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The conference is the key event in our calendar, attracting 200-350 participants. It normally takes place during the Easter vacation in different locations each year.

Academic panels vary widely, from economics to music via anthropology, politics, history, literature, geography and film. We have a keynote speaker and social events which in the past have included visits to galleries, film festivals and which culminate in the conference dinner with salsa dancing.

PILAS runs workshops for postgraduate students at the conference and all panels are strongly encouraged to include at least one postgraduate speaker. Postgraduate attendance is facilitated by the conference bursary.

In years where the annual conference takes place face-to-face, funding is available to assist Latin American scholars who are presenting a paper with their travel expenses.


1st - 3rd July

On 1-3 July 2024 the annual Society for Latin American Studies (SLAS) Conference will be hosted by the Centre for Latin American Research and Documentation (CEDLA) at the University of Amsterdam.


This year the annual Society for Latin American Studies conference will cross the Canal to welcome its participants in Amsterdam. This border-crossing endeavour sets the symbolic tone for three days of in-depth discussion on developments in Latin American Studies, across borders and disciplines. This year the conference includes an additional day for postgraduates organised by PILAS (Postgraduates in Latin American Studies), on 4 July 2024.


SLAS is one of the leading Latin American Studies organizations in the world. Its annual conferences gather together scholars, journalists, artists, publishers, and intellectuals from around the world. CEDLA conducts and stimulates research on developments in Latin America and distributes the results via academic education, events and publications. Both CEDLA and SLAS will be celebrating their 60th anniversaries during the conference.

Please see the conference website for further details.


If you are interested in hosting a SLAS conference in the future, please contact the SLAS secretary. This document will give you a sense of the types of questions you might want to consider about hosting a conference. 


Details of previous conferences are available in History.

UKRI/SNSF partnership workshops: Languages of Sustainability in Latin America

SLAS and the Swiss School of Latin American Studies (SSLAS) have received funding from a UKRI-SNSF partnership grant to host two workshops in Switzerland on the theme of Languages of Sustainability in Latin America.


This project will bring together experts in Latin American literary and cultural studies from the UK and Switzerland in order to explore linguistic, literary and cultural discourses on sustainability from Latin America, sharing knowledge from existing research and laying a foundation for future collaborative endeavours. The project has three key objectives:


  1. To enable knowledge exchange between UK and Swiss researchers working on cultural discourses of sustainability and responses to environmental challenges in Latin America.


  1. To develop a strong partnership between the SLAS and SSLAS, with a view to enhancing opportunities for early career researchers in both countries.


  1. To plan future collaborative activities, such as funding applications and joint publications.



The project’s chosen thematic area is part of the burgeoning global field of environmental humanities. The environmental humanities in Latin America have seen particular growth in recent years, and discussions around notions of sustainability in the region frequently return to the question of language, especially in relation to the concept of ‘sumak kawsay’, a Kichwa word roughly translating as ‘good living’ or, in Spanish, ‘buen vivir’. Recent debates around the cultural translatability of this indigenous concept, and around its co-optation by nation-states in the region, demonstrate the timeliness of considering linguistic expressions of sustainability in the face of increasing ecological challenges. The SLAS-SSLAS partnership will build on these debates by considering a range of indigenous linguistic concepts (including, for instance, the Guaraní ‘teko porã’) and how they appear and are translated across different media and cultural platforms in Latin America. The scope of the project will not be limited to indigenous languages, however, and will also include consideration of how the different ‘languages’ and discourses of cultural and political institutions, from galleries and museums to government departments and universities, address questions of sustainability and environmental change.



The first workshop will be held at Universität Bern on 25-26 May 2023. Details of the event, and the subsequent workshop, will be posted here in due course.

Photo: David Wood, Walls, Cuzco, Peru

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