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About Us

The University of Michigan Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies (LACS) is committed to promoting a broader and deeper understanding of the region--its histories, cultures, and peoples. The center provides a venue for faculty, students, and the community to learn and share knowledge and partners with a host of units across campus on projects of mutual interest. 


  • Supports dialogue between U-M faculty, students, and the broader community by organizing and supporting conferences, lectures, and performances
  • Produces outstanding scholars in a supportive environment where students have the opportunity to investigate pressing questions related to Latin America and the Caribbean
  • Seeks to broaden Latin American and Caribbean studies across many disciplines by exploring issues of culture, race, ethnicity, and gender within a political and historical context
  • Invites scholars from the region and elsewhere in the world to the University of Michigan to teach, collaborate, and take advantage of our outstanding libraries and research facilities
  • Provides an African American focus that is distinctive among leading peer institutions. No other university offers such in-depth programming focused on African race and ethnicity in Latin America and the Caribbean
  •  Is a premier resource on Latin America and the Caribbean for scholars and the public at large

LACS Chronology

  • 1984    Founded as an undergraduate concentration program
  • 1996    Received U.S. Department of Education funds to support Foreign Language
                 and Area Studies (FLAS) graduate fellowships 
  • 1997    Established a Quechua language program that offers one of the world's only full-
                 year, three-level course in the most extensively spoken indigenous
                 language in the Americas
  • 2000    Expanded service to undergraduate students by offering a minor in Latin
                 American and Caribbean studies
  • 2001    Launched a graduate certificate program for students enrolled in U-M master's
                 and doctoral programs
  • 2006    Declared a National Resource Center by the U.S. Department of Education