The Council on Latin America and Iberian Studies Graduate Student Affiliates Network seeks to strengthen exchange and innovation in the graduate student community through supporting academic research and social gatherings. The mission is to foster an engaging, interdisciplinary community of students working in fields related to Latin America or Iberia. The network includes students from various departments and schools, including School of Architecture, the School of Forestry and Environmental Science, the School of Management, the School of Drama, and the Divinity School. Many of the affiliates are conducting interdisciplinary research and pursuing degrees in departments such as the Music, Political Science, History, Anthropology, and Spanish & Portuguese.
Through the support of the network, graduate students have also received research funds to travel throughout Latin America. Recently, for example, Esther Guevara and Oscar Crespo Pinillos were able to travel to Patagonia in order to advise the Chilean NGO, Futaleufu Riverkeeper, on how the small organization could build domestic political support for the nomination of a World Heritage Site in Chile. In Patagonia, the team was able to see firsthand the importance of their research and working alongside national organizations.
Beyond the social aspects of being a part of a close-knit community and the funding opportunities it provides, the network also offers a variety of opportunities, including occasions to meet and work with affiliated faculty and prominent visitors, such as scholars and politicians from throughout Latin America and the Iberian peninsula. Through the support of reading groups and colloquia series, the network is also an important resource for students to learn more about each other’s research and interests.