About Us

***Note to Faculty: Scroll below to get information about a CLACLS job opportunity***

The Center for Latin American, Caribbean and Latino Studies (CLACLS) of the University of Massachusetts Amherst promotes research, training, and public engagement on the histories, cultures, and politics of Latin American and Caribbean peoples across the Americas and throughout the world. Bridging the divide that historically has separated Latin American, Caribbean, and Latino Studies as institutionalized knowledge formations with distinctive intellectual genealogies, political trajectories, and bureaucratic moorings at U.S. universities is central to our mission. The Center seeks to be a hemispheric, crossborder space for critical reflection, exchange, and intellectual production. We aim to engage in genuinely inter-disciplinary work, fostering the creative convergence of discipline-based knowledges. CLACLS is committed to sustaining links with Latin American and Caribbean communities in the U.S. and across the Americas, as well as to bringing the alternative knowledge produced in those communities to bear on our teaching and research.

The core activities of the Center are:

  • To promote excellence in research and teaching in the fields of Latin American, Caribbean and Latina/o Studies.
  • To foster collaborative research and teaching among faculty and students involved in Latin American, Caribbean and Latina/o Studies in the Five Colleges, as well as with scholars and research institutions throughout the U.S., the Caribbean, Latin America and other world regions.
  • To sponsor Research Working Groups (RWGs) on issues central to Latin American, Caribbean and Latina/o Studies. RWGs currently convened by CLACLS core faculty include Social Movements and 21st Century Cultural and Political Transformations, Black Cultures and Racial Politics in the Americas, and Transnational Latinidades and Cultural Production.
  • To establish and maintain academic consortia with research institutions in the U.S., Latin America, the Caribbean and other world regions, thereby facilitating transnational collaborative research and faculty and student exchanges centered in the above research themes and other areas of interest to CLACLS affiliates.
  • To advance scholarly and public debate on Latin American, Caribbean and Latina/o Studies by sponsoring research colloquia, occasional lectures, workshops, conferences, film series, and other cultural and scholarly events and activities.
  • To engage in fundraising, particularly to support of faculty and graduate student research and to consolidate linkages with U.S. research institutions and advocacy groups specializing in Latina/o Studies and with scholars, universities, independent research centers, non-governmental organizations and social movements in Latin America and the Caribbean.

Through many of its departments and professional schools, the University of Massachusetts Amherst offers on a rotating basis more than 40 courses on Latin America and Latinas/os in the US. It also offers field and independent study courses and numerous courses on Spanish and Portuguese language, linguistics, and literature. Through the Five College Consortium, UMass students have further access to over 50 course offerings per year on Latin America, Iberia and Latinas/os in the US.

The Pauline Collins Latin American Collection in the W.E.B. Du Bois Library is among the 20 largest collection of its kind in the country and one of the Center's major strengths. It includes approximately 210,000 volumes, 75 percent of which are in Spanish or Portuguese.

A brochure describing the activities of the Center for Latin American, Caribbean and Latino Studies in greater detail is available at the Center office.



CLACLS Job Opportunities

Title: Director, Center for Latin American, Caribbean, and Latino Studies and Program in Latin American, Caribbean, and Latino Studies.



Requirement: Proven intellectual leadership, along with extensive experience in research and teaching, either in Latin American, Caribbean, and/or Latinx Studies, or in Transnational Approaches to Latinx, Caribbean, and Latin American Studies; fluency in Spanish and/or Portuguese, or in other languages spoken in the region; administrative experience, sound communication and organizational skills.


Preferred: Prior involvement in the work of the Center; interdisciplinary approaches to teaching and research; demonstrated commitment to working collaboratively and promoting interdisciplinary research and learning. Significant field research experience and professional network connections in at least one of the following areas: Latin America, the Caribbean and/or in Latinx communities in the U.S, especially in the Northeast.


Responsibilities: The incoming Director is expected to articulate a new vision for the CLACS in consultation with all interested faculty, students, and staff. She or he will serve a 3-5 years term. The scope of the role may encompass the following: Plan and oversee the execution of research programming, conferences, lecture series, and colloquia; promote collaborative faculty-graduate research initiatives that might yield externally viable grant proposals; foster intellectual community among CLACLS Program Faculty, graduate and undergraduate students; engage in development activities and public and university outreach; curricular planning, budgeting, and grant writing; work with the International Program Office about the Brazil Fulbright Chair and other international visitors and students; work with counterparts in other academic units, schools and colleges.


Compensation: The compensation for this position can be negotiable and it usually comes with a teaching release, dedicated staffing and a small operating budget.


Application: The Director position is open to all tenured faculty in all schools and colleges of the University. To apply, please send a letter of application and a curriculum vitae to Roberto Alejandro (ralejand@polsci.umass.edu), no later than April 30th 2018. The appointment will begin as early as August 2018.


Upcoming Events


La Peña de UMass: A Creative Space for Community, Self-expression, and Resistance in these times

Besides meaning rock, a peña (pron: pen•ya) is a creative, dialogical space where people can express themselves and bear witness through sharing experiences, poetry, stories, music, ideas, and news that help the effort of resistance. Come to La peña de UMass to find community and build resistance creatively! All are welcome. Además de significar roca, una peña es un espacio creativo de diálogo, donde la gente puede expresarse y atestiguar compartiendo vivencias, poesía, historias, música, ideas y noticias que contribuyen a la resistencia. ¡Ven a La peña de UMass para crear comunidad y resistir con creatividad! Todos son bienvenidos. Sponsored by the Caribbean, Latin American and Latino Studies Program at UMass Amherst and Puentes Latinos.

Center for Latin American, Caribbean and Latino Studies

312 Machmer Hall

240 Hicks Way

University of Massachusetts

Amherst, MA 01003-9277

tel (413) 545-4648
fax (413) 545-1244