“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', Revista Europea de Estudios Latinoamericanos y del Caribe, 72 (April 2002), 73-74.
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.
CHAIRMAN'S STATEMENT, 1 FEB 1964
The first committee included the following:
Chairman J. H. Parry (University College of Swansea)
Vice-Chairman P. R. Odell (LSE)
Treasurer J. Franco (Queen Mary College, London)
Secretary D. K. M. Kirkpatrick (Chatham House, London)
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 SLAS FOUNDING MEMBERS ATTENDING THIS MEETING
H. Blakemore, D. Blelloch, E. Caracciolo, J. A. Chapman, A. H. Christie, J. P. Cole, R. U. Cooke, J. C. Crossley, J. S. Cummins, A. E. M. Deutsch, A. D. Deyermond, M. Diaz-Rey, E. Eshag, J. Halcro-Ferguson, H. E. S. Fisher, J. G. Flynn, J. H. Galloway, J. García Lora, P. Haggett, D. R. Harris, J. A. Hasson, C. A. M. Hennessy, L. F. Henriques, N. Hilton, E. J. Hobsbawm, A. Hogg, H. A. Holley, C. Huneeus, J. C. Hunt, C. A. Jones, E. J. de Kadt, V. de Lara, H. G. Martins, F. Parkinson, D. C. M. Platt, G. Pontiero, D. A. Preston, R. D. F. Pring-Mill, A. J. Pryor, W. Ross, W. J. Rowe, D. L. Shaw, F. Smieja, C. T. Smith, H. Thomas, A. Tropp, J. E. Varey, D. A. G. Waddell, D. G. Wall, G. J. Walker, Sir J. Walker, N. Warman, B. Welch.
2021-2023 Thea Pitman, University of Leeds
2019-2021 Patience Schell, University of Aberdeen
2017-2019 David Wood, University of Sheffield
2015-2017 Jens Hentschke, Newcastle University
2013-2015 Caroline Williams, University of Bristol
2011-2013 Lucy Taylor, University of Aberystwyth
2009-2011 Nicola Miller, University College London
2007-2009 Peter Lambert, University of Bath
2005-2007 Antoni Kapcia, University of Nottingham
2003-2005 Peter Wade, University of Manchester
2001-2003 Will Fowler, University of St Andrews
1999-2001 David Lehmann, University of Cambridge
1997-1999 Sylvia Chant, London School of Economics
1995-1997 Peter Beardsell, University of Hull
1993-1995 Colin Clarke, University of Oxford
1991-1993 David E. Stansfield, University of Glasgow
1989-1991 Roberto Espindola, University of Bradford
1987-1989 John Fisher, University of Liverpool
1985-1987 Alan Gilbert, University College London
1983-1985 Harold Blakemore, ILAS London
1981-1983 Bryan R. Roberts, University of Manchester
1979-1981 David Fox, University of Manchester
1977-1979 David A. Brading, University of Cambridge
1975-1977 Colin Crossley, University of Leicester
1973-1975 D. C. M. Platt, University of Oxford
1971-1973 C. T. Smith, University of Liverpool
1969-1971 Jean Franco, University of Essex
1968-1969 Jean Franco, University of Essex (ad interim)
1967-1968 Raymond Carr, University of Oxford
1965-1966 Jack Street, University of Cambridge
1964-1965 John H. Parry, University College of Swansea
HISTORY OF SLAS: ANALYSES
Anne H. Jordan (ed.), “Latin American Studies in Europe: Final Report and Working Papers of the Twenty-Third Seminar on the Acquisition of Latin American Library Materials [University of London, 16-21 July, 1976]” (Austin: SALALM Secretariat, 1979).
Peter Wade "Social Anthropology in British Latin American Studies," in Victor Bulmer-Thomas (ed.), Thirty Years of British Latin American Studies (London: Institute of Latin American Studies, 1997), 82-100
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), 61-80.
Leslie Bethell, “The British Contribution to the Study of Brazil”, in Marshall C. Eakon and Paulo Roberto de Almeida (eds.), Envisioning Brazil: A Guide to Brazilian Studies in the United States, 1945-2003 (Madison: The University of Wisconsion Press, 2005), 347-374.
Gustavo San Roman, “The Rise of Modern Latin American Literary Studies in the UK: A Questionnaire to Practicioners,” Bulletin of Spanish Studies, 84:4-5 (2007), 447-494.
Antoni Kapcia and Linda A. Newson (eds.), Report on the State of UK-Based Research on Latin America and the Caribbean (London: ILAS, 2014).
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.
SLAS ANNUAL LECTURES, 2004-11
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.
Photo: Doris Siegel, Parque Nacional Los Glaciares, Argentina