News & Events


Catch up on LAIS events and affilaites' activities from 2020!

The recording of this well attended and timely tertulia is now available!

We are pleased to announce our inaugural Latin American and Iberian Studies Undergraduate Essay Competition! 

Words from Cecilia Méndez (LAIS Director) about last year and our plans for the 2020-2021 year!

Read on to learn about what motivated Ms. Torres-Magana to study Latin America, her current research plans and more!

Read on to learn about what motivated Ms. Zamora to study Latin America, her current research plans and more!

Professor Miroslava Chavez-Garcia (History) was interviewed about the forced sterilizations of migrant women in detention in Georgia. 

LAIS Tertulia (March,2020), "Coronavirus and Historic Patterns of Epidemics in Latin America" with Dr. Marcos Cueto, featured by the Humanities and Fine Arts News at UC Santa Barbara

Congratulation to Professor Dwight Reynolds (Religious Studies) on his new book The Musical Heritage of al-Andalus (Routledge/Taylor & Francis) that deals with music in medieval Iberia from the Muslim conquest in 711 CE to the final expulsion of the Moriscos (Muslims converted voluntarily or involuntarily to Christianity) in 1609-14. 

LAIS invites affiliated faculty, instructors, students and staff to propose Roundtable Tertulias in the time of COVID.

  1. Call for proposals

Professor Melissa Morgan (Gevirtz Graduate School of Education) made Full Professor this year and became a Fellow of the American Psychological Association!


Professor Suzanne Levine (Spanish and Portuguese) interviewed in Southwest Review about becoming a protagonist in the story of Latin American literature in English translation and creating a mashup of autobiography and scholarship that’s totally original.

Congratulations to Professor Paul Amar (Director,  Orfalea Center for Global & International Studies) for receiving major Ford Foundation and Carnegie Corp grants. 
Congratulations to Professor Cristina Vengas (Film and Media Studies) who has received a UCSB Faculty Research Grant and an Interdisciplinary Humanities Center Faculty Fellowship for 2020-2021. Professor Vengas' also co-edited Digital Activism, Community Media and Sustainable Communication in Latin America (Palgrave Macmillan, 2020). 

Professor Evelyne Laurent-Perrault (History) publishes an essay that engages Vanessa K. Valdés’s Diasporic Blackness: The Life and Times of Arturo Alfonso Schomburg.

Marisol Ramos's (Subject Librarian for LAIS) project, the #RickyRenuncia Project, about last year's massive protests in Puerto Rico that forced the previous governor to resign, selected to be part of an IMLS Laura Bush 21st Century Librarian Program grant.

  1. Grant
  • David Lopez-Carr

Professor David Lopez-Carr (Geography) and colleagues publish two articles exploring conservation and land use issues in Latin America. 

  • A photo of Anabel Ford

Congratulations to Dr. Anabel Ford and colleagues who have been awarded a five-year National Science Foundation grant for their project “Why Did the Late Classic Maya Live Where They Did? Settlement and Environmental Factors that Shaped Maya Civilization”

  1. faculty
  • Cecilia Méndez

LAIS Director Cecilia Méndez (History) featured in the Latin American Studies Association (LASA) Web News for her article in Ojo Público, "La independencia: una revolución olvidada".

  • Muralles and Khrlobian

Congratulations to Favián Muralles (BA) and Christine Khrlobian (MA) For winning the 2019-2020 adwards for Undergraduate Exemplary Performance and the Best Master's thesis respectively! 

  1. Student Award
  • Dr. Marcos Cueto tertulia

Watch the recording of our May 22nd Tertulia with Dr Marcos Cueto, "Coronavirus and Historical Patterns of Epidemics in Latin America."

  • Casillas and Gonzales-Smith

Professors Dolores Inés Casillas and Myriam Gonzales-Smith received the 2019-2020 awards for Exemplary Mentorship of LAIS Graduate and Undergraduate Students. 

  1. Faculty Award
  • Alba Constenla Torrado

Congratulations to LAIS Teaching Associate Alba Constenla Torrado who has accepted a tenure-track position at Southwestern College in San Diego.

  1. LAIS Teaching Associate
  • Andrade Martinez
Fátima Andrade Martinez is a recent LAIS Alumna (2019), we recently caught up with her to learn more about what led her to pursue an undergraduate degree in Latin American and Iberian Studies, and how that experience has influenced her career trajectory as a college adviser.
  1. Alumna
  2. Interview
  • Christine Khrlobian
Christine Khrlobian is LAIS M.A. Alumna (2019), we recently caught up with her to learn more about what led her to pursue a LAIS M.A, and how that experience has influenced her career trajectory.
  1. Alumna
  2. Interview


A global discussion of Caste: The origins of our Discontents, by Isabel Wilkerson, with Cecilia Méndez, Utathya Chattopadhyaya, and Terrance Wooten.
  1. February 2, 2021 - 12:00pm to 1:30pm
  1. Tertulia
Join us for a LAIS Tertulia in the Time of COVID, 2020-2021, and learn about social movements, identity and resistance in contemporary Nicaragua!
  1. December 1, 2020 - 12:00pm to 2:00pm
  1. Tertulia


  1. April 25, 2021 - 9:00am to 5:00pm
  1. Conference

A roundtable with Javiera Barandiarán, María Galindo, and Tathagatan Ravindran.

  1. November 17, 2020 - 12:00pm to 2:00pm
  1. Tertulia

Join us to hear from LAIS students about their study abroad experiences!

  1. October 30, 2020 - 3:00pm to 4:30pm
  1. social
A talk with Dr. Eva M. Wheeler  (Ph.D. UCSB, 2015) from the Spanish Deparment at Oakwood University. Event co-sponsored by LAIS. 
  1. October 27, 2020 - 11:00am to 11:30am

Join us to hear from Dr. Giovanni Batz (UC President's Postdoctoral Fellow, UC Davis) about "Ixil Maya Resistance against Megaprojects in Cotzal, Guatemala"


  1. October 13, 2020 - 5:00pm to 6:30pm

The Latin American & Iberian Studies Program, at UC Santa Barbara, invites faculty, students, staff and alumni to join us to meet our new members and connect with LAIS.


  1. September 28, 2020 - 2:00pm to 4:00pm
  • Kai Thaler

Professor Kai Thaler (Global Studies), and colleague, will talk about Nicaragua and COVID-19 as part of the "Populism and the Pandemic- A Comparative Perspective" series by the University of Wisconsin-Madison and Universidade de Brasília.

  1. September 8, 2020 - 9:00am to 10:00am



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