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HIA, Latin American Studies at UCDavis


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The Hemispheric Institute on the Americas (HIA) emerged in 1992 when three distinguished professors of Anthropology and Native American Studies, Charles Hale, Carol Smith, and Stefano Varese, convoked a group of faculty and graduate students to rethink Latin American Studies from a transnational perspective. Having earned international attention for this approach, HIA gained an institutional presence after Tom Holloway, historian and future President of LASA, was hired as director in 1999. It has offered a minor in Latin American and Hemispheric Studies since 2007 and hopes to launch a major in fall 2016. The mission of maintaining a broader vision in research continues to guide HIA. Latin American Studies are at the core of HIA and of UCD’s most innovative programs and include one of the most dynamic Quechua programs in the country. Latin American Studies figures prominently in the university's expansion in the next decade.


Currently, the UCD Law School, the Human Rights Initiative, the School of Education, and numerous other programs dedicate important resources to Latin America and the Caribbean and work closely with HIA. Building on its global leadership role in the field, the university has launched plans for a World Food Center, with a $100 million fundraising initiative. Latin America--as producer, consumer, and innovator of food products and as a key source of labor--will play a prominent role in this Center, which HIA will help shape. HIA also benefits from Davis’s proximity to Sacramento and the Bay Area, collaborating with state government, consulates, and numerous public and private organizations.


UCD has particularly strong ties to South America. The campus is first in the nation in receiving Chilean graduate students via the BecaChile program (39 in 2013-14) and UCD plays a leadership role in the Chile California Council, presided by UCD Professor Lowell Jarvis. UCD is in the process of creating a Center for Excellence in Life Sciences in Chile while UCD Extension-Global Study Program has active partnerships with four Chilean (and two Brazilian) private and public centers and universities. HIA co-sponsors many events with the Chilean Student Association and has annually hosted visiting scholars from la Universidad Católica de Chile since 2009. In August 2014 HIA is co-sponsoring an international conference with the Diego Portales University in Santiago, Chile on "Rethinking Latin American Studies." Building on HIA's hemispheric, transnational perspective, the conference will bring together 20 leading scholars from Europe, the United States, the Caribbean, and Latin America to examine the future of estudios latinoamericanos. We will have a follow-up roundtable at the 2015 LASA conference and an editors' meeting in 2016 to finalize an edited volume in English and Spanish. No university in the United States has greater ties to Chile than UCD and HIA is at the center of this rich exchange.

 UCD has made a serious commitment to Portuguese language training and Brazil. For example, UCD leads the country in receiving Brazilian undergraduates in the Science Without Borders Program, reaching 159 in 2012-2014. Professors in the Anthropology, Spanish-Portuguese, and History have collaborative projects with Brazil via an agreement between UCDFAPESP and the History Department will hire a Brazilianist in 2014-15.

 HIA oversees active short-term faculty exchange programs with Chilean (Universidad Católica de Chile), Peruvian (Universidad Católica del Perú), and Uruguayan (The University of the Republic) universities. In these exchanges, HIA receives a professor for one week every year and sends one for a similar time period. Through Access Latin America, these distinguished professors will be able to present their research at other California campuses. HIA also supports exchanges between the Universidad Javeriana in Bogotá, Colombia and the Universidad Autónoma de Baja California (Mexicali) with the Cultural Studies in the Americas research cluster.


California Consortium on Latin America site is up!

UCDavis's HIA and SDSU's Center for Latin American Studies are proud to announce the launch of their California Consortium on Latin America website, which will serve as a resource for our partners all throughout the state!
Check out the site here!

For more information, please CONTACT:

Patrick Kinkade, Program Coordinator, 530-752-3046,
Professor Charles (Chuck) Walker, Director,


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Hemispheric Institute on the Americas

1277 Social Sciences and Humanities, Davis, CA 95616
Charles Walker (Director)
Patrick K Kinkade (Program Coordinator)
(530) 752-3046 phone
(530) 752-5655 fax