling images of Puerto Rico, as it developed from an impoverished U.S. possession to an industrialized commonwealth-the political status of which remains a contested issue. Guest curated by James Madison University Professor Laura Katzman and Library of Congress Curator Beverly W. Brannan.

SIS Research Symposium

November 16, 2011

Three undergraduate SIS students participated in a panel discussion at the SIS Summer Abroad Research Symposium. The panelists had returned from from Mexico and Ecuador and presented projects on Afro-Ecuadorian identity and climate change and food security in Ecuador. One panelist produced a documentary film on migration in the southern state of Oaxaca, Mexico which was also screened at the event.

Ronald Walters Memorial 2012 - Focuses on Latin America

November 8, 2011

SIS hosted the Second Annual Ronald Walters Memorial and Symposium on Racial Justice and International Relations; Race Relations in Transition in Cuba and Brazil on November 8.

Report Release: "Picked Apart"

March, 2011

In March, Picked Apart, a report written by AU Washington College of Law and the Centro de los Derechos del Migrante, Inc. was released, revealing shocking conditions of Mexican H2-B workers in the Maryland crab industry.

AU Documentaries Screened at Embassy

Kogod's International Dimensions in Management course will journey to both Santiago, Chile, and Mendoza, Argentina to observe the growth of both domestic and multinational firms in the region in January.

Summer, 2011

Through the AU School of Communication, Summer Discover Communications Program, 14 high school students produced environmental documentaries on Costa Rica, under the guidance of Professor Sarah Menke-Fish. Upon their return, their films were screened at the Embassy of Costa Rica.