Director's Message

Prof. Aldo Lauria SantiagoAs the new Director of the Center for Latin American Studies at Rutgers University, New Brunswick, I Welcome you to our website. Here you will find information on our faculty, courses, and events and collaborations.  Our Center dates back a few decades and has roots in the Puerto Rican Studies Program of the 1970s and the Spanish & Portuguese Department of the 1990s. Rutgers faculty have many strengths in the study of Latin America and the Caribbean and the Center's goal is to help enhance and develop these strengths through strategic funding, collaborations and programs.  Our programs are oriented to supplement faculty research goals, graduate student work and the extensive undergraduate and graduate teaching on Latin America and the Caribbean. We also conceptualize migration & diasporas as part of our research and teaching domains.  

In the next few years we will be pursing various new events and collaborations, plus a major update to our website:

  • Bringing together the research and expertise of our 50+ faculty affiliates on the three Rutgers Campuses
  • The Puerto Rico Cultural Recovery Project--Collaborations with the Archivo General de Puerto Rico and the Puerto Rico Collection of the University of Puerto Rico Library. 
  • Faculty Research Briefs
  • Continued Jueves de Cine Film Series!
  • Graduate Student Research Symposium
  • Latin America 101 Guest Talk Series
  • Focus on Mexico, Brazil, Colombia, Cuba, and Puerto Rico 
  • Focus on Graduate Student support and development
  • Collaborations with the Latino Studies Research Initiative, the British Studies Center, the PhD. in Latin American History and others.
  • Event series on social movements and the state in Latin America and Mesoamerican migration, security and governance crises.
  • Review of the undergraduate curriculum and requirements by the CLAS Executive Committee

The Center offers its own interdisciplinary undergraduate major and minor. We offer great flexibility in choosing courses about Latin America, the Caribbean and Diasporas in the humanities and social sciences. As a unit within the School or Arts and Sciences the courses for our major and minor intersect with many other majors and minors within SAS including Spanish/Portuguese, Anthropology, Sociology, Latino & Caribbean Studies, History, Political Science and Geography.  Students from other schools including SEBS and SCI should contact me to explore how their coursework may count as elective credits in the Latin American Studies major and minor.

As Director, I provide individualized advising on course selection, fulfilling the language requirement, study abroad, and graduate school and career opportunities. As you can see from our course list, students have many options every semester and can carve out more focused regional or country-specific specialties. Our graduates have pursued many different trajectories informed by their coursework and training including public service, graduate school, public health, business and work with NGO's. We are committed to helping our students be successful in their goals.

Learn more about Professor Aldo Lauria Santiago