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Pitt’s Center for Latin American Studies joined an international consortium on Afro-Latin American studies

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The Center for Latin American Studies (CLAS) at the University of Pittsburgh is a member of the newly established University Consortium on Afro-Latin American Studies.

The consortium will be funded by $1.7 million grant from the Ford Foundation. The group’s research will center on the impact of the transatlantic slave trade in Latin America and the contributions African people have made to the region’s culture.

Five institutions are joining CLAS in the consortium:

  • From Argentina, Grupo de Estudios Afrolatinoamericanos, Universidad de Buenos Aires
  • From Brazil, AFRO Núcleo Pesquisa e Formaçāo Raça, Gênero, Justiça Racial, Brazilian Center for Analysis and Planning
  • From Colombia, Centro de Estudios Afrodiaspóricos, Universidad ICESI
  • From Mexico, Afrodescendientes y Diversidad Cultural, Instituto Nacional de Antropología e Historia and Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México
  • From the United States, the Afro-Latin American Research Institute, Harvard University

Creating momentum in the field and opportunities for students and faculty are among the consortium’s goals, which are in line with work and research at Pitt’s center.

The teaching expertise and research of the more than 100 Pitt faculty members associated with CLAS encompass all Spanish and Portuguese-speaking countries in Latin America and the Caribbean. Each academic year, Pitt offers more than 250 courses on the region across 20-plus departments while actively pursuing ongoing research projects in a wide range of disciplines. 


—Nora Smith, photography by Aimee Obidzinski