Semester Calendar

Harley Shaiken

March 1932 was not a good time to come to Detroit. Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo arrived in the city in the midst of a plummeting economy and social upheaval. The artists painted during grim economic times, yet Rivera’s dream of a popular international art has found an enthusiastic new audience, and Kahlo has become iconic throughout the world. In this talk, Harley Shaiken will explore the ways in which art transcends borders.

Harley Shaiken is Class of 1930 Professor of Letters and Science and Director of the Center for Latin American Studies at the University of California, Berkeley.


Wednesday, February 5, 2020, 4:00 pm
CLAS Conference Room, 2334 Bowditch Street

Gabriel Boric

Gabriel Boric is a representative from the XII Region in Chile (Magallanes and Chilean Antarctica). He was elected to Congress in 2013, when he was 27 years old, and reelected in 2017. He served as president of the Student Federation at the Universidad de Chile (FECH), and is now a member of the newly-formed political party Convergencia Social.

PLEASE NOTE: This event will be in English.

Monday, February 10, 2020, 3:00 pm
575 McCone Hall

Oscar López Rivera

After almost 36 years as a political prisoner, Oscar López Rivera’s sentence was commuted by President Obama in 2017. Since his release, he founded the Oscar López Rivera Foundation, Libertá, through which he has been leading efforts to strengthen grassroots community organizing, demanding the auditing and cancelation of the island's debt, and advocating for independence. In this talk, López Rivera will discuss the U.S. prison system, lessons he has learned from community organizing on the island, and Libertá’s current projects. 

Oscar López Rivera is a Puerto Rican community organizer who fights for Puerto Rican sovereignty. 

Wednesday, February 19, 2020, 6:00 pm
Sibley Auditorium, Bechtel Engineering Center

Extended through February 27: Theatrical Screenings

Directed by Don Millar (Canada, 2018)  

Botero, the film, explores the amazing journey of Fernando Botero through intimate interviews with the artist, his family, and leading figures in the art world. It also includes first-hand encounters with Botero’s wildly popular public exhibitions and never-before-seen glimpses into his personal archives, untouched for forty years. CLAS and the Roxie Theater in San Francisco are co-sponsoring a weeklong run of the film. 84 minutes. In English and Spanish with English subtitles. 

Cosponsored by the Center for Latin American Studies and the Roxie Theater.

Monday, February 24, 2020, See website for showtimes
The Roxie Theater, 3117 16th Street, San Francisco, CA

Iván Velásquez Gómez

Iván Velásquez Gómez is a Colombian jurist and diplomat currently heading – at the rank of Assistant Secretary General of the United Nations – the International Commission Against Impunity (CICIG) in Guatemala. Having been hugely successful in the fight against corruption, CICIG was threatened with termination by Guatemala’s then-President Morales – but defended by Guatemala’s Constitutional Court. Velásquez has been honored with the World Human Rights Prize by the International Bar Association and with the Right Livelihood Award.

PLEASE NOTE: This event will be primarily in Spanish.


Tuesday, February 25, 2020, 12:30 pm
CLAS Conference Room, 2334 Bowditch Street

Isabel Allende

In conversation with Adam Hochschild

In the late 1930s, Spain’s civil war impelled thousands of refugees to flee their homes seeking a safer life. Isabel Allende’s latest book, A Long Petal of the Sea, follows a pregnant young widow who finds her life intertwined with an army doctor who is the brother of her deceased love. In order to survive, the two must unite in a marriage neither of them desires. Isabel Allende will speak in conversation with Adam Hochschild about her book and the legacy of the Spanish Civil War in Latin America and around the world.

Isabel Allende is one of the most widely read authors in the world. Adam Hochschild is an author, historian, and lecturer at UC Berkeley’s Graduate School of Journalism.

PHOTOS (Video coming soon)

Tuesday, February 25, 2020, 5:00 pm
Sibley Auditorium, Bechtel Engineering Center

Charles Walker

The brutal guerrilla war initiated by the Shining Path and the Peruvian government’s fierce response led to illegal mass detentions, disappearances, and massacres. The human rights groups that quickly emerged in response faced enormous challenges, both in the difficulty of tracking events in rural areas of the Andean highlands and the necessity of creating new paradigms and language. Those groups confronted a very different situation than their well-known and influential counterparts in Argentina and Chile. Their efforts culminated in Peru’s acclaimed 2003 Truth and Reconciliation Commission Informe Final.

Charles Walker is Professor of History, Director of the Hemispheric Institute on the Americas, and holds the MacArthur Foundation Endowed Chair in International Human Rights at UC Davis.


Wednesday, February 26, 2020, 4:00 pm
CLAS Conference Room, 2334 Bowditch Street

Information Session

CLAS will be hosting an informational meeting for students interested in the Berkeley Summer Abroad’s program in Spanish for Heritage Speakers and Nauatl.  Based at the Universidad de las Américas Puebla (UDLAP), the program includes immersive Spanish language programs, instruction from Native Nauatl speakers, and excursions to some of Mexico’s most important historical sites.

More information available here

Thursday, February 27, 2020, 4:30 - 5:30 pm
CLAS Conference Room, 2334 Bowditch Street

Rebecca Tarlau

Author's book talk, with opening remarks by Zeus Leonardo,
comments by Tianna Paschel

The Brazilian Landless Workers Movement (MST) is one of the largest social movements in Latin America. In the past 35 years, it has become famous globally for its success in occupying land, winning land rights, and developing alternative economic enterprises for over a million landless workers. In her recent book, Rebecca Tarlau explores how MST activists have pressured municipalities, states, and the federal government to implement their educational program in public schools and universities, impacting hundreds of thousands of students.

Rebecca Tarlau is Assistant Professor at The Pennsylvania State University. 

Co-sponsored by the Center for Latin American Studies, the Graduate School of Education, the Department of Sociology, the Department of Geography, and the Department of Environmental Science, Policy, & Management (Center for Diversified Farming Systems)

Wednesday, March 4, 2020, 2:00 pm
Graduate School of Education, Berkeley Way West, Room 4101


Current immigration policies have stranded 60,000 migrants in Mexico and deported asylum seekers into dangerous conditions in Guatemala. However, violence and other forces that drive migration continue unabated. The speakers will analyze the current humanitarian crisis and discuss possible solutions. 

Lisa Haugaard is the co-director of the Latin American Working Group. Lariza Dugan Cuadra is the Executive Director of CARECEN SF. Moderator Kelsey Alford-Jones is a Ph.D. candidate at UC Berkeley and former director of the Guatemala Human Rights Commission.

Friday, March 13, 2020, POSTPONED
CLAS Conference Room, 2334 Bowditch Street


Javier Couso is one of Chile’s foremost public intellectuals. He received his Ph.D. in Jurisprudence and Social Policy from the UC Berkeley Law School, is Professor of Law at Universidad Diego Portales (Chile), and Chair in Global Trends in Constitutionalism at Utrecht University (The Netherlands). He is a specialist in comparative law, with a focus on constitutional issues in Latin America.

Monday, March 16, 2020, POSTPONED
Geballe Room, 220 Stephens Hall


Directed by Melina León (Peru, 2019)

Georgina (Pamela Mendoza) is a young Quechua woman whose newborn daughter is stolen at a fake health clinic. Her desperate search for the child leads her to the headquarters of a major newspaper, where she meets Pedro Campos, a lonely journalist who takes on the investigation. 97 minutes. Spanish and Quechua with English subtitles.

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

Thursday, March 19, 2020, POSTPONED
160 Kroeber Hall


Author's Book Talk

In her recent book with Ernesto Calvo, Murillo analyzes the non-policy benefits that voters consider when deciding their vote. She demonstrates how politicians appeal to their constituencies through government policies, as well as non-policy characteristics (such as a reputation for honesty or competent management), which in turn help shape parties' ideological positions. Comparing Argentina and Chile, the authors’ exhaustive empirical work shows how linkages between parties and voters shape the delivery of non-policy benefits.

Maria Victoria Murillo is a professor of Political Science and International and Public Affairs at the Colombia School of International and Public Affairs. She is currently the Director of the Institute for Latin American Studies at Columbia. 

Tuesday, March 31, 2020, POSTPONED
CLAS Conference Room, 2334 Bowditch Street


To examine the topic of migration, we must reflect on issues of race and indigenous peoples simultaneously. This is a complex task, since the media, public institutions, and even academia address these topics separately. In this talk, Dr. Velásquez Nimatuj will examine the theme of migration from an indigenous perspective, within a larger context of racial oppression.  

Irma Alicia Velásquez Nimatuj is a journalist and activist, and the first Maya-K’iche’ woman to earn a doctorate in social anthropology in Guatemala. 

Wednesday, April 1, 2020, POSTPONED
CLAS Conference Room, 2334 Bowditch Street


Ronald Rael will discuss how the borderlands are a site for creative production and will share stories from the book Borderwall as Architecture, an important re-examination of what the 700 miles of physical barrier that divides the United States of America from the United Mexican States is, and what it could be. 

Ronald Rael is the Eva Li Memorial Chair, Professor, and Acting Chair of Architecture and Affiliate Professor of Art Practice at UC Berkeley.

Wednesday, April 8, 2020, POSTPONED
CLAS Conference Room, 2334 Bowditch Street


Directed by Benjamín Naishat (Argentina, 2018)

Set against the tense months leading up to Argentina’s 1976 coup d’état, successful lawyer Claudio is waiting to meet his wife at dinner when a confrontation with a stranger escalates into violence. His attempts to cope with the consequences slowly spin out of control. 109 minutes. Spanish with English subtitles.

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

Tuesday, April 14, 2020, POSTPONED
160 Kroeber Hall

Cine Latino

Directed by Abner Benaim (Panama, 2018)

One of the icons of Latin American music, Rubén Blades won 17 Grammys, starred in major Hollywood films, received a law degree from Harvard, and ran for president of his native Panama. This documentary takes us on a journey through his life and legacy. 85 minutes. Spanish with English subtitles.

*All Cine Latino screenings are free to the public. No registration or tickets are required.
Tuesday, April 21, 2020, 7:00 pm
160 Kroeber Hall

Cine Latino

Directed by Patricio Guzmán (France/Chile, 2019)

Director Patricio Guzmán (Nostalgia for the Light) examines the enduring legacies of Chile’s 1973 coup using the imposing landscape of the Andes as a focal point. The majestic mountains loom over the countryside, but like many parts of the country, much of the range is privately owned and off limits to the people. 84 minutes. Spanish with English subtitles.

*All Cine Latino screenings are free to the public. No registration or tickets are required.
Tuesday, April 28, 2020, 7:00 pm
160 Kroeber Hall