The Beginnings of SLAS

“The Society for Latin American Studies (SLAS) has its origins in 1962 when a group of university lecturers interested in the study of Latin American affairs decided to form The Latin American Group. Among the Group’s early objectives was the desire to maintain a network of contacts between university lecturers as well as to provide a permanent source of information on Latin American affairs in the UK. As part of this, The Latin American Group produced four issues of an Information Bulletin between 1962 and 1964.

In 1964, The Latin American Group became the Society for Latin American Studies and hence the Bulletin was thereafter entitled The Society for Latin American Studies Information Bulletin which ran until 1967 (Nos. 1-7) when the Society, in a move designed to insert its publication in a more serious academic format, dropped the word Information from the title of its publication, renaming it the Bulletin of the Society for Latin American Studies. This ran on until number 33, produced in 1981, when it was then succeeded by the Bulletin of Latin American Research (BLAR) that continues to be published to this day.“

Quoted from Nikki Craske and David Lehmann, “Fifty Years of Research in Latin American Studies in the UK”, in Revista Europea de Estudios Latinoamericanos y del Caribe, no. 72 (April 2002), 73-74.

The Latin American Group

To view the original minutes of the meeting for the Latin American Group, which include lists of British publications on Ibero-America, please select from the links given below. All of the documents linked are .PDF format.

November 1962 Image of original | Searchable version
March 1963 Image of original | Searchable version
October 1963 Image of original | Searchable version
January 1964 Image of original | Searchable version

SLAS Founding Committee

At a meeting held on 1 February 1964 at the Royal Anthropological Institute in London, it was resolved to constitute a Society for Latin American Studies.

The First Committee Included the Following Officers and Members:

Chairman J. H. Parry (University College of Swansea)
Vice-Chairman P. R. Odell (London School of Economics)
Treasurer J. Franco (Queen Mary College, London)
Secretary D. K. M. Kirkpatrick (Chatham House, London)
Ordinary Members C. Veliz (Chatham House, London)
J. Street (Cambridge)
A. M. R. Carr (Oxford)
J. C. J. Metford (Bristol)
S. Clissold (Foreign and Commonwealth Office)
C. A. M. Hennessy (Exeter)
J. Lynch (University College London)
A. J. Butt (Pitt-Rivers Museum, Oxford)

Other Founding Members of the Society, Attending this Meeting:

H. Blakemore P. Haggett D. A. Preston
D. Blelloch D. R. Harris R. D. F. Pring-Mill
E. Caracciolo J. A. Hasson A. J. Pryor
J. A. Chapman C. A. M. Hennessy W. Ross
A. H. Christie L. F. Henriques W. J. Rowe
J. P. Cole N. Hilton D. L. Shaw
R. U. Cooke E. J. Hobsbawm F. Smieja
J. C. Crossley A. Hogg C. T. Smith
J. S. Cummins H. A. Holley H. Thomas
A. E. M. Deutsch C. Huneeus A. Tropp
A. D. Deyermond J. C. Hunt J. E. Varey
M. Diaz-Rey C. A. Jones D. A. G. Waddell
E. Eshag E. J. de Kadt D. G. Wall
J. Halcro-Ferguson V. de Lara G. J. Walker
H. E. S. Fisher H. G. Martins Sir J. Walker
J. G. Flynn F. Parkinson N. Warman
J. H. Galloway D. C. M. Platt B. Welch
J. García Lora G. Pontiero  

The Chairman’s Statement on 1st SLAS Meeting on 1st February, 1964

Image of Original Page 1 and Page 2 | Searchable Version

Analyses of the history of SLAS

Past Presidents of SLAS (in descending order)

Jens R. Hentschke Portrait

2015 - 2017
Jens R. Hentschke
Newcastle University

Caroline Williams
University of Bristol

Lucy Taylor
University of Aberystwyth

Nicola Miller
University College London

Peter Lambert
University of Bath

Antoni Kapcia
University of Nottingham

Peter Wade
University of Manchester

Will Fowler
University of St Andrews


Past Presidents before 2000

This is a work in progress: please, help us fill the missing gaps and check accuracy.

Past Conference Venues

This is a work in progress: please, help us fill the missing gaps and check accuracy.

2016   Liverpool 1998   Liverpool 1980   Bristol
2015   Aberdeen 1997   St Andrews 1979   Norwich
2014   Birkbeck London 1996   Leeds 1978   Manchester
2013   Manchester 1995   Swansea 1977   York
2012   Sheffield 1994   Liverpool 1976   Leicester
2011   St Andrews 1993   Manchester 1975   Swansea
2010   Bristol 1992   Southampton 1974   Southampton
2009   Leeds 1991   Glasgow 1973   Leeds
2008   Liverpool 1990   Oxford 1972   Brighton
2007   Newcastle 1989   Bradford 1971
2006   Nottingham 1988   Wall Hall, Hatfield Poly 1970   Bristol
2005   Derby 1987   Cambridge 1969   Leicester
2004   Leiden 1986   Liverpool 1968
2003   Manchester 1985   Warwick 1967
2002   Norwich 1984   Cambridge 1966
2001   Birmingham 1983   Newcastle 1965
2000   Hull 1982   Sheffield 1964
1999   Cambridge 1981   Birmingham  

Annual Lecture Series, organised by SLAS between 2004 and 2011

The aim of these lectures was to present the ideas of leading public thinkers on contemporary Latin America.

2011 Glasgow - John Holloway 
'On Finding Hope on a Dark Night: the Latin American Contribution'. John Holloway’s work on the Zapatistas inspired him to write his book Change the World Without Taking Power which has itself inspired radical political action across Latin America – and indeed across the world.

2010 Newcastle - Enrique Dussel
'Latin American Political Philosophy Today'. Enrique Dussel is an internationally regarded philosopher. One of the founders of the counter-discourse, ’Philosophy of Liberation', he is the author of more than 50 books.

2009 Swansea - Colin McEwan
‘Moctezuma: Fame, Fortune, and Misfortune’. Colin is Head of the Americas Section at the British Museum in London and has previously designed and curated a number of important exhibitions on the peoples of Patagonia and Amazonia.

2008 London - James Painter
‘Climate Change, Latin America and the Media’ James is a BBC reporter and has developed an impressive expertise in the fascinating field of politics and climate change in the region.

2007 Liverpool - Hugh O’Shaughnessy
‘Are we Keeping Up with Latin America?’ Journalist, co-founder of the Latin America Bureau and author of Pinochet: the Politics of Torture (LAB 1999) and (with Sue Branford) Chemical Warfare in Colombia: the Costs of Coca Fumigation (LAB 2005).

2006 Essex - Richard Gott
'Latin America as a White Settler Society'. Journalist and author of Cuba: a New History (Yale 2005) and Hugo Chavez and the Bolivarian Revolution in Venezuela (Verso, 2005). Published in the Bulletin of Latin American Research Volume 26 Issue 2 pp 269-289, April 2007.

2005 Manchester - Duncan Green
Twenty Years of Neoliberalism: Where does Latin American go From Here?' Head of Research, Oxfam; author of Silent Revolution: the Rise and Crisis of Market Economics in Latin America (LAB 2003) and Faces of Latin America (LAB, 1997).

2004 London - William Robinson
'Latin America and the Crisis of Global Capitalism: Opportunities, Challenges, Hazards.' Associate Professor of Sociology, Global Studies and Iberian Studies, University of California - Santa Barbara.