Past Events

Juan Carlos Pinzón

Juan Carlos Pinzón, Ambassador of Colombia to the United States, will share his experience in helping shape today’s Colombia, including most recently as Colombia’s Minister of Defense. He will also discuss Colombia’s national priorities and vision for the future of the U.S.-Colombia partnership – one of the most dynamic bilateral relationships in the Western Hemisphere.

Juan Carlos Pinzón is the Ambassador of Colombia to the United States. He previously served as Colombia’s Minister of Defense and as Chief of Staff to President Juan Manuel Santos.

Co-sponsored by the Center for Latin American Studies and the Goldman School of Public Policy.

Wednesday, December 9, 2015, 4:00 - 5:30 pm
"Living Room," Goldman School of Public Policy, 2607 Hearst Avenue

Informational Meeting

Foreign Language and Area Studies (FLAS) Fellowships provide funding to students to encourage the study of critical and less commonly taught foreign languages in combination with area studies, international studies or international aspects of professional studies. 

There will be an informational meeting about the 2016 Summer and 2016-17 Academic Year Fellowships on December 4 at Berkeley.

Friday, December 4, 2015, 11:00 am - 12:00 pm
309 Sproul Hall (Graduate Professional Services Center).

Film Screening and Discussion

Written and directed by Jeffrey L. Gould and Carlos Henriquez Consalvi (United States, 2012)

In the early 1970s, hundreds of impoverished people living in remote Morazán, El Salvador, decided to emulate early Christian communities by working the land together, studying the Bible, and building villages based on solidarity. As their numbers grew, the Salvadoran government came to see them as a threat. The base communities organized to resist the repressive tactics of the National Guard in the late ‘70s, and during the ’80s fought what would become a 12-year civil war. 56 minutes. Spanish with English subtitles. 

The documentary will be followed by a conversation with filmmaker Jeffrey Gould.

Jeffrey L. Gould is the James H. Rudy Professor of History at Indiana University. The Word in the Woods is his second documentary film.

Co-sponsored by the Center for Latin American Studies and the Department of History at UC Berkeley. 


Monday, November 23, 2015, 6:00 pm
160 Kroeber Hall

Support CLAS

Last year CLAS supporters helped us make a big splash during the campus-wide 24-hour fundraising blitz. Big Give is back and this year you can help CLAS win contests and cash prizes by making a donation and spreading the word on social media. Join thousands of alumni, students, parents, and friends in showing your passion for Berkeley by giving to CLAS on November 19. Together we’ll ensure that Cal students and faculty continue to reach higher, dream grander, and imagine farther, maintaining our position as the No. 1 public university in the world. 
Make a donation and encourage others to support CLAS on social media using the hashtags #CalBigGive and #CLAS. Gifts of $10 or more count toward Big Give!
Mariachi Luz de Oro will be playing at 3:30 pm.
Thursday, November 19, 2015, 2:30 - 4:30 pm
CLAS, 2334 Bowditch Street

Cine Latino

Directed by Álvaro Brechner (Uruguay, 2014)

“Mr. Kaplan,” Uruguay’s submission for the 2015 Foreign-Language Oscar, is a comedy about a Jewish retiree living in Uruguay after fleeing Europe because of World War II. When he becomes convinced that a German café owner is a former Nazi, the 76-year-old secretly hatches a plan to kidnap and bring him to justice in Israel. 98 minutes. Spanish with English subtitles.

Wednesday, November 18, 2015, 7:00 pm
Room 2040, Valley Life Sciences Building

Alfredo Arreguín

Mexican-born artist and world-renowned master pattern painter Alfredo Arreguín will speak about his unique style, which captures the landscapes and cultures of both his native Michoacán, Mexico and his U.S. home in the Pacific Northwest. UC Berkeley Professor Laura Pérez will moderate the conversation. 

Mexican-born Alfredo Arreguín is inspired by universal iconography and elements of the natural world. Laura Elisa Pérez is an associate professor in the departments of Ethnic Studies and Spanish and Portuguese at UC Berkeley. 

Co-sponsored by the Center for Latin American Studies and the Mexican Museum.


Tuesday, November 17, 2015, 6:00 pm
Geballe Room, 220 Stephens Hall

Sergio Aguayo

Organized crime has accumulated an enormous capacity for inflicting violence. For nearly a century, mafias, cartels, and gangs have woven together a network that fosters all types of illegal activities. Professor Aguayo will present an overview of this process through the personalities of three key gangsters. He will also make an argument for a regional and comprehensive response.

Sergio Aguayo is a Mexican scholar and political analyst. He is a full professor at the Center for International Studies, El Colegio de México and a Visiting Professor at the FXB Center for Health and Human Rights (Harvard School of Public Health).


Thursday, November 12, 2015, 4:00 pm
132 Boalt Hall

Author's Talk
Juliana Barbassa 

In 2009, when Rio de Janeiro was chosen to host the 2016 Olympics, Brazil was booming. But readying this beautiful and deeply flawed city for international scrutiny was a tall order. Journalist and author Juliana Barbassa examines Rio during this moment of flux, introducing the reader to the people who make up this city of extremes.

Juliana Barbassa is an award-winning journalist. Born in Brazil, she returned decades later as the Associated Press’ Rio de Janeiro correspondent.

Co-sponsored by the Center for Latin American Studies and the Institute of International Studies.


Monday, November 9, 2015, 4:00 pm
CLAS Conference Room, 2334 Bowditch Street

Cine Latino

Directed by Anna Muylaert (Brazil, 2015)

The tranquil existence of a live-in housekeeper, who has served a middle class Brazilian family for more than a decade, is turned upside down when her estranged daughter arrives. “The Second Mother” is a fresh, contemporary spin on class in Brazil, wrapped in a deeply moving story of what belonging and family mean. 111 minutes. Portuguese with English subtitles.

Wednesday, November 4, 2015, 7:00 pm
Room 2040, Valley Life Sciences Building

Guadalupe Rivera y Marín

Guadalupe Rivera y Marín, Ph.D., the daughter of Diego Rivera, will dissect her father's impact on the culture, politics, and society of post-revolutionary Mexico. Recalling the Mexico of her father, she will examine his interaction with the world around him.

Guadalupe Rivera y Marín, Ph.D., is a lawyer, former legislator and ambassador to the United Nations, and Diego Rivera Foundation Chair and Director.   

Co-sponsored by the Center for Latin American Studies and the Mexican Museum.


Tuesday, November 3, 2015, 6:00 pm
Great Hall, Bancroft Hotel (2680 Bancroft Way)

Film Screening and Discussion

Directed by Robin Blotnick and Rachel Lears
(United States, 2014)

“The Hand that Feeds” tells the story of sandwich-maker Mahoma Lopez as he organizes his undocumented immigrant co-workers to fight abusive conditions at a popular New York restaurant chain. The epic power struggle that ensues turns a single city block into a battlefield in America’s new wage wars. Spanish and English with English subtitles. 84 minutes.

The screening will be followed by a panel discussion with a #FightFor15 worker and organizer, CLAS Chair Harley Shaiken, and UC Berkeley Labor Center Chair Ken Jacobs.


Monday, November 2, 2015, 6:30 pm
Room 160, Kroeber Hall

Bay Area Latin American Forum
Maria Echaveste

Multi-national corporations often remain competitive in the ever-changing globalized economy by shifting production from country to country, or expanding their core businesses to other countries.  What are the opportunities and challenges for workforces located in the USA and Mexico, who share similar complaints about their wages and working conditions?  

Maria Echaveste, a Senior Scholar at UC Berkeley Center’s for Latin American Studies, has built a distinguished career as a public policy consultant, lecturer, senior White House official, long-time community leader, and corporate attorney.


Thursday, October 29, 2015, 4:00 pm
CLAS Conference Room, 2334 Bowditch Street

Bay Area Latin America Forum
Marian Schlotterbeck 

2015 marks the 50th anniversary of the founding of Chile’s MIR (Movimiento de Izquierda Revolucionaria, or Movement of the Revolutionary Left). Dr. Schlotterbeck sheds light on how grassroots organizing strategies endured despite the defeat of the Latin American Left’s vanguard politics.

Marian Schlotterbeck is an assistant professor of history at UC Davis, where she teaches courses on modern Latin America, social revolutions, and human rights.


Tuesday, October 27, 2015, 4:00 pm
CLAS Conference Room, 2334 Bowditch Street

Panel Discussion

Co-editors Javier Auyero, Philippe Bourgois and Nancy Scheper-Hughes, with moderator James Quesada, will discuss their new book, Violence at the Urban Margins, which delves into how Latin America emerged from decades of extreme violence — revolutionary, counter-insurgency, and military state — at the end of the 20th century only to plunge into a cauldron of delinquent, criminal, interpersonal, and political violence under democratic regimes. 

Co-sponsored by the Center for Latin American Studies, the Berkeley Center for Social Medicine, the Medical Anthropology program, the UC Berkeley-UCSF Critical Social Medicine Working Group, and the Thelton E. Henderson Center for Social Justice.

Friday, October 23, 2015, 12:00 - 1:30 pm
170 Boalt Hall

Cuauhtémoc Cárdenas

Cuauhtémoc Cárdenas will discuss the current crisis in Mexico and the solutions being proposed by the democratic and progressive political movements to address the country’s most pressing issues.

Cuauhtémoc Cárdenas was a presidential candidate in Mexico’s 1988, 1994, and 2000 elections. He served as mayor of Mexico City from 1997-2000 and is currently the president of “Por México Hoy,” a group seeking to modify the Constitution and establish an alternative to the neoliberal economic model for Mexico.


Thursday, October 22, 2015, 6:00 pm
Booth Auditorium, Boalt Hall

Cine Latino

Directed by Matthew Heineman (USA, 2015)

“Cartel Land” is an on-the-ground look at two modern-day vigilante groups and their shared enemy – the murderous Mexican drug cartels. From Executive Producer Kathryn Bigelow (“The Hurt Locker,” “Zero Dark Thirty”) this documentary offers a chilling view of the brutal drug war along the U.S. – Mexico border. 98 minutes. English and Spanish with English subtitles.

Wednesday, October 21, 2015, 7:00 pm
Room 2040, Valley Life Sciences Building

Thad Dunning

Thad Dunning is the Robson Professor of Political Science at the University of California, Berkeley and directs the Center on the Politics of Development. Heis current work focuses on the politics of distributive policies in Latin America, Africa, and India.


Wednesday, October 21, 2015, 12:30 pm
202 Barrows Hall

Bay Area Latin America Forum
Rebecca Bodenheimer 

Regionalist sentiment has been pervasive in Cuba since the colonial period, yet it has rarely been addressed in literature on contemporary social dynamics. Rebecca Bodenheimer examines the intersections between race and place, arguing that the longstanding divisions between eastern and western Cuba challenge the traditional image of a unified hybrid nation. 

Rebecca Bodenheimer is an ethnomusicologist who has conducted fieldwork in Cuba for more than a decade. Her book, Geographies of Cubanidad: Place, Race, and Musical Performance in Contemporary Cuba, was published in July 2015 by University Press of Mississippi.


Tuesday, October 20, 2015, 4:00 pm
CLAS Conference Room, 2334 Bowditch Street

Cine Latino

Directed by Damián Szifron (Argentina, 2014)

In this 2015 Academy Award nominee for Best Foreign-Language Film, six tales of revenge play out in a series of one-act vignettes that take their characters to outrageous extremes. Murder, violence, betrayal and unchecked rage mark the actions of a wide variety of individuals as they respond to situations that bring out the worst in them. 122 minutes. Spanish with English subtitles.

Wednesday, October 7, 2015, 7:00 pm
Room A0001, Hearst Annex

Matthew O'Brien

No Dar Papaya is Matthew O'Brien's photographic exploration of Colombia celebrating the beauty, diversity, and distinctive character of the country.  Published last year in Colombia to rave reviews, this is the first public presentation of the book in the U.S., before its official publication here.

O’Brien will be available to sign books following the presentation.

Matthew O'Brien has worked extensively in Colombia as a photographer, teacher, exhibiting artist, and Fulbright Fellow.  He is a UC Berkeley alum.


Tuesday, October 6, 2015, 4:00 pm
CLAS Conference Room, 2334 Bowditch Street

Film Screening and Discussion

Written by Lowell Bergman and Andrés Cediel
(United States, 2015) 

Every night, as most of us head home, janitors across America, many of them women, begin their night shift. They are often alone or isolated in empty buildings — and vulnerable to sexual violence. 53 minutes.

Following the screening, CLAS chair Harley Shaiken will moderate a discussion with Lowell Bergman, Andrés Cediel, and Daffodil Altan.

Co-sponsored by the Center for Latin American Studies, the Investigative Reporting Program of the Graduate School of Journalism, and the International Human Rights Law Clinic at Berkeley Law School.


Monday, October 5, 2015, 6:00 pm
Room 110, Boalt Hall

Artist's Talk

Born in São Paulo, Nuno Ramos is an artist, designer, sculptor, scenographer, filmmaker, composer, and writer. Ramos has been awarded many artistic and literary prizes in Brazil and abroad, including the 2006 Barnett and Annalee Newman Grand Award for his lifetime work. He is currently the Distinguished Brazilian Writer in Residence at UC Berkeley.

In Portuguese, with questions and comments welcome in English and Spanish.

Co-sponsored by the Center for Latin American Studies, the Department of Spanish and Portuguese, the Townsend Center for the Humanities, and the Department of Art Practice.

Tuesday, September 29, 2015, 4:30 - 6:00 pm
Spanish and Portuguese Library, 5125 Dwinelle Hall

Manuel Castells and Fernando Calderón

The rise of neoliberalism in the 1990s was reversed in most of Latin America by social and political resistance, opening the way to new populist regimes and to a state-centered model of development, particularly, but not only, in Venezuela, Brazil, Argentina, Ecuador, and Bolivia in the first decade of 21st century. However, new social movements of various origins and ideologies, challenging the corruption of the state, are inducing a crisis of legitimacy and projecting uncertain avenues of social transformation without clearly defined socio-political actors. A new Latin America is in the making.

Manuel Castells is University Professor at the University of Southern California, and Professor Emeritus of Sociology and City Planning at the University of California, Berkeley.

Fernando Calderón was Senior Advisor for Human Development in Latin America at the United Nations Development Program. He was a Visiting Professor at UC Berkeley, Chicago, UT Austin, and Cornell.


Thursday, September 24, 2015, 12:30 pm
Geballe Room, 220 Stephens Hall

Claudia Bernardi

Since January 2015 an estimated 34,000 children from El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Mexico crossed the U.S.-Mexico border. “Unspoken Words/Steps on Sand” shows the exodus of these undocumented, unaccompanied minors from Central America through collaborative, community-based murals painted by youth affected by the violence along the border.

Claudia Bernardi is an Argentine painter, printmaker, and installation artist. In 2005, Bernardi created the School of Art of Perquin in El Salvador. She is Professor of Community Arts at California College of the Arts.


Monday, September 21, 2015, 6:00 pm
Geballe Room, 220 Stephens Hall

Robert Edelman

During the Cold War, nations used sports to promote their political, social, and economic development. Between the end of World War II and the collapse of Communism, “Cold War sport” went beyond the bipolar U.S.A.-U.S.S.R. rivalry to also include Africa, Asia, and Latin America. With success and failure measured every four years at the Olympic Games, sport assumed more significance during the Cold War than at any other time in its history.

Robert Edelman is professor of Russian history and the history of sport at the University of California, San Diego.

Co-sponsored by the Center for Latin American Studies; the Institute of Slavic, East European, and Eurasian Studies; the Institute of East Asian Studies; the Institute of European Studies; the Institute of South Asian Studies; the Center for Middle Eastern Studies; the Center for African Studies; and the UCB History-Social Science Project.

Friday, September 18, 2015, 12:00 pm
370 Dwinelle Hall

Advance Screening and Director's Talk

Directed by Charles Ferguson (United States, 2015)

“Time to Choose” is the first comprehensive examination of how we can successfully address climate change and the bigger challenge of global sustainability.  The film describes the climate crisis, but more importantly shows how we can address it amidst the ongoing struggles of global sustainability, economic development, inequality, and human health. 96 minutes.

The screening will be followed by a discussion with Academy Award-winning director, Charles Ferguson.

Tickets will only be available at the door and will be distributed on a first come, first served basis.


Friday, September 18, 2015, 7:00 pm
Sibley Auditorium, Bechtel Engineering Center

Julia E. Sweig

Julia E. Sweig is a leading authority on the transformation of Cuba and U.S.-Cuban relations. She is Senior Research Fellow at the Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs at UT Austin, and previously served as the Nelson and David Rockefeller Senior Fellow for Latin America Studies and Director for Latin America Studies at the Council on Foreign Relations. Sweig is the award-winning author of several books, including Cuba: What Everyone Needs to Know (2013) and Inside the Cuban Revolution: Fidel Castro and the Urban Underground (2004).

Co-sponsored by the Center for Latin American Studies and the Institute of International Studies.


Thursday, September 17, 2015, 3:30 pm
Room 2060, Valley Life Sciences Building

Film Screening and Director's Talk

Directed by Raymond Telles and Yvan Iturriaga
(United States, 2015)

“A Photographer’s Journey,” tells the story of Pedro E. Guerrero, a Mexican American raised in segregated Mesa, Arizona, who goes on to a remarkable international career. With his outsider’s eye he made iconic portraits of three of the most important artists of the 20th century: Frank Lloyd Wright, Alexander Calder, and Louise Nevelson, as well as important images of modernist architecture. 60 minutes.

The documentary will be followed by a conversation with filmmaker Raymond Telles.

Raymond Telles is a producer, director, and adjunct professor of Ethnic Studies at UC Berkeley.

Co-sponsored by the Center for Latin American Studies and the Mexican Museum.


Thursday, September 10, 2015, 6:30 pm
Room 105, Boalt Hall