The mission of the Center for Latin American Studies (CLAS) at The Ohio State University is to serve, facilitate, and stimulate the teaching, research, and intellectual interests of OSU faculty and students in all matters dealing with Latin America. In addition, the Center carries out meaningful outreach programs to enhance the public’s knowledge and understanding of the region’s politics, business, economics, culture, literature and arts. CLAS accomplishes its mission by fostering high-quality research by faculty members and students, by increasing the Latin American-content course offerings, by supporting teachers from Ohio and beyond on their endeavors connected to the area, and by facilitating study abroad and exchange programs.

Thematic Foci of CLAS

During the past years CLAS has maintained an intense agenda of activities, and has undergone a thorough process of self-evaluation and planning which involved all Latin American faculty members across disciplines. In consultation with involved departments and colleges, drawing upon our faculty's expertise, and in accordance with the university's mandate to educate students as engaged and responsible global citizens, CLAS determined the strategic relevance of four thematic foci (Poverty and Inequality, Migration and Transnationalism, Postcolonialism and the Lusophone World, and Changing Climate, Landscapes, and Prospects for Justice) and two geo-cultural areas (Brazil and the Andes).


From this process came three new programs: an MA in Latin American Studies; an MA and PhD in Lusophone Studies, in collaboration with the Department of Spanish and Portuguese; and an undergraduate minor in Andean & Amazonian Studies, linked to courses in Quechua. These endeavors are complemented by the academic and research activities of four Working Groups organized according to the previously mentioned thematic foci.