North-South Learnings and Collaboration on Emigration, Immigration and Latino Studies, 2022-2024


The CLAS and the LSRI have won a grant form Rutgers Global to establish a new program that will link Latin American scholars with Latino Studies Specialists in Rutgers and the US. 

The Center for Latin American Studies, in collaboration with the Rutgers Latino Studies Research Initiative, will use funding from the International Collaborative Research Grants to establish a partnership with institutions from four Latin American countries in organizing a permanent seminar on research on Latino/Latin American Communities in the US.

This partnership is designed to address three core problems:

1. Knowledge about (especially non-immigrant) Latino communities and history in academic circles in Latin America. These include the massive production of historical and ethnographic studies in English of the last 20 years that has provided the basis for the tsunami like entry of Latino Studies to the US academy.

2. Knowledge among US scholars including those that focus on US communities about “deep” national dynamics related to emigration and the local impact of transnationalism in Latin American communities. These themes include gang violence, women’s mobility, labor markets and government/US policing and violence.

3. Enhance scholarly communication, publishing, and even conceptual apparatuses between academics in the US that focus on Latinos and Latin American immigrants and researchers and teachers in Latin America.

4. Enhance collaboration takes place, illustrated by the work of Professor Berg at Rutgers and Professor Massey at Princeton, usually remains one-on-one and produces traditional scholarly publications.

All meetings and events will be virtual. If in-person collaboration is required travel will be funded by CLAS.

The partnership will produce various programs:

1. By-invitation planning meeting with leaders in the guest institutions.

2. Six presentations over two years by scholars from the guest institutions that focus on local, ongoing research on the social dynamics that produce emigration and on the local impact of transnational practices from Latin American immigrants in the US, as well as immigration and security practices of the US state. Some emphasis will be placed on the emerging complex multi-national migration dynamics that make Mexico and Puerto Rico bridges of migration for people originating elsewhere.

3. Sometime in the first half of the second year, a major public symposium in Spanish that will present in-depth presentations on the state-of-the-art research on Latinos in the US academy by Rutgers and other guest presenters. This will draw on the leading role in Latino studies of the LSRI and the faculty of the Department of Latino and Caribbean studies.

Staff will do in-depth work among dozens of Latin American institutions to participate in this symposium. The goal of this symposium is to include thousands of registered participants from the Latin American academic and policy world and produce permanent working and communication groups.

4. Seeding and facilitation of further one-on-one or group collaborations that may result from these forums and dialogs.

5. A website and email lists to coordinate and communicate all this work.

We will be inviting partnerships in Colombia, Puerto Rico, Mexico, Guatemala, and Honduras—all countries that have experienced massive emigration trends in the last 20-30 years and that have significant and/or growing presence in US communities. The selected institutions are leaders within their national or regional educational ecosystems and are known to have researchers likely to engage with this project. Each institution listed has multiple teaching and research centers from which specific scholars will be invited to participate. The expectation is that we will develop a group of about 20-25 scholars willing to engage with this project but that participation in resulting events will be far wider.

Aldo Lauria Santiago, the Director of the CLAS, will serve as the Director for this program. Faculty drawn from CLAS faculty affiliates and Latino & Caribbean Studies faculty will be invited to prepare presentations for the workshops and seminars. Professor Ulla Berg (LatCar/Anthropology—SAS) will serve as coordinator for the Graduate Assistant’s work and will help implement the program proposal as presented here. Funding will be used to hire a graduate student (or equivalent) to manage the events and communication.