Roger Thayer Stone Center For Latin American Studies

Tulane University

History

The principal strengths of the Center include the following:

  • Tulane is one of four continuously funded Latin American National Resource Centers, and has long occupied a critical position as the only Latin American National Resource Center in the Deep South (AL, AR, LA, MS, and TN). Nationally, few institutions of Tulane’s size compare in the number of faculty, students, library resources, and research support for Latin American studies.
  • The Stone Center has an endowment of $15 million, principally from the Zemurray Foundation; it stands today perhaps as the largest of any National Resource Center in the country. In 2004-05 alone it was awarded grants from Louisiana Board of Regents, Rockefeller Foundation, Tinker Foundation, and Zemurray Foundation.
  • The Stone Center’s faculty averages 74 core Latin Americanists, 25 affiliates, 8 visiting professors, and 3 post-doctoral fellows, which represents the largest contingent of faculty associated with any department or program on the Tulane campus. In addition, the Stone Center is administered by 8 professional staff.
  • In the period 2000-2005, Tulane awarded 88 Ph.D.s with Latin American foci in Spanish and Portuguese (25), Anthropology (19), Latin American Studies (15), History (6), Business Administration (5), Political Science (4), Sociology (3), French (2), Economics (1), EEB (1), Geology (1), Parasitology (1), Public Health (1), and Social Work (1).
  • The most recent Gourman Report, Undergraduate Programs (1997) ranked Tulane’s Latin American Studies undergraduate program second in the United States.
  • In 2005 alone, 50 undergraduate students graduated with a Latin American Studies major or minor; 5 majors graduated with honors.
  • As of Fall 2005 there are a total of 36 students enrolled in the graduate program in Latin American Studies, 19 of which are in the Masters program.
  • Tulane is one of three Latin American National Resource Centers that offer an interdisciplinary Ph.D. program; as of Fall 2005 there are 12 students enrolled.
  • The Stone Center’s interdisciplinary graduate program on average admits 12-15 students each year.
  • Latin American Studies GRE scores also continue to rise. According to our internal records, scores averaged 1243 for students admitted in Fall 2001, 1194 in Fall 2002, 1306 for Fall 2003, 1216 in Fall 2004, 1260 in Fall 2005, and 1270 in Fall 2006. Declines often correlate with the number of non-English speaking students admitted in a given year.
  • Ph.D. placements are strong. Of the 20 PhDs awarded since summer 1999, ten are in tenure-track academic jobs, two are in research positions, two are visiting faculty, two are in government, one is a university administrator, one a medical doctor, one a librarian, and one is currently on the academic job market.
  • Tulane’s professional schools provide training options in a wide variety of fields and the Stone Center offers joint degree programs in Business and Law. In 2004-05, the professional schools offered eighty-one courses with more than 25% Latin American content with total enrollments of 2,419 (Architecture 9, Social Work 2, Law 8, Business 13, and Health Sciences 49).
  • Over the last three years, the Stone Center funded 26 summer field research grants for faculty and professional librarians (averaging $1,899 each), provided $22,481 in airfare and per-diem for 64 trips for travel to professional meetings, and awarded over $20,000 for editorial, translation, and publication subsidies and for staff and TAs to attend 15 professional development workshops.
  • In the two-year period 2003-2005, Tulane students participated in twenty-three different study abroad programs in fourteen Latin American and Caribbean countries: Argentina, Belize, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, the Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Guatemala, Jamaica, Mexico, Peru, and Trinidad & Tobago. In 2003-2005, the average yearly enrollments for summer programs by destination country were: Belize (7), Chile (17), Costa Rica (25), Cuba (62), the Dominican Republic (14), Guatemala (20), Mexico (20), Peru (7), Trinidad and Tobago (10).
  • The Stone Center offers a variety of Less Commonly Taught Languages (LCTLs), Portuguese, Kaqchikel Maya, Yucatec Maya, Haitian Creole, and Nahuatl. Tenured or tenure-track faculty teach Portuguese and Kaqchikel. Native language instructors under the supervision of tenured faculty members teach the others. Yucatec and Nahuatl are taught in alternate years on campus with the assistance of native informants who work individually with each student.
  • Tulane’s Latin American Library (LAL) comprises 19% of the Howard-Tilton Memorial Library and occupies one sixth of its floor space. Tulane’s holdings of 420,000 place it among the top four institutions (Texas, Harvard, Yale, and UCSD) who reported to the SALALM survey for 2003-04. In that report, LAL’s number of volumes received annually ranked sixth and its acquisition expenditures seventh. In SALALM’s last report on FTEs in 1999-2000, Tulane’s total FTEs dedicated to Latin American resources ranked third.
  • In the natural sciences, federal funding helped establish a new Ecology and Evolutionary Biology line in tropical biology. Today the department has five tropical biologists working in Latin America.
  • The Stone Center also supports the Latin American Resource Center (LARC), whose mission is to promote the study and understanding of Latin America through a broad range of programs that insure high academic quality and content that is accessible and relevant for our diverse audiences. LARC’s lending library is widely recognized as the largest available collection of audio-visual and curriculum materials on Latin America for educators nationwide. The library includes over 4,000 items.

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Upcoming Events

China's Belt and Road Initiative in Latin America: New Wine in Old Bottles?

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The Center for Inter-American Policy and Research will be hosting Dr. Matt Ferchen for a talk titled China’s belt and Road Initiative in Latin America: New Wine in Old Bottles? on January 23, 2019 at noon.

China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) has attracted global attention since it was first introduced by President Xi Jinping in 2013. Despite the hype and anxiety surrounding the BRI’s apparent extension to the region, it remains unclear whether its rollout there will change entrenched patters, challenges, and dysfunctions in the China-LAC (Latin American and Caribbean) relationship or merely deepen them. Moreover, at a time of growing US-China strategic rivalry, the expansion of BRI-themed deal-making in LAC is already playing into growing major-power competition and tension.

Matt Ferchen is a nonresident scholar at the Carnegie-Tsinghua Center for Global Policy where he runs the China and the Developing World Program. From 2008-2017 Ferchen was the first and only full-time foreign member of the International Relations Department at Tsinghua University in Beijing. Dr. Ferchen has a Masters in Latin America and China Studies from John Hopkins SAIS (1997) and a Ph.D. in Comparative Politics and International Relations from Cornell (2008).

Lunch will be provided. Please RSVP to cipr@tulane.edu.

Dr. Erika Robb Larkins to present research in talk on Brazil's Private Security Sector

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Join the Stone Center for Latin American Studies in welcoming Dr. Erika Robb Larkins for a talk titled Mall Cops and Bodyguards: Civility, Expendability, and Racialized Labor in Brazil’s Private Security Sector on Wednesday, January 23, 2019.

Dr. Erika Robb Larkins is the Director of the J. Keith Behner and Catherine M. Stiefel Program on Brazil and Associate Professor of Anthropology and Sociology at San Diego State University. She received her doctorate in Cultural Anthropology from the University of Wisconsin, Madison and also holds a M.A. in Latin American Studies from the University of Chicago. Her research and teaching focus is on violence and inequality in urban settings. Her first book, The Spectacular Favela: Violence in Modern Brazil (U California Press 2015), explores the political economy of spectacular violence in one of Rio’s most famous favelas. Dr. Larkins is presently working on a second book examining the private security industry in Brazil.

Please direct any questions about the talk to Daniel Gough.

Sociology Colloquium Series to host talk by Javier Auyero on collusion and violence in Argentina

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Join the Sociology Department at Tulane University in welcoming Dr. Javier Auyero, for a talk titled The Ambivalent State: Collusion and Violence in Latin America on Thursday, January 24, at 3:30 PM.

Drawing upon long-term ethnographic fieldwork in a poor high-crime neighborhood of Argentina and documentary evidence from court cases involving drug traffickers and police officers, this talk examines the clandestine connections between participants in the illicit drug trade and members of the state security forces – and their impact on skyrocketing urban violence. The presentation unpacks the much-referred to (but seldom scrutinized) content of police-criminal collusion reconstructing the resources, relational practices, and processes at its core. The talk makes its three-fold argument by way of empirical demonstration: a) illicit relationships between police agents and traffickers serve the latter to achieve a quasi-monopoly in the use of force over a territory that is central to the prosecution of their illegal trade, b) clandestine relationships between police officers and traffickers feed the systemic violence that characterizes the market of illegal drugs and contributes to localized violence, and c) police-trafficker collusion fosters widespread skepticism about law-enforcement among residents of low-income violent neighborhoods.

Dr. Javier Auyero is the Joe R. and Teresa Lozano Long in Latin American Sociology at the University of Texas-Austin. He is the author of Poor People’s Politics, Contentious Lives, Routine Politics and Violence in Argentina, and Patients of the State. Together with Débora Swistun, he co-authored Flammable: Environmental Suffering in an Argentine Shantytown. His new book, In Harm’s Way: The dynamics of urban violence, co-authored with María Fernanda Berti, was recently published by Princeton University Press. He is also the editor of Invisible City: Life and Labor in Austin, Texas (published this year by University of Texas Press), and co-editor – with Philippe Bourgois and Nancy Scheper-Hughes – of Violence at the Urban Margins (published this year by Oxford University Press).

Stone Center for Latin American Studies to host 11th annual Workshop on Field Research Methods

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Join us at the Stone Center for Latin American Studies for the 11th Annual Weekend Workshop on Field Research Methods on Saturday, January 26, 2019. The deadline to apply for the workshop is January 15, 2019.

How will you get the data you need for your thesis or dissertation? Do you envision immersing yourself for months in the local culture, or tromping the hills and farms seeking respondents? Sorting through dusty archives? Observing musicians at work in the plaza? Downloading and crunching numbers on a computer? For any of these approaches: How might you get there, from here?

This workshop aims to help you approach your data collection and analysis for your thesis or dissertation topic, and to adapt and refine your topic to be more feasible. You will take your research project ideas to the next stop—whatever that may be, include raising travel grants. Learn to:

  • Plan more efficiently, feasible, and rewarding fieldwork
  • Prepare more compelling and persuasive grant proposals
  • Navigate choices of research methods and course offerings on campus
  • Become a better research and fieldwork team-member

Format
This is an engaged, hands-on, informal workshop. Everyone shares ideas and participates. We will explore and compare research approaches, share experiences and brainstorm alternatives. You will be encouraged to think differently about your topic, questions, and study sites as well as language preparation, budgets, and logistics. The participatory format is intended to spark constructive new thinking, strategies, and student networks to continue learning about (and conducting) field research.

Who is leading this?
Laura Murphy, PhD, faculty in Global Community Health and Behavioral Sciences, and affiliate faculty to the Stone Center for Latin American Studies.

Who is this for?
This workshop is targeted to Stone Center graduate students as well as graduate students from other programs (GOHB, CCC, humanities, sciences, and others) if space is available. The workshop will be particularly helpful for those who envision research with human subjects.

Sign up
Sign up as soon as you can! Apply by January 15, 2019, at the latest to confirm your stop. Send an email with the following details:

  • Your name
  • Department and Degree program
  • Year at Tulane
  • Prior experience in research, especially field research
  • Academic training in research design and methods
  • Include a 1-paragraph statement of your current research interests and immediate plans/needs (i.e. organize summer field research)

Light breakfast and lunch will be provided. Not for credit.

For more information and/or to apply: Contact Laura Murphy or Jimmy Huck.

K-12 Professional Development Opportunity: Resources and Pedagogy on Latin American Studies

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On Saturday, January 26, 2019, join us at the Louisiana Chapter of the American Association of Teachers of Spanish and Portuguese (AATSP) Annual Meeting for a professional development opportunity. This year’s meeting will include a presentation on pedagogy by Lolla Blas Troncoso, a middle school Spanish Instructor at the Isidore Newman School and a session on the Latin American Resources available at Tulane University’s Stone Center for Latin American Studies by Denise Woltering-Vargas, Senior Program Manager at Tulane University’s Stone Center Latin American Studies.

This conference is free and open to all educators and membership in the AATSP is not required. Please RSVP as space is limited. Please RSVP to Stephanie Davis.

The event will be held in the Reynolds Room at the Isidore Newman School. Please use the Loyola Street Lower School entrance, located at 5320 Loyola, the corner of Jefferson Avenue and Loyola Street.

K-12 Educator Workshop at the Audubon Zoo: Rescuing the Rainforests

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Tulane University’s Stone Center for Latin American Studies in collaboration with the Audubon Nature Institute will be hosting a K-12 educator workshop Rescuing the Rainforest at the Audubon Zoo on Saturday, February 2, 2019. Rescuing the Rainforest will focus on conservation efforts and environment of Central American rainforests. This workshop is a great way to learn how to bring real world science into your classroom. Activities will incorporate a variety of sciences and other subjects including: art, environmental science, cultural components, anthropology, computer science and technology. While it is geared for middle and high school teachers, this workshop is open to all educators formal and informal. We are delighted to have Dr. Katharine Jack, Professor of Anthropology and Director of Environmental Studies at Tulane University, join us for this workshop.

Please register here. The cost is $45.00 per participant. Lunch will be provided.

Please contact educationprograms@auduboninstitute.org for additional information.