VISTAS Monthly
Alumni & Friend Magazine Moves to Online Blast
LLILAS Benson Latin American Studies and Collections raises awareness of past and current issues affecting Latin America and U.S. Latina/o communities through its world-class collections, globalized higher education, research, international exchange, and public programs.



NEWS & EVENTS | February 1-15, 2023


LLILAS Benson Welcomes 2023 Tinker Visiting Professor Daniel Party


Mellon Grant to Fund Literature Program for Incarcerated Texans

LLILAS has been awarded a $500,000 grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation for Pido la Palabra: A Texas Prison Literature Project for Social Justice and the Literary Imagination. The project is a collaboration with the Texas Prison Education Initiative, a volunteer-run organization that offers credit-bearing college courses through UT Extension to incarcerated youth and adults. Read the news here.


Congratulations to the 2023 LLILAS Benson Digital Scholarship Fellows and Interns
The LLILAS Benson Digital Scholarship program has announced its 2023 fellows and interns. These students include graduate and undergraduate-level students from UT Austin and other universities, including some abroad. The cohort also includes the first recipients of funding the Archiving Black América Archives Acquisitions Award. Meet the fellows and interns.

Introducing The John S. and Drucie R. Chase Building Archive 
The Black Diaspora Archive at UT Austin is home of a newly processed archive that documents Black life in East Austin through the use of oral histories and other archival documents. Diversity Resident Librarian Jeremy Thompson writes about the John S. and Drucie R. Chase Building Archive and its connection to a community. Read the story to learn more.


Benson Staff and LLILAS Student Contribute to Latest Issue of Printing History 
Daniel Arbino, PhD, Head of Collection Development at the Benson Latin American Collection, was guest editor for the latest issue of Printing History. The issue's lead article, "Prepublication Censorship and Licensing: The Spanish Crown's 16th-Century Book Trade," was contributed by Digital Scholarship Coordinator Albert A. Palacios, PhD. LLILAS and iSchool dual-degree master's student Melissa Aslo de la Torre contributed a review of Corinna Zeltsman's Ink Under the Finger Nails. Learn more about the issue here


LLILAS Represented at Mexico 2025 and Beyond Initiative
LLILAS Director Adela Pineda Franco and the LLILAS Mexico Center Chair Laura Gutiérrez joined representatives from major U.S. and Mexican think tanks at Rice University's Baker Institute for Public Policy to explore the future of U.S.-Mexico relations. This private workshop was organized by the Baker Institute's Center for the U.S. and Mexico. Read about the meeting.



Anthropologist Deborah Thomas Presents Talk Hosted by LLILAS Caribbean Studies Initiative

Friday, Feb. 3 | 1:00pm  | RLP 1.302B 
Deborah Thomas, professor of anthropology at the University of Pennsylvania, presents the talk "Surrender: The Death of the West, Caribbean World-Building, and the Future of Us All." Organized by the LLILAS Caribbean Studies Initiative. Details here. 

Faculty Book Presentation: Guaraná: How Brazil Embraced the World's Most Caffeine-Rich Plant 

Thursday, Feb. 16 | 3:00pm | SRH 1.313

In this sweeping chronicle of guaraná—a glossy-leaved Amazonian vine packed with more caffeine than any other plant—Seth Garfield develops a wide-ranging approach to the history of Brazil itself. This book is already garnering attention and critical praise. Event details here.


2023 Lozano Long Conference Promises Array of Perspectives on Water in Latin America and the Caribbean

Feb. 23–24, 2023 | Eastwoods Room, UNB 2.102 
The 2023 Lozano Long Conference, "A Water-Centered Perspective on Latin America & the Caribbean," explores the central role water has played and still plays in the evolution of the human/nature-other-than-humans nexus from a variety of disciplines and perspectives. Learn more here.



San Juan Does Not Look Like Us: Blackness, Popular Catholicism, and Afro-Religiosity in Osma and Todasana, Venezuela

Thursday, Feb. 2  | 11:00am  | RLP 1.302C
Dr. Mosquera Muriel, Provost's Postdoctoral Fellow in Geography and the Environment and Women's and Gender Studies, will workshops her paper with UPenn Professor of Anthropology Deborah Thomas. More here:

Libre Latinés (LiLa)

Thursday, Feb. 2  | 1:00pm  | WCP 2.112 (formerly SAC)

Libre Latinés (LiLa) welcomes all LGBTQIA+ Latiné students seeking community. Come grab some food and meet others at the intersections of Queerness and Latinidad. Sign up for updates and RSVP here.

Book Roundtable: Enlightenment and the Geopolitics of Knowledge 

Monday, Feb. 6  | 12pm  | GAR 4.100 & Zoom
The Invention of Humboldt: On the Geopolitics of Knowledge (2023, ed. Mark Thurner and Jorge Cañizares-Esguerra) explores narrative of the rise of  a “new” Humboldtian science of ecology and global nature in the early nineteenth century and how this narrative has managed to erase the “Iberian” and “Indiano” origins of much of Humboldt’s “new” global physics. RSVP required for in-person attendance: Details here.

Artist Talk: Denilson Baniwa

Monday, Feb. 13 | 3:00pm |  Zoom 

Denilson Baniwa, whose work is on view in the exhibition Social Fabric: Art and Activism in Contemporary Brazil, discusses his artistic practice, which centers Indigenous perspectives and histories of colonial expansion within Brazil. See details.

Exhibition: Social Fabric: Art and Activism in Contemporary Brazil

On view through March 10, 2023 | Visual Arts Center (VAC)

Social Fabric: Art and Activism in Contemporary Brazil brings together the work of ten artists who reflect upon the long-standing histories of oppressive power structures in the territory now known as Brazil.


Seth Garfield Discusses Brazil's Current Political Climate
Professor of History Seth Garfield discusses the recent violent incidents in Brazil in the This Is Democracy podcast. Garfield is the author of Indigenous Struggle at the Heart of Brazil: State Policy, Frontier Expansion, and the Xavante Indians, 1937-1988; In Search of the Amazon: Brazil, the United States, and the Nature of a Region; and, most recently, Guarana: How Brazil Embraced the World's Most Caffeine-Rich Plant.

LLILAS Welcomes Two New Affiliates

Cristina Soriano is associate professor of Latin American colonial history. Her research has focused on the analysis of dynamics of circulation of information, social networks, political mobilization, and the public sphere in the Spanish Caribbean during the Age of Revolutions. Her new book project, "Imperial Ruptures: Colonial Experiments in Trinidad During the Age of Revolutions," explores revolutionary transformations in the Atlantic World from the perspective of a trans-imperial colony.


Mirasol Enríquez is assistant professor in the Department of Radio-Television-Film, and director of the Latino Media Arts & Studies Program. Her scholarship focuses on U.S.-based Latina filmmakers, media production culture, Chicana/o film, and representations of race and gender in media. As a film and media scholar and an arts administrator, Enríquez has devoted her career to community building through film and the arts.



Global Funding Opportunities

From Texas Global

As part of its ongoing effort to expand and deepen global engagement at UT Austin, Texas Global is committed to providing support and expertise for faculty across all disciplines to facilitate the integration of global learning into their research and teaching. See available grants.



FLAS Funding for UT Undergraduate and Graduate Students

The Foreign Language and Area Studies (FLAS)  Fellowship provides funding to pursue intensive training in modern languages and related area or international studies. Applicant must be a US citizen or permanent resident. Priority application deadline: Wednesday, Feb. 1, 2023, at 11:59pm CST. Late applications* will be accepted through Feb. 17, 2023, at 11:59pm. Students are encouraged to either apply by the priority deadline or contact the FLAS coordinator before the priority deadline.

*Late applications are not guaranteed to be reviewed or awarded.

Becas de Viaje para Investigadores Latinoamericanos

Apoyo financiero para estancias cortas se ofrece a investigadores latinoamericanos que deseen consultar las colecciones de la Benson. Plazo para enviar solicitudes: martes 28 de febrero, 2023. Detalles aquí.

Faculty Course Release Program

LLILAS offers two-course releases to affiliated faculty for either fall or spring, to promote the opportunity to engage in research and/or creative intellectual projects. Visit this link and search Active Calls. Deadline: Friday, Feb. 10, 2023, 12pm CST.

Mellon Faculty Research Grants

An endowment from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation provides funding for faculty to carry out summer research on topics focusing on Latin America. Visit this link and see Active Calls to learn more. Deadline: Tuesday, Feb. 28, 2023, 12pm CST.
Tinker Field Research Grants for UT Graduate Students

Tinker Field Research Grants  provide graduate students with their first experience in developing an independent research project and with conducting hands-on field research in Latin America. Eligibility: Graduate student in any department, with priority given to non-ABD doctoral students. Deadline: Friday, March 3, 2023, 11:59pm CST.



Alumni Spotlight: Miguel Gutiérrez Jr.

Miguel Gutiérrez Jr. is a photographer, videographer, and photojournalist from Chicago. He is currently visual editor at CalMatters in Sacramento, California. He graduated from UT Austin in 2015 with a dual master's degree in Latin American Studies (LLILAS) and Journalism. In this interview, he discusses career and how his time at UT helped shape his work. Read more.

Tanner Neidhardt Appointed District Judge
LLILAS alumnus Tanner Neidhardt was appointed 483rd District Judge in December 2022. An adjunct professor at the UT School of Law, he was a Fulbright Scholar in Colombia, where he studied the impact of constitutional reform on social movements. Neidhardt received a MA in Latin American Studies and a Juris Doctor degree from the University of Texas School of Law. Pictured: Neidhardt and LLILAS alumna Courtney Elliot.

Travis Knoll Writes on Religion and Left-Wing Politics
LLILAS alumnus Travis Knoll compares the role of religion in U.S. and Brazilian politics of the Left in this article for Jacobin. Knoll received his PhD in history with a focus on Latin America from Duke University and a BA and MA in Latin American Studies from LLILAS at UT Austin. He is currently an adjunct professor of history at the University of North Carolina–Charlotte. 


Urgent Search for Bone Marrow Match

Our beloved friend and LLILAS master's alumna Cynthia Rubio Pelayo (left) has leukemia. Her life was saved in 2020 by a bone marrow donation from her sister, Susana, but Cynthia has relapsed and urgently needs to find a new donor. The donation involves blood draw, not surgery. Please help us spread the word by sharing Cynthia's story and two donation sites: and Age requirements for donors differ on these two sites; you can swab to become a potential donor on both!

We Want to Connect with Our Alumni
If you completed your BA, MA, or PhD at LLILAS, we invite you to stay in touch via the LLILAS alumni LinkedIn group and the Facebook Alumni Group.




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