Roger Thayer Stone Center For Latin American Studies

Tulane University

History

Tulane University is a liberal arts institution founded in 1834. Its academic mission has been identified historically with its region. The latter includes the Mississippi River and Gulf-Caribbean basins as well as the Atlantic and Pacific Worlds linked at the isthmus in Panama. Tulane’s programs have evolved as partnerships with these regional neighbors linked by history and shared inheritances.

Tulane has a long-standing special strength in the study of Central America and Mexico. This concentration originated in a turn-of-the-century gift of a large Mesoamerican library, which became the foundation for the Latin American Library’s holdings of resource materials on Guatemala, Honduras, Belize, El Salvador, Costa Rica, Nicaragua, and Mexico, which are internationally distinguished.

In the early part of the century, one of Tulane’s first internationally prestigious program was the Middle American Research Institute, which was founded in 1924 to conduct “advanced research into the archaeology, history, tropical botany, and natural resources and products of countries facing New Orleans across the waters of the south.” Tulane’s identity and destiny were to become one with this early exemplar of its institutional leaders’ commitments to create knowledge and provide service to a region whose boundaries transcended the geopolitical frontiers of the United States. Archaeology, anthropology, history, political science, literature, biology, and earth sciences formed the core disciplines in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, while the Schools of Law, Business, Engineering, Medicine, and Public Health developed truly Pan-American programs in the early twentieth century.

Although Tulane expanded its scope to all of Latin America after World War II, the Mesoamerican strength remains and the Stone Center acts as a sort of brokerage for relations between Mesoamerica and the United States. A steady stream of Mexicans and Central Americans come to Tulane for training, as Fulbright Professors and to use our library. Specialists on the region can be found in most departments and the university has produced several hundred dissertations and theses on Mesoamerican subjects. Every summer there are well over 100 Tulane faculty and students at work in the region, whether in archaeological excavations, Maya intensive language program in Guatemala, or dozens of National Resource Center-financed individual research projects.

Our program is today comprehensive with faculty in almost every region and discipline essential to understanding Latin America. The Mississippi-Gulf-Caribbean region is the epicenter of cultural and historical converging and radiating flows of a vast cultural and geographic network embracing Europe, Africa, the Pacific Rim, and North and South America. Today, Tulane University has active programs in African and African Diaspora Studies, the Atlantic World, Comparative Southern Studies, and Cuban, Brazilian, and Francophone Caribbean Studies. The Payson Institute for Applied Development and Technology Transfer offers courses on its New Orleans and Washington D.C. campuses and operates a federally-funded third world disaster center. Our Schools of Law, Business and Public Health and Tropical Medicine operate field programs in every region of Latin America.

Nationally, few institutions of Tulane’s size compare in the number of faculty, graduate students, undergraduate majors, library holdings, and support for research dedicated to the support of Latin American studies across the university. When viewed in relationship to the percentage of the relatively small available pool of institutional resources e.g. faculty, students, library holdings, and budget, Tulane’s commitment to Latin American Studies is comparable or superior to institutions such as Stanford and Duke, among private universities, and to the University of Texas and the University of California at Los Angeles, among large public universities, whose faculties and student bodies are three to five times larger.

Tulane is also a top producer of graduate degrees that focus on Latin America. Since the mid-l960s, over 300 students have graduated with an interdisciplinary M.A. degrees in Latin American Studies and have gone on to positions in the public and private sectors, and for additional training in the disciplines and professions. Almost forty have graduated with the interdisciplinary Ph.D. in Latin American Studies since the late l970s. Virtually every one of these graduates is working or has worked in the field. A few placements include University of New Mexico, University of Texas, Smith College, Middlebury College, Banco de Bilbao, Harvard University, U.S. Agency for International Development, and some seven Mexican universities.

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Upcoming Events

The Legacies of Colonialism: Pathways of (In)dependence in Puerto Rico and the Philippines

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The Center for Inter-American Policy and Research presents a lecture by Dr. Julian Go, Professor of Sociology at Boston University, titled “The Legacies of Colonialism: Pathways of (In)dependence in Puerto Rico and the Philippines.” The talk will compare and explore the different trajectories of Puerto Rico and the Philippines. They were both subject to U.S. and Spanish Colonialism, but they had different trajectories of elite-led revolutionary nationalism; today the Philippines is an independent nation-state while Puerto Rico is remains a colonial dependency.

This is a Brown Bag lecture – please feel free to bring your own lunch.

Contact CIPR (cipr@tulane.edu) for more information.

Poética y política del milagro: Jorge Luis Borges y Carl Schmitt

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The Department of Spanish and Portuguese and the Stone Center for Latin American Studies present a talk by Jorge Brioso, Professor of Spanish at Carleton College, titled “Poética y política del milagro: Jorge Luis Borges y Carl Schmitt.” The talk will be held at 4:00 PM on Wednesday, February 22 in the Latin American Library Seminar Room

Professor Jorge Brioso researches the relationship between literature and philosophy and has published on the work of Hispanic writers and philosophers. His essays on Jorge Luis Borges, Rubén Darío, José Ortega y Gasset, and María Zambrano are particularly revealing. He is currently a professor at Carleton College, where he teaches Latin American literature, Spanish cinema and the history of human rights. He is a member of the important research group La escuela de Madrid (The Madrid School), which studies the philosophy in the Spanish language and includes scholars from Germany, Italy, Mexico, Spain and the United States.

"Ixtz'unun: Making Stories from Maya History" Opening Reception

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Join the Consulate of Mexico in New Orleans and the Middle American Research Institute for an opening reception for the exhibit Ixtz’unun: Making Stories from Maya History by Mélanie Forné held in conjunction with the 14th Annual Tulane Maya Symposium.

Ixtz’unun (“little hummingbird”) is a little Maya girl, and like so many other little girls, she, with her sisters, makes childish jokes and sometimes puts herself into trouble. The only difference with her is that – she lives in A.D. 760!

The comic Ixtz’unun, published in Guatemala by Prensa Libre, tells the stories of this little girl and her friends and family and presents the daily life of the Ancient Maya. The exhibition Ixtz’unun, Making Stories from Maya History, presents original pieces and preparatory drawings from this comic series.

Preview images from the comics here.

This event is free and open to the public.

Ancient Maya Landscapes: K-16 Educator Workshop

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In conjunction with the Middle American Research Institute’s 14th Annual Tulane Maya Symposium “Monumental Landscapes: How the Maya Shaped Their World” and the New Orleans Museum of Art LARC is presenting a K-16 educator workshop on Ancient Maya Landscapes. The workshop will address how the Maya viewed the world around them as well as resources for teaching about the Maya and interactive activities for the classroom.

Participants will receive a boxed lunch, teaching materials and CEUs.

Register through the TMS website.

Tentative Schedule:

9:00-9:30 AM
Introduction
Denise Woltering Vargas, Tulane University
Marcello Canuto, Tulane University
Tracy Kennan, New Orleans Museum of Art

9:30-10:30 AM
Introduction to the Maya
Evan Parker, Tulane University

10:30-11:00 AM
Tour of the NOMA Collection
Rachel Horowitz, Tulane University
Tracy Kennan, New Orleans Museum of Art

11:00-12:00 AM
Engaging K-12 Classrooms with Resources on the Maya
Melanie Forne

12:00-1:30 PM
Lunch

1:30-2:30 PM
Crafting Lessons on the Maya
Brooke Grant, Tulane University

2:30-3:00 PM
Discussion and Evaluation

14th Annual Tulane Maya Symposium Monumental Landscapes: How the Maya Shaped Their World

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The Middle American Research Institute, the Alphawood Foundation, and the Stone Center for Latin American Studies are proud to present the Fourteenth Annual Tulane Maya Symposium and Workshop. This year’s symposium, titled “Monumental Landscapes: How the Maya Shaped Their World”, will examine how the ancient Maya built up and transformed their landscapes to create monumental cities and lasting communities. The invited scholars have explored this topic across the Maya area, from the lowlands of Belize and Guatemala to the Guatemalan highlands.

Visit the Tulane Maya Symposium homepage for more information and updated schedules. Registration is now open.

Teaching Haiti: K-12 Educator Workshop

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This educator workshop will explore the culture of Haiti, focusing on music and dance. This unique workshop focuses on an important, but often understudied area of the Caribbean, and will provide K-12 educators with exciting opportunities to diversify the classroom.

Participants will receive lunch, teaching materials and CEUs.

Check out LARC’s curriculum on Haitian Folktales or the Haiti part of the Day of the Dead Across the Americas to get ready for the workshop.

Special offer on registration!:
Bring a friend! Register with a colleague from the same institution and you can receive a 2 for 1 registration. Please register only one time and follow instructions on the registration form to provide your colleague’s information.

Schedule Coming Soon!