The Teresa Lozano Long Institute of Latin American Studies (LLILAS) at The University of Texas at Austin seeks to improve knowledge and understanding of Latin America through education, research, and exchange. LLILAS programs serve UT students enrolled in related courses; UT faculty members specializing in Latin America; UT academic support units with major involvement in the region; civic, nonprofit, and business associations with activities in Latin America; academic leaders and institutions from Latin America with collaborative agreements with LLILAS; governmental and multilateral agencies dedicated to social and economic betterment in Latin America; and the general public in Texas and the United States whose world outlook includes Latin America.
The graduate division offers MA degrees, either solely in Latin American Studies or in conjunction with one of several degree programs at UT. The PhD exists to allow for those few students with a clear need for interdisciplinary doctoral studies. LLILAS has endowment funds for research that are allocated to faculty across campus, usually for summer travel or travel to professional meetings, as well as funds for student support. LLILAS also sponsors project proposals from faculty to national foundations to support their research and training.
The goal of LLILAS is to excel in every area that is required to: (a) give solid academic training to the most talented youth who wish to dedicate their careers to Latin America; (b) enrich human understanding and appreciation of Latin American society, history, and culture; and (c) produce scholarship and intellectual exchange that contribute to the economic, social, and political advancements of Latin America in constructive association with Texas and the United States.
Priorities of the Teresa Lozano Long Institute of Latin American Studies
Even at a university with a Latin American Studies faculty of our size, we cannot hope to cover all possible topics in the field. We have chosen three broad priority themes, which highlight areas of unusual faculty and programmatic strength across the university; these also are areas of pressing importance in the Latin American region. Although this latter criterion is oriented toward the present, we emphasize that each theme has a strong historical dimension, both for conceptual reasons, and in recognitio n of our outstanding Latin American history faculty.
Cultural Agency: How culture enriches the human condition
We understand culture in the broadest sense, how distinct groups of people assign meaning to the world around them. We are interested in specific forms of cultural production—from literature and film to performance and the arts—especially as they relate to broad social processes—identity formation, education, political relations, and even economic strategies. How have these diverse forms of cultural production given shape to the Latin America we know today, and how do they serve as a resource for social change in the common interest?
Social Inequalities: Roots and remedies
Latin America is widely known as the “most unequal continent,” in standard economic terms; inequalities of race/ethnicity and gender only sharpen this image. Yet, especially over the past two decades, the region is also known as an arena of widespread debate and action that seeks to remedy these conditions, to empower those who have been marginalized, and address the root causes of inequality. What are the root causes of social inequality in Latin America, in all its dimensions? What strategies yield progress toward the elimination of these enduring inequalities?  ;
Sustainable Democracies: Governance for the common good
Latin America has a long history of authoritarianism, followed by fragile and incomplete processes of democratization. Today many parts of the region still suffer from a pervasive sense that institutions (both governmental and civil society) do not function efficiently or fairly, serving the interests of a few to the detriment of the common good. How can Latin Americans build durable, efficient, and just democratic institutions that enjoy widespread public legitimacy and confidence?
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