Created on June 2, 1930 by Preside John J. Tigert, the Institute for Inter-American Affairs (IIAA) was the first research center in the United States to focus on Latin America.
January 14, 2021
The University of Florida (UF) proudly celebrates 90 years of teaching, research and service in Latin American Studies. The anniversary will be marked by two live-streamed events. The first event will take place on February 15, where former directors will discuss the history and accomplishments of the Center for Latin American Studies. The event will be moderated by Center Director Dr. Carlos de la Torre and include introductory remarks by Provost Joseph Glover. The second event will take place on February 19, where Dr. Carlos de la Torre will host a panel to discuss critical traditions of development studies.
Created on June 2, 1930, by Preside John J. Tigert, the Institute for Inter-American Affairs (IIAA) was the first research center in the United States to focus on Latin America. The Institute’s inaugural conference was held in February 1931 as part of the celebratory events marking the university’s 25th year in Gainesville. The Plaza of the Americas was dedicated at the closing ceremony with 21 live oaks planted on the university quadrangle, one for each of the republics of the Americas of the time. In September 1963, the School of Inter-American Studies was renamed the Center for Latin American Studies.
Of the 2,257 students enrolled at UF in 1929, only four were international students—three from Cuba and one from France. While the first master’s thesis on a Latin American topic was approved in 1929, the Master of Arts in Latin American Studies has been offered continuously under the aegis of the Center since 1952. In 1961 UF received a major grant from the Rockefeller Foundation for a Caribbean Research Program. That same year the Latin American program was among the first in the country to be designated a National Resource Center by the US Department of Education (USDE) and to receive assistance and fellowships through the USDE’s Title VI program in area studies. The Center has been funded through Title VI ever since.
UF faculty have been a driving force in the development of Latin American Studies nationally. The Handbook of Latin American Studies, the premier bibliography on the region, was published by the University Press of Florida from 1949-78. The inaugural meeting of the Seminar on the Acquisition of Library Materials (SALALM) was hosted by UF in 1954. Three UF faculty members have served as president of the Latin American Studies Association (LASA), the largest professional association in the world for individuals studying Latin America. Dr. Carmen Martínez-Novo, professor at the Center for Latin American Studies, was named the new editor in chief of the Latin American Research Review (LARR), one of the most important journals of Latin American studies. Also, beginning January 2021, the LARR will be hosted at the Center.
The mission of the Center for Latin American Studies is to advance knowledge about Latin America and the Caribbean and its peoples throughout the hemisphere. With over 190 faculty from colleges across UF, the Center is one of the largest institutions internationally for interdisciplinary research, teaching and outreach on Latin America, Caribbean, and Latino Studies.
For more information contact Dr. Carlos de la Torre at email@example.com.