The mission of CLAS is to expand and enrich academic resources relating to Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC) at the University of Pittsburgh. These resources provide the means for students to become experts about LAC and for faculty to pursue research, enhance their expertise, and disseminate new knowledge on the region. CLAS also shares its resources locally, nationally, and internationally with members of the academic community as well as with public and private sector organizations and the general public.
CLAS offers its students multidisciplinary academic training programs of the highest quality that complement a degree in a discipline or profession. CLAS believes that specialized multidisciplinary training on Latin America and the Caribbean is one important component of an academic program; however, the value of such expertise is greatly strengthened by combining multidisciplinary Latin American area and language training with a degree in a traditional discipline or profession. Consequently, the Center offers graduate and undergraduate interdisciplinary certificates, and an undergraduate related concentration in Latin American studies in conjunction with the academic or professional degree in the student's major field—an approach that provides its students with dual expertise. Over 100 University of Pittsburgh faculty members are associated with CLAS. Their teaching expertise and research specializations encompass all of the Spanish and Portuguese-speaking countries of Latin America and the Caribbean and many of the English-speaking countries. Each academic year they teach well over 250 courses on the region in more than 20 departments and actively pursue on-going research projects in a wide range of disciplines, including the social sciences, professional schools, humanities, and natural sciences. The University of Pittsburgh's Eduardo Lozano Latin American Library Collection is one of the top ten Latin American collections in the United States. Housed in Hillman Library, the collection excels in contemporary materials, documents, and statistics. Although the library is strong in almost all substantive and geographic areas of Latin America, it has some of the world’s best resources on Bolivia and Cuba as well as extensive holdings on Argentina, Brazil, Ecuador, Guatemala, Mexico, Peru, and Venezuela. Over 85 percent of the volumes in this extraordinary collection are in Spanish and Portuguese.
The Latin American Social and Public Policy Program
The Latin American Social and Public Policy Program of the Center for Latin American Studies addresses the need to educate future leaders, public officials, and analysts who will be able to design and implement social and public policy programs appropriate to the development of the Latin American and Caribbean region. The program combines the resources of the internationally recognized Center for Latin American Studies with excellent master's and doctoral programs in the professional schools and policy-related disciplinary departments of the University of Pittsburgh . Among the potential topics that students enrolled in this program can pursue are: democratization, economic restructuring, public health, public administration, educational or judicial reform, ethnic and/or racial justice, technology and social change, environmental policy, and nutrition. Departments and professional schools in which students can enroll include: anthropology, economics, Hispanic languages and literatures, linguistics, political science, sociology, Katz Graduate School of Business, Graduate School of Public and International Affairs, Graduate School of Public Health, School of Education , and the School of Law . Other departments or professional school programs may be proposed by students and their advisors. The Graduate Certificate in Latin American Social and Public Policy and the Latin American Social and Public Policy Fellowships are offered through the program.
The Latin American Archaeology Program
Latin America is the principal geographical focus of archaeology at the University of Pittsburgh . Administered by the Department of Anthropology, with the cooperation and support of CLAS, the Latin American Archaeology Program involves research, training, and publication. Its objective is to maintain an international community of graduate students studying archaeology at the University of Pittsburgh . This objective is promoted in part through fellowships for outstanding graduate students to study any area of Latin American prehistory. Many of these fellowships are awarded to students from Latin America who constitute nearly half of the students in the program. The commitment to Latin American archaeology also is illustrated by collaborative ties with numerous Latin American institutions and by the bilingual publication series, which makes the results of primary field research available to a worldwide audience. The Latin American Archaeology Publications Program publishes the bilingual Memoirs in Latin American Archaeology and Latin American Archaeology Reports, co-publishes the collaborative series Arqueología de México, and distributes volumes on Latin American archaeology and related subjects from more than nine publishers in Latin America.
The Brazilian Studies Program
The goals of the Brazilian Studies Program of the Center for Latin American Studies are to enhance the University of Pittsburgh’s undergraduate and graduate educational programs on Brazil, develop bilateral research projects with Brazilians through a program of scholarly exchange, deepen the understanding of North American faculty and students about Brazil, develop community and K-12 outreach programs about Brazilian society and culture, and organize conferences and workshops on issues critical to the U.S. and Brazil. Among the resources currently available are over a dozen faculty members who specialize in Brazilian Studies or who include the study of Brazil as a major component in their research agendas, a full array of Brazilian Portuguese language-training courses offered annually, the outstanding collection of books and periodicals in Portuguese in the Eduardo Lozano Latin American Library Collection, and numerous collaborative agreements with universities and institutions throughout Brazil.
- As the locale for a wealth of resources on Latin America and the Caribbean , the Center for Latin American Studies is responsible for disseminating knowledge about the region beyond the confines of the university. In fulfilling this mission, CLAS develops, coordinates, and presents a broad range of outreach programs for the K-12 educational community, colleges and universities, the business and professional communities, and the general public. Outreach services and activities include: professional development/teacher training workshops (approved by the Pennsylvania Department of Education for Act 48 continuing education credit); curriculum development for globalization; a school visit program; college/university seminars and conferences; a film series; a lecture series; a resource lending library; two newsletters; consulting services, workshops, fact-finding trips to Latin America for the business community; and an annual Latin American and Caribbean Festival. Faculty and students associated with CLAS play an active role in these endeavors by serving as speakers, instructors, and consultants. The “Directory of Latin American Studies Resources for Teachers" provides a comprehensive list of the extensive outreach materials that teachers and other community members may borrow from CLAS for use in clas ses or curriculum development.
Newsletters, Reports, and Calendars
- CLASicos (newsletter of the Center for Latin American Studies) is published twice a year and contains information on CLAS alumni, students, faculty, and events.
- Las Noticias (newsletter for K-12 teachers) is published twice a year and is designed to assist K-12 teachers with incorporating Latin American content into their clas sroom lessons.
- CLAS Year in Review (annual report of the Center for Latin American Studies) is published once a year and serves as a summary document of the accomplishments of the Center, its faculty, and students and provides quantitative information on fundamental activities.
- CLAS’ Monthly Calendar is published each month from September to April, with a Summer edition covering May, June, July, and August. The calendar contains information on: all upcoming events related to the Latin American and Caribbean region at the University of Pittsburgh as well as those being sponsored by other organizations in the local area; study/travel/research opportunities in the United States and in Latin America and the Caribbean; conferences hosted worldwide related to the region; employment opportunities; and miscellaneous items of interest.
- CLAS’ Faculty and Student Advisory Committee is the main policy-making body of the Center. The Committee consists of six faculty members drawn from the Center's Core Faculty, an undergraduate student, a graduate student, plus the Director of CLAS and the Librarian of the Latin American Studies Collection ex officio. Four of the faculty members on the Committee are elected at large by the Center's Core and Related Faculty. The two remaining members are appointed by the Director, so as to assure representation of the three main divisions in the faculty (humanities, social sciences, and professional schools) as well as to maintain, as nearly as possible, a balance of faculty ranks and gender. The student representatives are appointed by the Associate Director for Academic Affairs. Members serve two-year terms. The Committee elects its chair each year. It meets at least once in the Fall term and at least once in the Spring term, and additionally as needed. The committee also serves as a nominating committee to prepare a slate of candidates for annual elections to fill vacancies. So as to coordinate the work of the Advisory Committee with the concerns of the existing standing faculty committees (Faculty Research, Graduate Student Research, and Fellowships), the chairs of these three committees are chosen from among the faculty members on the Advisory Committee.
- CLAS’ Board of Advisors advises, suggests, and recommends strategies to the University of Pittsburgh what will enhance the University’s leadership position as a distinguished institution emphasizing teaching, research, and public service related to Latin America and the Caribbean. The Board assists CLAS in working with local, regional, national, and global constituents to foster awareness, facilitate networking, and attract resources to support its mission within the University. The Board of Advisors assists the Provost, the Director of the University Center for International Studies (UCIS), the Board of Visitors of UCIS, and the Director of CLAS in evaluating and improving the Center’s educational, research, and public service programs. The CLAS Board of Advisors is composed of distinguished individuals from Pittsburgh business, media, and the community who have a strong interest in the Latin American region. The Chair of the Board of Advisors is normally a member of the UCIS Board of Visitors. The Director of CLAS recommends individuals to be named to the Board of Advisors. These individuals are appointed by the Director of the University Center for International Studies for three-year terms of service. The Board formally meets twice a year (usually in May and September). In addition, the Board may meet at other times as recommended by the Chair of the Board of Advisors and the Director of CLAS. The Board of Advisors delivers an annual report of its activities to the UCIS Board of Visitors (which normally meets in October).