Centre for Latin American and Caribbean Studies (CLACS)

The Centre for Latin American and Caribbean Studies (CLACS) has been established in January 2012 as a unified platform to bring together all academic activities deployed by Leiden University academics and postgraduates working in the field of Latin American and Caribbean studies. This site includes an up-to-date list of names and contact details of all scholars and PhD candidates currently working on this region, alongside details of their main areas of research. In addition to this, it provides links to all major teaching programmes at Bachelor, Master and Doctoral levels on Latin America and the Caribbean within our university. Details on forthcoming lectures, conferences and other academic activities in the field of Latin American and Caribbean Studies are also listed here, for the information of University of Leiden’s academic community as well as our foreign and national visitors.

Latin America and the Caribbean at Leiden University

Leiden University has a longstanding tradition in the study of the Latin American and Caribbean regions, including the study of Amerindian peoples. Within the Humanities Faculty, the University is home to the Department of Latin American Studies (LAS). Each year, the Department attracts a robust number of students for its Bachelor and Master Programmes. Its one-year MA programme is almost entirely taught in Spanish, making it the sole MA programme in Northern Europe to be taught in the target language. In addition, LAS plays a pivotal role in the delivery of the two-year Research Master programme in Latin American studies, the only one of its kind in the Netherlands.

Each academic year, LAS hosts two Visiting Chairs, one in Brazilian and one Chilean Studies, taken up by an eminent scholar from these countries, invited to deliver courses open to the entire Leiden student community. Within its academic body, LAS has a Chair in Modern Latin American history, held by Professor Patricio Silva, and a Chair in Latin American Literature and Linguistics, held by Professor Luz Rodríguez. Both supervise a large number of PhD students currently carrying out research on a variety of themes related to Latin American socio-political development and cultural topics, respectively. Still within LAS, Dr. Marianne Wiesebron has been very active in fomenting the study of Brazil.

Beyond LAS, the University of Leiden has a strong tradition in the study of Pre-Columbian Amerindian societies. Prof. Maarten Jansen (Faculty of Archaeology) holds the Chair in Meso-American Archaeology and History. Leiden also has a Professorial Chair in Archaeology of the Caribbean Region, which is held by Professor Corinne Hoffman. A considerable number of academics and PhD candidates are engaged in the study of Mexico, Central America, the Caribbean and the Amazon region.

Within the field of indigenous languages, Professor Wim Adelaar (Faculty of Humanities) is a specialist in several Amerindian languages, alongside Dr. Eithne Carlin, who teaches and researches threatened languages from Indo-America.

As a result of the long presence of the Netherlands in the Caribbean region, Leiden has a long tradition in the study of the Caribbean in general, and of the Dutch Antilles in particular. This ranges from the field of history to anthropology and public administration. Professor Gert Oostindie, Director of the Royal Netherlands Institute for South-East Asian and Caribbean Studies KITLV) holds the Chair in Caribbean History. Prof. Oostindie is one of the main experts in the Netherlands in the field of Cuban, Dominican and Puerto Rican history, as well as a specialist on the Dutch Antilles. Also at the KITLV, Dr. Rosemarijn Hoëfte works on Caribbean history, particularly on Suriname. Dr. Peter Meel, Director of Research of the Department of History, is also a specialist in the Caribbean region.

In the Faculty of Social Sciences, Dr. Rivke Jaffe (Cultural Anthropology) works on several urban anthropological and sociological topics related to the Caribbean and the spatialization of power and inequality within cities.

At the National Ethnological Museum at Leiden, Dr. Laura van Broekhoven is Curator for Central and South America.

At the main University Library, Drs. Isabel Brouwer is the specialized Librarian on the Latin America collection (acquisition, collection building, scholar support, etc.).

Henceforth, foreign students and scholars who wish to know more about what the study of Latin American and the Caribbean within the University of Leiden will be able to obtain a quick and complete picture on all programmes and activities, in addition to details on staff members and departments involved in the teaching and research on this particular region.

Last Modified: 03-02-2012