Latina/o and Latin American Studies

College of Arts, Social Sciences, and Humanities
Institute Director: Omar Granados
311B Graff Main Hall, 608.785.5243
Institute office: 315 Graff Main Hall

Institute for Latina/o and Latin American Studies

Since its creation in 1974, the Institute for Latin American and Latino/a Studies (ILLAS) has provided leadership and support to a community of faculty, staff and students working on Latin American and Latino/a Studies at UWL. ILLAS functions as a liaison between UW-La Crosse specialists and the University of Wisconsin System, mainly through the Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. Our institute supports professional development opportunities for faculty and students, as well as interdisciplinary work towards the development of new courses in Latin American and Latino/a studies on our campus.

ILLAS organizes academic and cultural programming such as Hispanic Heritage Month, the Annual Latin American Film Festival, and other speaker series and professional conferences, such as the annual La Crosse Area Latina/o Collaborative Workshop on Teaching, Service, and Research. Our institute collaborates with the UWL Office of Multicultural Student Services, the Office of International Education and Engagement, the McNair Scholars Program, the UW-La Crosse Institute for Social Justice, the Office of Admissions and the Latin American Student Organization (LASO) to recruit, retain, and mentor students, strengthening a culture of engagement and belonging among Hispanic, Latino/a, and Spanish heritage speaker students at UWL.

ILLAS community outreach has a strong focus on equity. The institute works with various community organizations, institutions and schools in areas with large populations of Hispanic and Latino/a immigrants such as Arcadia and Norwalk. ILLAS provides community engagement opportunities for UWL faculty and students, and supports working class and immigrant communities in Wisconsin through local programs. As one of the university’s primary promoters of internationalization, ILLAS collaborates with peer institutions and centers across the United States and Latin America to support study abroad and study away opportunities for UWL faculty and students. The institute is currently housed in the Department of Global Cultures and Languages.