Past Events

Alejandro Díaz

Over four days in 1981, members of the Salvadorian army killed almost 1000 people, including 558 children, in the town of El Mozote, El Salvador. Now the trial has been reopened. Alejandro Díaz will discuss the El Mozote massacre and the legal case against its perpetrators.

Alejandro Díaz Gómez is a human rights lawyer from El Salvador.

Co-sponsored by the UC Berkeley Center for Latin American Studies, the US Department of State Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, and SHARE El Salvador.


Monday, December 9, 2019, 4:00 pm
102 Moffitt Library

Film Screening and Director's Talk

Directed by Petra Costa (Brazil, 2019)

Political documentary and personal memoir collide in this exploration into the complex truth behind the unraveling of two Brazilian presidencies. 113 minutes. English and Portuguese with English subtitles.  

After the screening, director Petra Costa will speak in conversation with Academy Award-winner Charles Ferguson


Thursday, December 5, 2019, 5:30 pm promptly
Maude Fife Room, 315 Wheeler Hall

Informational Meeting

Foreign Language and Area Studies (FLAS) Fellowships provide funding to graduate students to encourage the study of critical and less commonly taught foreign languages in combination with area studies or international aspects of professional studies. Fellowships are funded by the U.S. Department of Education to promote the training of students who intend to make their careers in higher education, government service, or other employment where knowledge of foreign languages and cultures is essential.

CLAS is offering FLAS awards to graduate students studying Spanish, Portuguese, Nahuatl, or other Latin American languages. Fellowships are offered for both academic year and summer programs.

The application deadline for both the Academic Year 2020-21 and Summer 2020 FLAS is Wednesday, January 29, 2020.

Wednesday, December 4, 2019, 11:00 am - 12:00 pm
309 Sproul Hall

Film Screening and Live Q&A

With Director Jeffrey Gould

Port Triumph in El Salvador can be viewed as a microcosm through which we can understand globalization and its effects on labor rights, personal lives and the environment. During the 1970s, El Salvador boasted a vast shrimp industry that declined in subsequent years due to political repression, neoliberal reforms, and globalization. This documentary puts a human face to this process and shows labor unions are entwined with gender politics, serving as a counter-point to neoliberal-inspired transformations. 62 minutes. Spanish with English subtitles.

Jeffrey Gould is Professor in the Department of History at Indiana University Bloomington.

Monday, November 25, 2019, 7:00 pm
160 Kroeber Hall

Anthony W. Fontes

Maras (transnational gangs) like the MS-13 stand at the center of ever-growing politics of fear. Based on years of fieldwork in Central America, Anthony W. Fontes illuminates how the maras became the region’s public enemy #1. However, the problem goes beyond gangs. By providing cover for a host of other actors taking advantage of extreme violence, maras help create a sense of order in the midst of chaos. Fontes will explore how these gangs have become so crucial for making and mooring collective terror in Central American cities, while tracing the ties that bind violence to those residing in far safer environs.

Anthony W. Fontes is Assistant Professor in the School of International Service at American University, and received his Ph.D. in Geography from UC Berkeley.


Thursday, November 21, 2019, 4:00 pm
CLAS Conference Room, 2334 Bowditch Street

Victoria Campos

Victoria Campos dará una breve introducción de la forma de ver y percibir la vida en la cosmovisión andina con referencia histórica de las colonizaciones y el papel de la espiritualidad, la permanencia de la memoria ancestral y los principios que garantizan el "Allin Kawsay" (Vivir bien). En su capacidad de pintora y activista, Campos explicará el proceso colectivo de descolonización-des-aprendizaje-recuperación de la espiritualidad y ritualización en su comunidad, partiendo de una visión ancestral hacia una revolución política considerando la revolución de las semillas. 

Victoria Campos es artista, pintora, y co-fundadora del centro de afirmación cultural Uywana Wasi en Cochabamba, Bolivia.

Please note: This event will be in Spanish.

Tuesday, November 19, 2019, 4:00 pm
CLAS Conference Room, 2334 Bowditch Street

Reinaldo Funes 

Author's Book Talk

In his award-winning book Our Trip to the Moon: The Idea of the Transformation of Nature in Cuba during the Cold War (English version forthcoming), Reinaldo Funes addresses the development of the concept of "geotransformation" in socialist Cuba. In this presentation, Funes will discuss the ideas, policies, and projects around its implementation during the Cold War. 

Reinaldo Funes is Professor of History at the University of Havana, Cuba.

This event is co-sponsored by the Center for Latin American Studies and the Department of History.  

Tuesday, November 19, 2019, 4:00 pm
3335 Dwinelle Hall

Jason DeParle

Author's Book Talk

In his recent book, New York Times reporter Jason DeParle traces the struggles and migratory paths of one extended Filipino family over three decades, offering a warm and personalized reflection on the forces that drive immigration, assimilation, and inequality in the United States. Professor Patricia Baquedano-Lopez (Graduate School of Education) will chair a discussion with Jason DeParle, Professor Zeus Leonardo (Graduate School of Education), and Professor Cristina Mora (Department of Sociology).

RSVP requested 

Jason DeParle is a reporter for who has written extensively about poverty and immigration.

Tuesday, November 19, 2019, 5:00 pm
2121 Berkeley Way, Room 1102. (Berkeley Way West Building at Shattuck Ave.)

Jacob Blanc

A Conversation with the Author

In the 1970s and 1980s, Brazilian communities facing displacement by the Itaipu Dam — which is now largest producer of hydroelectric power in the world — stood up against the military officials overseeing the dam's construction. In the context of an emerging national fight for democracy, they elevated their struggle for land into a referendum on the dictatorship itself. Jacob Blanc will discuss his new book, which traces the protest movements of Brazilians living in the shadow of the Itaipu dam, challenges the primacy of urban-focused narratives, and unearths the rural experiences of dictatorship and democracy in Brazil.

Jacob Blanc is a Lecturer in Latin American History at the University of Edinburgh.


Tuesday, November 12, 2019, 4:00 pm
CLAS Conference Room, 2334 Bowditch Street

Cine Latino

Directed by Jenny Murray (United States, 2018)

¡Las Sandinistas! reveals the untold stories of Nicaraguan women warriors and social revolutionaries who shattered barriers during Nicaragua’s 1979 Sandinista Revolution and the ensuing U.S.-backed Contra War. Today, as the current Sandinista government is erasing these women's stories of heroism, social reform, and military accomplishments from history books, these same women are fighting to reclaim history – and are once again leading inspiring popular movements for equality and democracy. 96 minutes. Spanish with English subtitles.

All Cine Latino screenings are free to the public. No registration or tickets are required.

Tuesday, November 12, 2019, 7:00 pm
NEW LOCATION: 106 Moffitt Library

Film Screening and Live Q&A

With Co-Director Francisco Cruces

Cities have been narrated from manifold perspectives, but rarely from the inside. This ethnographic documentary on contemporary urban life highlights the voices of 20 people in Madrid, Mexico City, and Montevideo. Through narrative, stories, and objects, the “city” is no longer an anonymous locus of commodities, industry, and mass human relations, but rather a space for personal assertion and self-discovery, as well as the continuities and ruptures of modern living. 63 minutes. Spanish with English subtitles.   

After the screening, co-director Francisco Cruces will take part in a live Q&A.  He is Professor of Anthropology at Universidad Nacional de Educación a Distancia in Spain, and a Visiting Scholar at UC Berkeley.


Monday, November 4, 2019, 4:00 pm
CLAS Conference Room, 2334 Bowditch Street

Cine Latino

Directed by Oscar Catacora (Peru, 2017)

Wiñaypacha is the first film shot entirely in Aymara, an indigenous language spoken by Aymara people in Peru and Bolivia. Incorporating and expressing the intricacies of Aymara language and cosmology, Wiñaypacha depicts the story of an elderly couple named Willka and Phaxsi (Sun and Moon). Amidst the backdrop of the captivating and rugged Andes mountains, they wait for their son who has left for the city. 86 minutes. Aymara with English subtitles. 

Wednesday, October 30, 2019, 7:00 pm
160 Kroeber Hall

Cine Latino

Directed by Lila Avilés (Mexico/U.S. 2018)

Eve, a young chambermaid, works long hours at a luxurious Mexico City hotel. A young single mother who travels far to get to her place of work, Eve has aspirations for the future and hopes that her diligence will get her a coveted spot as the cleaner on an executive floor. She confronts the monotony of long workdays with budding friendships and quiet examinations of forgotten belongings. 102 minutes. Spanish with English subtitles.

Wednesday, October 23, 2019, 7:00 pm
160 Kroeber Hall

Gathering, Panel & Reception

As the “psychedelic renaissance” unfolds, conversations around the legalization, therapeutic effects, and commodification of powerful and sacred substances like tobacco, peyote, psilocybin, and ayahuasca too often leave out the voices of the indigenous communities that have stewarded these plants for centuries. This event will bring together speakers from different Native and Indigenous traditions to discuss integrity of use and appropriation of mind-altering substances, in the context of globalization.

Co-sponsored by the Center for Latin American Studies, the Phoebe A. Hearst Museum of Anthropology, the Townsend Center for the Humanities, and the UC Berkeley Department of Anthropology.

Wednesday, October 16, 2019, 5:00 pm
Hearst Museum of Anthropology, 102 Kroeber Hall

Cine Latino

Directed by Bruno Murtinho (Brazil, 2018)

Amazônia Groove is framed by a trip up the Amazon River into remote parts of northeastern Brazil. Trees and water glide by along with stories and songs, and director Bruno Murtinho introduces a group of accomplished musicians, each of whom tells a tale of land, water, and life. From traditional bolero music to modern "technobrega," artists perform and discuss the power of music in Brazil and around the world. 85 minutes. Portuguese with English subtitles.

Wednesday, October 2, 2019, 7:00 pm
Room 102, Moffitt Library

Gabriel Giorgi

Recent reconfigurations of political subjectivities in South America gave impulse to the new rise of the right, in which hate infuses the public sphere. These changes are inseparable from transformations in technologies, circuits, and publics of writing. Recent art installations in Argentina and Brazil explore the intersections between online writing, hate, and “wars of subjectivity. This talk will examine the tentative mapping of these reconfigurations, their new scenarios, and the reimagination of “democracy” they impose. 

Gabriel Giorgi is a professor in the Department of Spanish and Portuguese Languages and Literatures at New York University, where he focuses on Latin American Modern and Contemporary Literature and Culture. He has published books and articles on topics that range from HIV/AIDS in Argentinian literature to territoriality under neoliberalism. 

Thursday, September 19, 2019, 5:00 pm
126 Dwinelle Annex

Liza Grandia

There is an abundant literature on the tropical “d’s”—deforestation, degradation, and destruction—with very little attention to the “r’s”— recovery, regeneration, and reforestation. With state-governed parks ravaged by wildfires, poachers, and narco-traffickers, and their own communities splintered by land grabs and other political challenges, an indigenous peasant movement in northern Guatemala is building a more inclusive vision of conservation, from the grassroots. On land that Q’eqchi’ communities call xeel (“leftovers”), village elders and leaders have reconstituted communal governance through the declaration of “autonomous indigenous communities.” In this talk, Grandia will describe the Q’eqchi’ vision to reclaim sacred lands and reforest them with spiritually-important species for climate resiliency.

Liza Grandia is a cultural anthropologist and Associate Professor of Native American Studies at UC Davis.


Tuesday, September 10, 2019, 4:00 pm
CLAS Conference Room, 2334 Bowditch Street

Panel Discussion

A Moral and Political Issue of Our Time

Experts on Central America and migration will participate in a panel about the context, current situation, and future of migration between Central America and the United States, and its impact on the U.S. border. 

The panel includes:Denise Dresser, Rosemary JoyceBeatriz Manz, Karen MusaloElizabeth Oglesby, and Paula Worby.


Wednesday, September 4, 2019, 5:00 pm
Maude Fife Room, 315 Wheeler Hall

Denise Dresser

Denise Dresser is a political analyst, columnist, and academic who writes for Reforma and Proceso, and teaches at the Instituto Tecnológico Autónomo de México (ITAM). Dresser is the author of numerous publications on Mexican politics and U.S.-Mexico relations, and has received the Legion of Honor medal for her work on democracy, justice, gender equality and human rights. 


Tuesday, September 3, 2019, 5:00 pm
Maude Fife Room, 315 Wheeler Hall