Past Events

Dilma Rousseff
(President of Brazil, 2011-16)

Dilma Rousseff, an economist, was elected the 36th President of Brazil in 2010 and reelected in 2014. She is the first woman to have served as Brazil’s president. Previously she was the Minister of Energy and then Chief of Staff to President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva (2003-2010).

The Rousseff government continued the labor and social programs from the previous administration and initiated policies to reorganize the Brazilian economy in the face of strong resistance. In 2016, Rousseff was impeached by the National Congress for allegedly breaking a budgetary law and removed from the presidency. She continues to fight for the policies she supports and to defend democracy, both in Brazil and internationally.

Videos, photos and more

Monday, April 16, 2018, 6:00 – 7:30 pm
Chevron Auditorium, International House

Discussion and Brown Bag Lunch

Diego Acosta Arcarazo & Luisa Feline Freier

Please join us for a discussion and brown-bag lunch featuring:

• Diego Acosta Arcarazo, (European and Migration Law, University of Bristol), who has a book coming out in May from Cambridge University Press on the legal construction of the national and the foreigner in South America from independence to the present day;

• Luisa Feline Freier (Social and Political Sciences, Universidad del Pacifico, Lima), who will present research on current South American migration and refugee policies.

This event co-sponsored by the Center for Latin American Studies, the Department of Sociology, and the Berkeley Interdisciplinary Migration Initiative.



Thursday, April 5, 2018, 12:00 - 1:15 pm
223 Moses Hall

Claudia Leal

The transition from slavery to freedom in the largest region in Spanish America inhabited mostly by black people has been aided by the geography of Colombia’s western rainforests. Access to a diverse environment – the jungle, soils and subsoils, rivers and the ocean – contributed to free people’s subsistence and allowed them to make commodities from nature. In this manner, they enjoyed unusually high levels of autonomy. Looking at the environment is key to better understanding the experience of freedom in other agrarian societies.

Claudia Leal is Edward Laroque Tinker Visiting Professor at Stanford University and Associate Professor at the Department of History at Universidad de los Andes in Bogotá.


Tuesday, March 20, 2018, 4:00 pm
Venue changed: 223 Moses Hall


A Workshop with Marta Dillon, Zeynep Gambetti, Cecilia Palmeiro, and Özlem Yasak
Moderated by Natalia Brizuela

Four activist-scholars will connect recent Argentine and Turkish/Kurdish practices of grassroots organizing and resistance, as well as debates and theorizations relating to gender, citizenship, and violence, weaving together emerging alternatives that push back against neoliberalism. They will discuss the ways in which the movements to which they belong work to defend increasingly precarious female bodies and lives without recourse to neoliberal discourses on “security.” 

Marta Dillon, a journalist, writer, and activist, and Cecilia Palmeiro, an academic, writer, and activist, are part of the “Ni Una Menos” Argentine women’s collective. Zeynep Gambetti is professor of political theory at Boğaziçi University, Istanbul. Özlem Yasak is a Kurdish activist and scholar from Diyarbakir, Turkey.

Co-sponsored by the Center for Latin American Studies, the International Consortium of Critical Theory Programs, the Center for Middle Eastern Studies, the Department of Spanish & Portuguese, the Department of Gender and Women Studies and the Department of Sociology.

Thursday, March 15, 2018, 5:00 - 7:00 pm
Stephens Lounge, Martin Luther King Jr. Building (ASUC Student Union)

Cine Latino

Directed by Ernesto Contreras (Mexico/Netherlands, 2017)

A young linguist travels to the jungle of Mexico to research and save a mysterious indigenous language. A language, as he discovers, at the point of disappearing since the last two speakers had a fight fifty years ago and refuse to speak a word with each other. Trying to bring the two old friends back together, he discovers that hidden in the past, in the heart of the jungle, lies a secret concealed by the language that makes it difficult to believe that the heart of Zikril will beat once again. 103 minutes. Spanish with English subtitles.

Wednesday, March 7, 2018, 7:00 pm
VENUE CHANGED: 102 Wurster Hall

Film Screening and Discussion

Directed by Sam Vinal (Honduras/U.S.A., 2017)

Join CLAS for a screening of the documentary on the legacy of Berta Cáceres, the indigenous Honduran environmental activist whose defense of her people’s lands successfully pressured the world’s largest dam builder to pull out of the Agua Zarca Dam at the Río Gualcarque. After winning the Goldman Environmental Prize in 2015, she was assassinated on March 3, 2016.  In Spanish with English subtitles.

After the screening, there will be a discussion featuring:

· Silvio Carrillo, a filmmaker, producer, and the nephew of Berta Cáceres, and

· Roxanna Altholz, an international human rights lawyer, and co-author of the recent Dam Violence: The Plan That Killed Berta Cáceres.

All CLAS screenings are free and open to the public. No ticket required.


Friday, March 2, 2018, 5:00 pm
160 Kroeber Hall

Almudena Bernabeu

On the morning of November 16, 1989, an elite unit of the Salvadoran Army entered the grounds of a Jesuit university in San Salvador, with orders to kill a priest critical of the military dictatorship and leave no witnesses. When it was all over, the soldiers murdered six priests, a housekeeper, and her daughter in cold blood.

Almudena Bernabeu, the co-founder and director of Guernica 37 International Justice Chambers, is a renowned transitional justice and international human rights lawyer. She led the investigation and prosecution for the murders that resulted in the extradition of Inocente Orlando Montano, who as El Salvador’s Vice Minister of Defense and Public Safety in 1989 helped instigate the attack.


Thursday, February 22, 2018, 4:00 pm
223 Moses Hall

Cine Latino

Directed by José María Cabral (Dominican Republic, 2017)

Dominican-Haitian Julián begins a jail sentence for petty theft inside the notorious Najayo prison just outside Santo Domingo. While navigating the indignities, corruption and everyday violence from both guards and fellow inmates, he becomes immersed in the system of “Woodpeckers,” the unique sign language the male prisoners use to communicate with women in the adjacent penitentiary just over 400 feet away. Standing in windows or out in prison yards, love – and heated liaisons – blossom.  Shot on location at the actual prison using real inmates for all but the lead roles, it was the first Dominican film to  screen at the Sundance Film Festival. 106 minutes. Spanish with English subtitles.

Wednesday, February 21, 2018, 7:00 pm
102 Wurster Hall

Héctor Hoyos

Hoyos, examining Marx’s notion of commodity fetishism, considers literary and artistic case studies from Colombia and Mexico (Fernando Vallejo, Margo Glantz, and Daniela Rosell) to characterize “hyperfetishism,” a mode that exacerbates social tension, seeking to disturb our relationship with the object. From the softness of shoes to the glow of faux gold, from unfashionable toilets to crumbling houses, Hoyos will show how contemporary Latin American culture theorizes globalization’s emerging material paradigms. 

Héctor Hoyos is Associate Professor of Latin American literature at Stanford University. His book, Beyond Bolaño: The Global Latin American Novel (Columbia UP, 2015), examines post-1989 Latin American novels of globalization and their relevance for world literature.


Tuesday, February 13, 2018, 4:00 pm
CLAS Conference Room, 2334 Bowditch Street

Cine Latino

Directed by Peter Bratt (USA, 2017)

Dolores Huerta is among the most important, yet least known, activists in American history. An equal partner in co-founding the first farm workers unions with Cesar Chavez, her enormous contributions have gone largely unrecognized. Dolores tirelessly led the fight for racial and labor justice alongside Chavez, becoming one of the most defiant feminists of the twentieth century — and she continues the fight to this day, at 87. With intimate and unprecedented access to this intensely private mother to eleven, the film reveals the raw, personal stakes involved in committing one’s life to social change. 95 minutes. English and Spanish with subtitles.

Wednesday, February 7, 2018, 7:00 pm
NEW LOCATION: 102 Wurster Hall

Ricardo Lagos

Ricardo Lagos (President of Chile, 2000-2006), on a trip organized by the Center for Latin American Studies, visited UC Berkeley and northern California to meet faculty, students, and leaders concerned with renewable energy and climate change.


Wednesday, January 31, 2018, All day
Center for Latin American Studies, 2334 Bowditch Street

Grant Competition

There will be a short informational meeting on the 2017 Tinker Field Research Grants, which are available to individuals for travel and field-related expenses for brief periods of pre-dissertation field research in Latin America, defined here as the Spanish- and Portuguese-speaking countries of the region. Awards are open to students across all academic disciplines and graduate degree programs.

Archive of past research reports

Friday, January 26, 2018, 12:00 - 1:00 pm
CLAS Conference Room, 2334 Bowditch Street