Professor John Thompson
It is with great sorrow that CLACS must report that Professor John Thompson (Geography) has passed away. As you may know, Professor Thompson was the first director for the Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies, a post which he held from 1963-1969. Under his leadership, the Center was recognized as a National Resource Center by the Department of Education for the first time, a designation which we continue to hold today. The Center owes Professor Thompson a large debt of gratitude for his dedication to shepherding the fledgling CLACS through its early years and for helping to give the Center the start it needed to grow into one of the premier centers for the study of Latin America and the Caribbean. He will be greatly missed.
Welcome to the Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies!
Bienvenido / Boas-vindas / Pasaykamuy / Walik Purinipxtaxa
Latin America has been the focus of research at the University of Illinois since as early as 1904, with a Latin American Studies major being established in 1949, and the Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies (CLACS) being created in 1963. In a consortium with the University of Chicago, CLACS is a Title VI National Resource Center, receiving continuous funding since 1976 from the U.S. Department of Education. Since 2009, CLACS houses the Lemann Institute for Brazilian Studies, one of only three in the country. With additional financial support from the Foreign Language and Area Studies Fellowship (also from the Department of Education), the College of LAS, as well as private institutional (Tinker, uninterrupted since 1980) and individual funds (Kilby Fellowship, Love Fellowship, Whitten Fund), CLACS promotes research and teaching on Latin America, as well as sponsors conferences, symposia, colloquia, the Latin American Film Festival, and outreach programs.
By supporting and promoting the missions of the university for innovation in research, teaching, and global engagement, CLACS fosters spaces of academic and cultural exchange between scholars, students, and regional K-14 instructors, with communities of the Americas. At UIUC, more than 1000 students take yearly courses on Latin America, Portuguese and Quechua courses. Supported by the Title VI grant, CLACS is one of a handful of universities in the world that offers all levels of Quechua instruction, in class and online, with materials used widely across the globe and created by our Quechua instructor, Clodoaldo Soto. In close collaboration with our highly-ranked Latin American and Caribbean Studies Library, and engaging over 120 faculty CLACS-affiliates from across campus, CLACS additionally promotes focused and interdisciplinary research by hosting speakers and visiting scholars, and by supporting faculty with grants to develop curricula, and faculty and students to do fieldwork and research in situ, enhancing in this way their academic and transcultural experiences. Through its activities and academic programs, CLACS engages in promoting transcultural and global competence, alongside social responsibility.
Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies (CLACS)
201 International Studies Building, MC-481
910 S. Fifth Street, Champaign, IL 61820
Phone: (217) 333-3182, Fax: (217) 244-7333