Latin American Studies Program at UMass Amherst Awarded $110,000 Grant

AMHERST, Mass. - The Latin American Studies Program at the University of Massachusetts has received a $110,000 grant from the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation to help launch a new academic center and support an international conference next fall.

The grant will be used to support the establishment of a proposed Center for Latin American, Caribbean, and Latino Studies at UMass and to enhance the activities of the Latin American Consortium of New England, which includes programs at UMass, the University of Connecticut, and Brown and Yale universities. It will also fund an international conference next November coordinated and hosted by UMass. At the conference, scholars from the U.S. and Latin America will meet to discuss interdisciplinary research and promote links between geographers, planners, and scholars in the social sciences and humanities.

The plan to create the center was submitted to the UMass Faculty Senate for consideration and review at the beginning of the spring semester, according to Gloria Bernabe-Ramos, associate director of the Latin American Studies Program. "The proposed center represents a natural evolution of our program," Bernabe-Ramos says. " It moves an academic program more toward interdisciplinary research and teaching." If approved, the center should raise the visibility of the UMass Latin American Studies Program, provide for interdisciplinary research and teaching, and give students a course of study that integrates international studies with multiculturalism, she says.