UCLA Latin American Intitute

June 2021 Newsletter

Wow, I can't believe it's my last newsletter as LAI Director! I'm stepping down at the end of this month, the end of my second term. I consider myself fortunate to have worked with so many extraordinary people within the International Institute, the LAI, its three constituent centers on Mexico, Brazil and the Southern Cone, the Program on Caribbean Studies and Working Group on Central America. I am grateful to Cindy Fan, Chris Erickson, Ron Sugano and the talented International Institute staff who support and assist our mission. I'm also stepping down as co-chair of the Latin American Studies Graduate Program, and will miss working with LAS co-chair and Associate Director of the LAI, Bonnie Taub, and Academic Counselor Magda Yamamoto, as well as colleagues on the Faculty Advisory Committee who give their time and expertise to our excellent program.

The good news is that Rubén Hernández-León is the incoming LAI director! Rubén is eminently well qualified for the position, having directed the Center for Mexican Studies for several years. It has been a real pleasure working with colleagues like Rubén who have directed or chaired the LAI's centers, program and working group, including Karina Alma, Patricia Arroyo Calderón, Verónica Cortínez, Robin Derby, Hugo Hopenhayn, Jorge Marturano, Karin Nielsen, José Luis Passos, Bill Summerhill and Maarten van Delden. I've enjoyed interacting with many LAI-affiliated faculty and with directors and faculty of other allied centers, such as the American Indian Studies Center and the Chicano Studies Research Center.

The most difficult part will be leaving the LAI staff. I think we have become closer than ever in this last year of the pandemic, racial injustice and radical reactionaries. We continue to connect by zoom, email, text and phone instead of meeting in our Bunche Hall offices. I salute Ariatne Barrera, Marcelo Jatobá, Bryan Pitts and Verónica Zavala for their excellent work, dedication to the LAI, teamwork and camaraderie. The same goes for HAPI colleagues Orchid Mazurkiewicz, Daniel Schoorl and Michael Scott, and Institut des Amériques Coordinator Eugénie Clement. I will miss you all but look forward to seeing you in the newly renovated LAI offices when we can return to campus.

I am honored and humbled to have served the LAI in both good and challenging times. Now I plan to read and write more, to continue working with students and contributing to our mission of promoting research and teaching on Latin America.

But wait, I still have a month left! Our 4th annual Nahuatl conference is this Friday, June 4. Thirteen speakers--including Nahua scholars, colleagues from Mexico and California, advanced graduate students at UCLA, and LAUSD high-school teachers--will share their expertise and teachings on Mesoamerican cultures, languages, and history. And LAI Outreach Coordinator, Verónica Zavala, is organizing our annual K-12 workshop from June 14-17, in collaboration with the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. The learning continues.

I wish you well and hope you have a pleasant summer. Thank you very much for your support.

Kevin Terraciano
LAI Director





4th Annual Nahuatl Conference at UCLA
Friday, June 4, 2021
9:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Zoom Webinar
Register via Zoom

Lugares de memoria y crisis social en Colombia
Saturday, June 5, 2021
2:00 PM
Zoom Webinar
Register via Zoom


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Telephone: 310-825-4571
Website: https://www.international.ucla.edu/lai/
E-mail: lai@international.ucla.edu
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